Digital TV Frequently Asked Questions & FCC Form 388 - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Digital TV Frequently Asked Questions & FCC Form 388

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KTVN High Definition Television (HDTV) transmits from Slide Mountain, NV.  KTVN is available via over-the-air reception, Charter Cablevision (in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, South Lake Tahoe, Crystal Bay North Lake Tahoe, Gardnerville and Fallon), DirecTV and DishNetwork to our entire service area, AT&T U-Verse (where available), C.C. Communications (Fallon, NV), Comstock Community TV (Virginia City, NV) and Zito Media (Susanville, CA).  KTVN is proud to serve our viewers with this state-of-the-art Digital Television Service.

To receive KTVN HD off-air, you need a digital television receiver.  Effective March 1, 2007, all new TV's manufactured for sale in the US were required to have a DTV digital receiver built in.  Separate set-top off air receiver/converter boxes are available to use with any TV whether it is HD or the older analog format.  Some HD compatible satellite boxes have off air DTV receivers built in or have off air receivers available as an option. 

Off-air reception is best accomplished by using a standard outdoor VHF broadcast television antenna.  However, with our high power signal, many locations will be able to receive KTVN HD reliably with an indoor antenna including the least expensive rabbit ears. To receive KTVN HD through cable, Charter customers need a High Definition Digital Cable box only available through Charter.  Other cable TV providers also provide High Definition Digital Cable Boxes and may still provide signals receivable by a "Digital Cable Ready" TV with an integrated receiver that is capable of receiving cable's unencrypted QAM signals.

If you have an off-air DTV broadcast receiver, such as a digital television set with an integrated DTV broadcast receiver, a DTV converter box or an HD capable satellite receiver box with off air reception capability, you can watch KTVN on digital Channels 2.1 and 2.2 .  To receive KTVN, you may have to do a channel scan to find it automatically or if your receiver is a few years old you may be able to manually "Add" DTV Channel 13 to the list of active channels on your receiver's channel selection menu.  KTVN's regular program schedule, including CBS HD programming and Channel 2 News, is found on Channel 2.1 .  Our exclusive AntennaTV service of classic television shows is found on 2.2 . 

Note regarding rescanning of digital channels with off air converter boxes and receivers:  Viewers need to re-scan for channels should they lose reception of any digital channels that they have been able to previously receive if the channel has disappeared for a period of time and all other conditions are unchanged.  Re-scanning for channels allows the converter box or TV to restore the program to your TV.

DirecTV and DishNetwork now offer the local Reno stations in HD via satellite to their subscribers with compatible HD equipment.  Please contact DirecTV or DishNetwork for information on how to receive this service.  Be aware that some older generation DirecTV and DishNetwork HD boxes contain a high quality off air DTV receiver that can receive local stations with quality that is superior to the feed sent via satellite.  New generation DirecTV and DishNetwork HD boxes require an optional off air HD receiver which pays for its self quickly if you use an antenna to receive local digital channels off air rather than order the "local channels" package at additional charge.  The over the air HD signal is available for free to viewers within KTVN's large coverage area when their receiver is connected to a standard broadcast antenna.  Most DirecTV and DishNetwork HD customers do not need to subscribe to the local channels HD package at additional charge if they connect their box to an off air antenna and watch the local stations off air.

If you are using a Charter Cablevision HDTV box, or a "cable card" capable device like a Tivo or cable card TV, KTVN HD is found on cable Channel 782.  Our exclusive AntennaTV service of classic television shows is found on cable Channel 183. 

For the most current up-to-date KTVN HDTV listings go to the KTVN.com home page http://www.ktvn.com/ and select Program Schedule.

ANTENNA SELECTION INFORMATION:  To find out what kind of antenna you need at your house, go to http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx.  It can help you select the right antenna for your home. It also tells you which direction to point your antenna for best reception from your receiving address.  Note:  KTVN HD is a VHF signal.  Antennas designed for reception of only UHF DTV signals may not work for reception of KTVN HD.

For additional help receiving KTVN HD in the Reno, NV area contact our Assistant Chief Engineer Steve Sonnenburg: ssonnenburg@ktvn.com.

Frequently Asked Questions about HDTV

What is Digital Television?

