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Over-the-air Television Viewers Urged to Switch to Digital as Channel 12’s Analog Antenna is Off the Air Due to Extensive Wind Damage

DENVER – January 23, 2009 – KBDI-Channel 12 (PBS) is urging over-the-air television viewers to install digital converters now for digital reception.  This recommendation comes after recent 100+ mile per hour winds inflicted extensive damage to the KBDI analog antenna and transmission line, taking the station’s analog signal off the air.

The transmission line is currently being replaced at the KBDI transmission site atop Squaw Mountain in Clear Creek County.  The antenna repair or replacement is estimated to take up to four weeks, which coincidentally is at the same time broadcast stations are currently scheduled to switch to digital transmission (February 17).

“Our current digital antenna for Channel 38 (KBDI’s current digital channel allocation) is fine, but since the damaged antenna is the antenna that will be used for our digital broadcasts on our new digital frequency (Ch. 13) on February 18, getting it repaired or replaced is the station’s highest priority in order to ensure a continuation of KBDI’s digital broadcast services,” Mark Seewald, KBDI director of technical services, said. “We are doing everything possible to expedite restoration of the signal.”

KBDI’s work at the 11,000 foot Squaw Mountain site has been hindered by winter weather as well as the challenges in securing equipment and work crews during the final phase of the country’s digital conversion.

Digital over-the-air (DT-12.1) viewers and customers of Comcast and other cable companies as well as subscribers to DirecTV and DISH are not affected by the analog outage.  Service via Colorado Springs translator channel 32 and Boulder translator channel 11 also remains uninterrupted.

KBDI is encouraging viewers receiving Channel 12’s analog service over the air to hook up digital converter boxes now to receive all of the digital channels that are available today from KBDI and all other local broadcasters – rather than waiting until all broadcast stations make the switch to digital transmission.

KBDI currently distributes three digital channels on Channel 38 – the flagship station (DT-12.1) plus The Documentary Channel (DT-12.2) and MHz Worldview (DT-12.3).   Consumers’ on-screen channel guides will display channels as 12-1, 12-2 and 12-3 once channel 38 is acquired in a converter box or HDTV tuner.

The KBDI digital signal is strong, reaching throughout the entire Denver metro area, northern and eastern Colorado and into Wyoming and Nebraska – even though the station is not yet at full power.  Viewers in those areas should be able to acquire our digital signal if they previously were able to receive the analog signal.  There may be exceptions, depending primarily on the strength of a viewer’s antenna and specific geographic barriers at their location.
KBDI had announced last week that the analog signal was off the air due to a transmission line break.  Engineers have since discovered extensive antenna damage due to high winds and extreme cold at the station’s antenna site on Squaw Mountain.  At 11,480 feet, the station’s tower is the highest television transmission site in North America.

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About KBDI

KBDI-PBS/12 provides high-quality, edgy programming as well as services that address substantive social and educational needs.  KBDI delivers three distinct digital channels.  In addition to its flagship KBDI broadcast channel (12.1), KBDI airs The Documentary Channel featuring the works of independent filmmakers (12.2) and MHz Worldview, a lineup of programs providing diverse cultural perspectives for a globally minded audience (12.3).  Eventually, as resources permit, KBDI plans to add a fourth digital stream of additional local and international programming.

Contact:
Marcia Simmons
Director of Marketing & Communications
KBDI-Channel 12 (PBS)
303-991-5020 (direct); 303-489-4012 (cell)

Photos Available for Download

OTA Viewers Urged to Switch to Digital
OTA Viewers Urged to Switch to Digital

A technician climbs KBDI's Squaw Mountain tower to conduct engineering tests.  Winds of 100+ miles per hour damaged the station's transmission line and antenna, taking the analog signal off the air.  KBDI urges over-the-air TV viewers to install digital converters NOW for digital reception.  Antenna repair or replacement is estimated to take up to four weeks.  Over-the-air digital viewers, cable and satellite customers and viewers with translator service are not affected by the outage.

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