Low-power signal may affect reception near Coeur d’Alene

Beginning Tuesday, August 27, the Idaho Public Television over-the-air signal in the Coeur d’Alene area will temporarily broadcast at lower than normal power. During this period, some viewers on the outskirts of our coverage area may experience an interruption in reception. We apologize for the temporary inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

We are in the process of installing a new transmitter and antenna at our Canfield Butte site in Coeur d’Alene. To accomplish this we have to go to a temporary transmitter and antenna while the new installation is being completed, and we are currently running at a substantially lower power.

This is the first step in a re-channeling process that will give the Coeur d’Alene area a new transmitter with improved signal strength on a new frequency by the end of September.

When this process is complete and the new transmitter is operational, viewers in the Coeur d’Alene area who receive our signal over-the-air will need to “rescan” their TV tuners to find us again. After rescanning, viewers will continue to receive IdahoPTV on virtual channel 26.

Information on performing a rescan is located here: fcc.gov/rescan.

Here is some background on why this is happening: the current transmitter is broadcasting on frequency channel 45 (received by TV tuners as virtual channel 26). The FCC by virtue of funding raised in their Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction is funding the costs for this new equipment. The new transmitter will broadcast on over-the-air channel 18, which will continue to be identified by TV tuners as virtual channel 26.

In 2017, as part of the FCC’s nationwide Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction, spectrum in the 600 MHz block of television channels across the continental United States was auctioned off to bolster cellular networks. The Coeur d’Alene transmitter sits in the middle of this auctioned spectrum and is required to relinquish that channel by October 18 and move to the new channel allocation. IdahoPTV was assigned a new channel (18) to continue broadcasting in the area.

“While this undertaking has been a very large task, we are fortunate that the burden of cost has not been a factor in making the adjustment, since the Congress and FCC have provided the necessary funding,” says Rich Van Genderen, IdahoPTV’s director of technology. “So although this is an inconvenience, at least it isn’t an unfunded mandate for us to meet.”

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