Broadcaster: TV switch won’t affect Portales

By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer

Unlike in large cities, the end of analog television signals from transmitters Feb. 17 won’t affect Portales and Clovis-area residents much, the KENW director of broadcasting said.

Duane Ryan said viewers in this area are served by cable, satellite or translators near Clovis.

Cable and satellite companies handle the transition to digital from analog for their customers, said KENW Director of Operations Orlando Ortega Jr. Ryan said translators, unlike transmitters, would continue broadcasting analog because the Federal Communications Commission didn’t set a deadline for their conversion.

“There has been no date set by the FCC, so it’s up to the stations, but it probably won’t happen for a year or so,” Ryan said.

For now, he said local translators would convert digital signals to analog and continue to broadcast as they have in the past.

That means people in the Clovis and Portales area don’t yet need a digital television or converter box to continue seeing the same programs. However, Ryan said if they choose to buy a digital TV or converter box, they would be able to pick up some additional signals.

House Republicans on Wednesday defeated a bill to delay the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting to June 12 — leaving an estimated 6.5 million U.S. households unprepared for the switchover.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.