By Thomas Garcia PNT Staff Writer
The first live, digital and high definition program was broadcast Monday at Eastern New Mexico University’s KENW Broadcast Center.
The hour-long program that ran from 8-9 p.m. featured information about the upcoming conversion of analog television to digital television.
“The purpose of the program is to clear up the issues and questions about digital TV,” said KENW promotional director, Rena Garrett. “There are a lot of people that don’t understand all of the terms being used.”
KENW personalities Don Criss and Sheryl Borden discussed how to make the conversion to digital TV, myths surrounding the conversion and answered questions that were phoned in by viewers.
“There was a diverse range of questions asked by the viewers,” said KENW director of engineering, Jeff Burmeister.
One caller from Grady asked when and why is the signal for television being the converted.
“The government has mandated that all analog signals will cease on Feb. 17, 2009,” Criss said. “The change to digital will free up some frequency that the government will be able to sell and utilize for different purposes.
“The quality of the picture will be improved and the amount of channels available will increase this is a good thing that is happening,” Criss said.
The calls came in from other rural communities such as Arch, Forrest and Capitan, Burmeister said.
“Receiving calls from the rural communities ensures us that the information is getting out there,” Garrett said. “They all will be effected by the conversion and we are doing all we can to help with that process.”
A group of engineers answered the incoming calls and answered any specific questions a viewer might have, Garrett said. If the question and answer could benefit all viewers it was given to Borden and answered by Criss live on the air.
The information broadcast included viewing requirements for viewers in areas including, Portales, Clovis, Tucumcari, Hobbs and Ruidoso.
Viewers were also informed about how a converter box will convert the digital signal to analog for older TV sets.
Information about antennas and satellite dishes was also provided.