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Letter to the Editor: KFVS offers help line

Saturday, June 27, 2009

By Paul Keener

Since the digital transition was completed June 12, we've been communicating with viewers one on one through our special DTV help line and by e-mail. We know there are some viewers well within range of our digital signal who are not able to watch, and we share their frustration.

Our transition has been more complicated than other stations in our area because we had to change our digital signal from a UHF channel to a VHF channel. Most other stations simply turned off their analog signal and kept transmitting their UHF digital signal where it had always been. Since the transition, we've learned things about digital signals on VHF frequencies that are causing problems for some viewers. For instance:

We knew that digital receivers' channels would have to be rescanned, but we didn't know that many units would require a double rescan. We didn't know that most new "digital" indoor antennas are not designed for quality VHF reception, even though some claim to be.

We didn't know that FM interference would prevent some receivers from finding our signal and that FM trap filters could solve reception problems for some viewers.

Most viewers whom we talk to about these issues are finding success in tuning in the new digital signal. We'd be happy to speak directly to any viewer who is having reception issues. They can call our toll-free help line at 1-877-294-4422 to speak to a KFVS12 engineer, or leave a message for a return call. All of this information is also available at our website.

Even though this transition has been mandated by the federal government, it's time to stop blaming Congress and try to work through these issues together. If you watched KFVS12 before the switch, our new signal is out there and you should be able to receive it now with the proper equipment. There are things you can do to improve your chances and we'll be glad to help you.

If nothing else, this transition has reminded us all about the importance of local media throughout our region and within our communities. This area is fortunate to have quality newspapers, radio stations and TV stations that work each day to deliver important, compelling and sometimes life-saving local information. Here at KFVS12 we're honored that many of you have watched us for so many years, and we're not ready to let this digital transition change that.

Paul Keener is director of marketing at KFVS12/WQWQ in Cape Girardeau.