may lose TV signal in February
By now youíve seen the announcements that TV stations are required to switch to all-digital broadcasting on Feb. 17, 2009.
What you may not know is that if you receive your TV signal by antenna off of Cottonwood Butte, you may lose your TV reception on that date.
Idaho County Commissioner Jim Rehder discovered this when he purchased a digital converter box and discovered the Central Idaho TV translators atop Cottonwood Butte havenít been converted to digital.
CITV chairman Bob McCall spoke to the County Commission Monday, Dec. 29, and informed them of CITVís unsuccessful efforts since summer to have another broadcasting station take over their operations.
Apparently the cost to convert their equipment over to digital is prohibitive.
The service from CIT is free although they request $30 per year from users to help cover maintenance costs.
The group has $20,000 in its account but this isnít enough to cover cost of conversion and have money available for maintenance.
McCall told the commissioners that weíll be back where we were in 1956 before CITV formed.
McCall, an original board member when CITV formed in 1957, also said that all the board members are retiring soon and unless new volunteers step up to serve, CITV will dissolve.
CITV is planning a public meeting concerning these issues on January 15 at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center in Grangeville. CITV users are asked to send him a letter at 463 Mt. Idaho Road, Grangeville, ID 83530.
Options are to switch to cable service if youíre in towns served by a cable company or switch to a satellite dish. The problem with this is many of those receiving their signal off of Cottonwood Butte canít afford either option.
A federal law requires all high-power analog stations to switch to digital on Feb. 17. This will allow stations to offer improved picture and sound quality and additional channels. Also it will free up parts of the broadcast spectrum for public safety communications and some of the spectrum will be auctioned off to provide consumers with more advanced wireless services.
Regardless it appears that come February 17, many in the area will lose their TV service even if they have one of the new digital converter boxes.
CITV public meeting set for January 15
Central Idaho TV, Inc. will be holding a public meeting Thursday, January 15 at the Senior Center in Grangeville.
The meeting is set to start at 7 p.m.
Major topic of discussion is the future of Central Idaho TV in the face of the federally required digital conversion.