Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Construction Begins on KTOO-TV Digital Conversion

The sounds of demolition filled the corridors of KTOO’s building in Juneau this morning. It began what will lead to the new digital facilities for 360 NORTH operations and Gavel to Gavel Alaska production.

Last fall KTOO was one of 10 public TV stations in the U.S. selected to receive a digital transition grant from the Rural Development Utilities Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant program is designed to assist rural public television stations complete the transition from analog to digital television broadcasting. KTOO received an award of $1,000,000 to build new control centers for KTOO-TV, including all-new digital facilities for 360 NORTH and Gavel to Gavel Alaska.

Station manager Bill Legere said, “The new digital facilities will greatly improve our ability to provide a full-time, statewide channel of Alaska public affairs programming, including coverage of the Legislature. We will be replacing old obsolete analog equipment, some of which dates back to the 1980s.”

Burst, of Denver, Colorado will manage the engineering design, equipment procurement and installation required to convert KTOO’s control rooms from analog to digital, and make improvements to workflow and production capabilities. The project calls for expansion of a digital router, new digital switchers, improved graphic capabilities and digital conversion equipment. The digital conversion of KTOO’s facility is essential to the new 360 NORTH television service and continued upgrades in the Gavel to Gavel Alaska coverage of the legislature and state government. Construction is anticipated to be completed by late fall.

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