My 6/21/09 Missoulian column
As of mid-July, 2009, Fox Programming in the Missoula area is now on KTMF-DT digital channel 23.2. Rescan with your digital TV or with your digital converter box to find the new channel.
June 12 was the final deadline for full-power stations to go digital, and because TV stations and electronic stores are still getting many calls from viewers about the digital conversion and bad reception, here is a roundup of help and advice.
Most advice boils down to re-scanning with your converter box to pick up new channels and channels that have moved (and possibly resetting your converter box, too), and checking your antenna’s orientation and location.
Becky Swan, general manager of KECI, says if you still can’t get some new digital channels, reset your converter box and scan again. This involves finding instructions on how to reset your particular converter box. If there is no reset button or feature, then scan once without the antenna connected to blank out channels in the memory, then hook up the antenna and scan again.
Danny Dauterive, director of operations at KUFM MontanaPBS (243-6390) has made a few house calls to help set up TV converter boxes. He advises people to be sure to have a UHF and VHF indoor or outdoor antenna, because digital stations are in both bands, and to rescan if needed for the four KUFM channels now on the air.
At Missoula Aging Services, Curtis Hammond is available for over-the-phone help for converter boxes (728-7682) and the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club has been helping with home visits. Missoula Aging Services also suggested calling Best Buy at 1-877-229-3889 and talk to the Geek Squad – they have been doing some volunteer installations for seniors.
Vann’s stocks TV converter boxes and antennas – both outdoor and rabbit ears. A sales rep advises that if you’re using rabbit ears, you really need to have line of sight to Dean Stone Mountain and Point 6 to get a reliable digital signal.
KSKC public TV at Salish-Kootenai College is still in the process of converting their low-power towers to digital due to the high demand on technicians to get transmitters up and running. Frank Tyro advises that if you still need to get a converter box, get one with an analog pass through circuit to be able to pickup other low-power stations and translators, which have yet to go to digital.
Linda Gray, president of Max Media of Montana, said they bought some of KMMF’s (the old Missoula Fox affiliate) assets during bankruptcy sale and will begin Fox programming around July 13. So rescan for Fox after the 13th, or go to KTMF’s D2 channel 23.2.