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Digital antennas an alternative for those at risk of losing WKTV on cable

By CAROLINE GABLE

(WKTV) - If you are a Time Warner Cable subscriber and live in Herkimer County, Otsego County, or the eastern portion of Oneida County, you're probably aware that Time Warner Cable could stop carrying WKTV at 11:59 p.m. on December 15.

But viewers do have other options.

They can watch WKTV newscasts on Dish Network, or receive WKTV free "over the air."

With the help of a digital antenna, your programming can actually go uninterrupted. In less than five minutes, it's really simple to have a free over the air signal up and running, with the aid of an antenna.

Employees will still be working at WKTV to bring viewers the latest local news, regardless of whatever action happens after December 15. Newscasts will still be broadcast over digital RF Channel 29.

Certain panel antennas can be mounted for both indoor and outdoor use, and are available and in stock at local Radio Shack, Best Buy and Walmart stores. The antennas run about $50 a unit.

If you have a newer or wide screen TV, you will connect your new antenna to the TV. If you have an older TV model, you need a converter box in addition to the antenna.

Connecting the antenna is easy, and once you're plugged in, it's time for a channel scan.

Turn on your TV and use the "menu button" to navigate to the auto scan for channels, or auto programming. Depending on your television, the process varies slightly.

Finally, choose "over the air" and the channel scan should start and take just a few minutes. Once it's completed, your TV should be able to pick up WKTV.

To ensure that viewers get WKTV, NewsChannel 2 is taking other extra steps, such as getting a second generator. That way, if power fails at the transmitter in Middleville, there's back-up.

Chief Director of Engineering Tom McNicholl says his team of engineers is anticipating every possible bump in the road.

"We've been getting things ready for it, (the generator) and we installed it yesterday," McNicholl said. "We tested it out today and it worked great, so if power fails out in Middleville and if the transmitter goes out, it will come right back with the rental generator running."

Negotiations between the owners of WKTV and Time Warner are ongoing, but with the help of an antenna, you can insure you'll get the latest local news delivered to your television.

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