Digital Television (DTV) is how broadcast TV is now transmitted to you. This technology allows you to watch High Definition Television (HDTV) programs and multiple Standard Definition Television (SDTV) programs. The digital television format allows KTVN to deliver programs with excellent picture and sound quality.

What do I have to do to watch KTVN?

If you are a cable subscriber KTVN is a part of all channel lineups.  If you subscribe to the DirecTV or DishNetwork satellite local channels package, KTVN is part of the package.  To watch KTVN with an off air antenna you can use a digital television, get a DTV converter box to connect to your analog TV or VCR, or for satellite subscribers, buy or upgrade your satellite box with digital off air reception capability.  Non HD DTV off air receiver converter boxes are available at reasonable cost from popular retail stores like Walmart. 

How can I watch KTVN's HD programming?

KTVN HD programming is available over the air for free.  It is also carried by Charter Cablevision (in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, South Lake Tahoe, Crystal Bay North Lake Tahoe, Gardnerville and Fallon), DirecTV and DishNetwork to our entire service area, AT&T U-Verse (where available), Zito Media (Susanville, CA), C.C. Communications (Fallon, NV) and Comstock Community TV (Virginia City, NV).  To see HD programming on your HD TV you must be sure to have an HD signal source.  HD signal sources are: off air antennas, HD cable boxes and HD satellite boxes.  A good old TV antenna is all you need when connected to TV's currently being sold with built in DTV off air receivers, older "HD-Built In" TVs, stand alone DTV converter boxes or direct to home HD satellite receiver boxes with an off-air DTV tuner.  (Note: DirecTV and DishNetwork customers can subscribe to a local channel's HD package to receive KTVN in HD via satellite rather than use an off air antenna if they wish.)  Older "HD Ready" or "Monitor" display devices do not have off air receivers built in and must have an "HD box" as previously described to supply the signal. 


Will I need a new antenna to receive digital High Definition Television?

There is no difference in antennas used to receive the analog television signals of the past and the new digital signals.  If you have an existing outside antenna that was able to receive analog stations, including KOLO Channel 8's analog signal before they turned it off, then you should be able to receive KTVN digital High Definition Television, using your same antenna.  Some locations will be able to receive KTVN HD with an indoor antenna, but an outside antenna is best. Remember that off air digital signals provide perfect pictures that are superior to the HD signal delivered via cable and satellite.  Check to see if you can get a good off air signal before making additional expenditures for cable or satellite delivery of KTVN HD.


What happens if I have a weak signal?  How do I adjust my antenna for best reception?

Digital signals are either received with a perfect picture or they are not receivable at all. In some cases weak signals can cause distortions in the picture and audio gaps which may be eliminated or minimized by adjusting your antenna whether it is an outdoor antenna or indoor antenna like rabbit ears.  In other words, when you tune in to any digital broadcast station, usually the picture will either be perfect or not there at all.  Signals of variable strength on the edge of the coverage area or of marginal strength can result in signals that drop out from a perfect picture to no picture.  To avoid this annoyance, a good antenna system is best.

If you have a signal with intermittent weakness, installing a signal amplifier between the antenna and your receiver may help.  All digital receivers have a signal strength indicator which you can find in the Menu Options.  Turn it on and adjust your antenna by pointing your outdoor antenna in various different directions until you have the strongest signal for the station or stations you want to watch.  With an indoor antenna adjust it by seeing how the stations come in with it located in various locations and pointing it in various directions to see what works best.  If the indicator is at or near the Low Signal indicator, you likely will have break up in your picture and sound.  A change in the direction the antenna is pointed, antenna improvement or replacement, replacement of the coaxial cable between the antenna and your receiver, changeover to an outdoor antenna from an indoor antenna or installing a signal amplifier are the steps to take to improve signal strength.  To find out what kind of antenna you need at your house, go to http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx.  It can help you select the right antenna for your home. It also tells you which direction to point your antenna for best reception from your receiving address.

Remember that Reno has several DTV stations, including KTVN HD, broadcasting in the VHF frequency band and several stations broadcasting in the UHF frequency band so select an antenna designed to work for both VHF and UHF signals. Some DTV antennas are designed to receive only UHF signals and are not as effective in receiving KTVN HD as an antenna designed to receive VHF as well as UHF signals.

