Television reception

Columbia Area A Television Society explains rural TV signals.

Rural residents in Donald, Blaeberry and Moberly who pick up their television signals from CAATS (Columbia Area A Television Society) have likely been dismayed to see their four TV channels vanish to only one (CFCN-CTV, Calgary) recently.  Well, Global-Vancouver is back up and running (disruption courtesy of power failures last week), and the TV Society is pleased to announce that the Knowledge Network and newly restored CBC-Vancouver (lost last July when the CBC cancelled its small community broadcast system across Canada) are now broadcasting with a Digital Signal.  “Over-the-air” (as opposed to cable or satellite) means picking up your television channels through a rooftop antenna; rabbit ears give pretty shoddy reception in a mountainous environment and are not recommended.  Please ensure there are no large trees between your antenna and the TV tower.

So what special equipment does the viewer need at home to pick up these digital signals?  A flat screen digital-ready television, hooked up to your antenna the same way as before.  To receive your new digital signals press the “Menu” button on the remote; select Set-Up; select Antenna – Air, Digital and Standard Auto Tune or Auto Scan.  Wait until the process is complete, at which time the TV displays the last seen program.  Digital programs will be displayed as e.g. 12.1, 12.2 etc.  Once the scan is complete simply toggle Channel Up or Down to locate these channels.  Your two analogue signals will still come in on Channels 8 and 10 in Donald, and on 2 and 4 in Moberly/Blaeberry.  Any disruption or addition of services requires a repeat of the routine.

The conversion of the two channels to digital at our Donald tower site mark the beginning of a process to turn our entire rural broadcasting system into a digital system.  Next year, Parson/Campbell Road/Nicholson will undergo a similar conversion, and eventually all rural TV signals will go digital. Rural taxpayers will be happy to note that these costs are covered by existing Replacement Reserve Funds, and no tax increases to the TV Society will be required.

Owners of older tube-type televisions are unable to receive digital channels.  You will have to buy a flat screen digital televison; fortunately, they can be had at the new local electronics store, and elsewhere of course, starting at $150.  A digital-to-analogue converter box ($70) COULD make your old TV pick up digital signals, but from my point of view that defeats the purpose of receiving a sharper picture quality and then losing it on your old tube television.  This same electronics store is also able to order you rooftop antennas ranging from $50-150.  Be sure to ask for a VHF-only antenna.

If you have any questions, please call 250-344-8577.  Happy viewing.

Sincerely,

Ron van Vugt

CAATS