Adjustment of your existing or new TV antenna

If you use an antenna to watch KTVN directly off the air with a digital converter box or digital TV, first connect the antenna to your digital receiving device and scan for channels.  If you do not find KTVN-DT 2.1 and 2.2 listed after the channel scan you may need to point your antenna in a new direction to receive the digital signal.  KTVN's digital transmitter is located on Slide Mountain so pointing the antenna in that direction should give the strongest signal.  The best reception of all area digital television stations may be found in a different direction however as there are digital stations transmitting from Peavine Mountain and Red Peak (which is located near Truckee Meadows Community College to the North of Reno) in addition to Slide Mountain.  Watch the signal strength indicator on your digital receiver to find the antenna direction position that gives the strongest overall signal for the stations you want to watch.  To find out what kind of antenna you need at your house, go to http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx.  It can help you select the right antenna for your home. It also tells you which direction to point your antenna for best reception from your receiving address.

Can I receive High Definition Television over cable?

Yes.  Charter Cable (in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, South Lake Tahoe, Crystal Bay North Lake Tahoe, Gardnerville and Fallon), AT&T U-Verse (where available), C.C. Communications (Fallon, NV), Comstock Community TV (Virginia City, NV) and Zito Media (Susanville, CA), currently carry KTVN's HDTV signal.  Cable also offers other popular channels in HD if you subscribe to the right digital service.

How do I watch KTVN HD on a "Digital Cable Ready TV" via cable?

Charter customers can no longer watch KTVN HD or any other TV without obtaining a Charter digital cable box or, in some older TVs, using a cable card when the TV is cable card capable.  Cable systems other than Charter may provide a limited number of unscrambled cable-delivered HD signals which may include KTVN and which "Digital Cable Ready TVs" can receive without a set-top box or cable card.  To receive KTVN along with the full variety of other non-broadcast programming on "cable card" capable "Digital Cable Ready" TVs or Tivos, a "cable card" has to be installed in the TV or Tivo.  This can be done by a cable technician during a service call or in some cases your cable operator will allow you to self-install the card.  This card authorizes your TV or Tivo to receive cable HD programming without using a set-top box and gives the cable company the ability to authorize or modify your ability to watch the channels authorized for your account.  For non "cable card" sets an HD set top box supplied by the cable operator must be used.

What are the key features of High Definition Television?

The first noticeable advantage of High Definition Television (HDTV) is that the picture is much wider. It is nearly twice as wide as it is tall and closely approximates that of cinema.  The second key feature is that High Definition has superior sharpness and clarity. KTVN's HDTV picture is a 1080i signal with 1080 vertical picture lines by 1920 horizontal pixels for a total of over 2.0 million pixels. Standard definition pictures contain only 480 vertical lines by 720 pixels for a total of 345,600 pixels. Third, the color resolution of HDTV is superior. KTVN-DT's High Definition signal also delivers six channels of CD-quality surround sound (left, right, center, left rear, right rear, and low frequency effects).  Finally, the signal is digitally transmitted, which eliminates snow (weak signal), double images (ghosting or multi-path) and picture sparkles (impulse noise).  As a result, if you can receive the over-the-air DTV broadcast signal, the picture is perfect, whether you are one mile or fifty-five miles from the transmitter.

What is an "HD Ready" or "Monitor" TV?

"HD Ready" TV sets and "Monitors" that were sold a few years ago are capable of displaying High Definition pictures, but require the use of an external receiver to acquire the HD signal for the display.  To watch KTVN HD on an "HD Ready" TV or "Monitor", you must first acquire an external HD receiver (off-air HDTV set-top broadcast receiver, a satellite/broadcast capable HD set-top receiver or digital cable HD set-top box).  The set-top receiver must be connected to the "HD Ready" TV or "Monitor," with a digital HDMI, a digital DVI cable or analog component video cables, and for any cable other than HDMI, either stereo analog audio cables or an optical fiber cable or a wire type digital audio cable with standard RCA connectors.  By selecting the correct input on the "HD Ready" TV or "Monitor," you will be able to watch the output of your HD set-top box in HD.

What are "HD Built-In", "Digital Cable Ready" or "Integrated" TVs?

"HD Built-In," "Digital Cable Ready" and "Integrated" HD TVs have an off-air DTV receiver built in that is capable of receiving digital broadcasts when connected to a standard off-air antenna.  These TVs can also be connected to a digital cable HD set-top box or a satellite/broadcast capable HD set-top receiver to allow you to watch non-broadcast HD channels.  The set-top cable or satellite receiver must be connected to this type of TV with a digital HDMI, a digital DVI cable or analog component video cables and for any cable other than HDMI either stereo analog audio cables or an optical fiber cable or a wire type digital audio cable with RCA connectors.  By selecting the correct input on the "HD Built-In," "Digital Cable Ready" or "Integrated" TV, you will be able to watch the output of your HD set-top box in HD. 

How much do the new digital televisions cost?

Contact your local consumer electronics dealer to sample their ever-expanding line of DTV products.  Prices have dropped dramatically.

Has the conversion to Digital Television made my existing television set obsolete?

Eventually yes - but not immediately.  You are still be able to watch TV on an old analog TV but you will have to add some sort of DTV compatible set-top box (converter box, off air receiver, cable or satellite) to convert the new digital signals to analog for your older analog TV.

Which converter box is best for me?  Do I need analog signal pass through capability?

There really is only one difference from a feature point of view among DTV converter boxes.  Some boxes have "analog signal pass through" capability.  Some do not.  Analog signal pass through allows your analog TV to get a signal from your antenna when you have turned off your DTV converter box.  Converter boxes without analog pass through block the signal from your antenna to your TV at all times whether they are on or off preventing reception of analog signals.  If all you watch off air is CBS, Fox, ABC, NBC, CW, MyTV, PBS and Univision and you watch these stations on their main channel numbers and not via translator stations, any DTV converter box should be able to get all of these signals with an antenna if there is an adequate signal available at your location.  If you watch any of the main channels via translator stations and must tune your TV to channel numbers that are different than the main channel to see them or like to watch off air religious programming or other programming delivered by "low power" stations, you will need an "analog signal pass through" converter box in order to retain the ability to receive these analog stations as well as receive digital stations.  These low power stations are not immediately converting to digital TV.

What about my existing analog VCR?  Will it be able to play back and record the new digital television?

Your existing VCR will be able to play back your library of VHS tapes on digital television receivers.  However, your VHS VCR will not be able to record the digital widescreen high definition signal from an antenna source.  If you want to record and play back the digital off air antenna signal, you will need to connect a converter box to the VCR.  You will have to have the channel you want to record pretuned on the converter box and disable its energy saver four hour automatic shut off feature if you want to make a timer recording.  It will be complicated and not very user friendly to make this work. 

If you want to record the programming in HD you must purchase an HD capable Tivo or lease from your cable or satellite system a high definition digital videodisk recorder (DVR).  Satellite, Tivo and cable companies offer DVRs that can record and play back KTVN in High Definition.

What channel number is KTVN-DT?

KTVN's regular program schedule is broadcast digitally in High Definition Television on DTV Channel 2.1 .  The actual on-air frequency used to deliver KTVN-DT is Channel 13, but you should not have to deal with that unless you have older DTV receiving equipment.  The new digital television channel can be selected by entering 2.1 on your DTV's remote control.  This new channel numbering system was designed to simplify tuning to the many new digital channels.   KTVN-DT's exclusive AntennaTV service of classic television shows can be received by entering 2.2 .

Are all of CBS's programs in high definition?

Most CBS programs including sports are now in HD as well as many syndicated favorites like Ellen.  CBS will continue to expand the number of high definition hours that are broadcast per day until all programs are in HD.

Need help in setting up your DTV converter box?

If you need help in setting up your DTV converter box to your TV set, or to set up the box with a VCR, click on the following link.  DTV Converter Box Setup Help

Click here for the 1st Quarter 2008 FCC Form 388- DTV Consumer Education Quarterly Activity Report

Click here for the 2nd Quarter 2008 FCC Form 388- DTV Consumer Education Quarterly Activity Report

Click here for the 3rd Quarter 2008 FCC Form 388- DTV Consumer Education Quarterly Activity Report

Click here for the 4th Quarter 2008 FCC Form 388- DTV Consumer Education Quarterly Activity Report

Click here for the 1st Quarter 2009 FCC Form 388- DTV Consumer Education Quarterly Activity Report

 

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