If you use an analog TV set and antenna, you need to connect a DTV converter box.

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1 DIGITAL BROADCAST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What is digital television (DTV)? Digital television (DTV) is a type of broadcasting technology that enables TV stations to provide dramatically clearer pictures and better sound quality. DTV is more efficient and more flexible than the traditional broadcast technology known as analog. For example, DTV makes it possible for stations to broadcast multiple channels of free programming simultaneously (called multicasting), instead of broadcasting only one channel at a time. Is digital TV the same as HDTV (high definition television) All HDTV is digital, but not all digital TV is HD. Some digital television broadcasts are in standard definition, a format that looks as good as the best quality analog broadcasts. To see true HD, you need a HD television set. However, you can still enjoy Vermont Public Television s HD programs on an analog television set if you connect a digital converter box. What are the benefits of DTV? Digital television allows TV stations to offer a number of new and better services. In addition to providing dramatically better pictures and sound quality, DTV also enables TV stations to provide several channels of television programming at once. This is known as multicasting. What's airing on VPT's digital channels? VPT already multicasts four digital channels: the regular schedule, VPT HD (high definition), VPT Create and VPT World. Where can I find VPT's digital broadcast channels? VPT HD: Burlington 33.1, St. Johnsbury 20.1, Rutland 28.1, Windsor 41.1 (main schedule,) VPT SD: 33.2, 20.2, 28.1, 41.1 (standard definition simulcast of HD schedule) VPT Create: 33.3, 20.3, 28.3, 41.3 (travel, cooking, home) VPT World: 33.4, 20.4, 28.4, 41.4 (news, documentary, nature) What equipment do I need? If you use an analog TV set and antenna, you need to connect a DTV converter box. If you use a digital TV set and antenna, there is no need for a converter box. A suitable antenna is essential, because digital reception can be tricky. A "rooftop" antenna mounted on the roof or in an attic is generally best at pulling in digital channels. However, you may find that a good indoor antenna in a window, attic or garage does the trick. The Terk HDTVA indoor antenna (available at many electronics stores and online for $40 to $60) has helped many VPT viewers. If you use an outdoor antenna and do not receive digital signals, VPT suggests you add a high gain signal amplifier. If it is an outdoor antenna, the amplifier should be mounted on the mast near the antenna. Radio Shack sells one model.

2 What is a DTV converter box? A DTV converter box is an electronic device that you connect between your analog television set and over-the-air antenna. It converts the digital television signal into analog, making it viewable on your analog TV. There are many models of digital converter boxes available in the U.S. and Canada. Converter box models we find perform well are the Zenith DTT901 and the Digital Stream DTX9950. There are other models rated well by Consumer Reports. Where can I buy a converter box? At large electronics retailers such as Best Buy and RadioShack, at independent electronics stores and other vendors. There are also many online vendors. See our [link] Canada page for special information. We advise you to call ahead before going to a local store, just to be sure boxes are in stock. If I can t receive digital broadcast, what are my options? Some viewers connect a converter box or set up their digital TV set and immediately have great digital reception. Others find reception tricky. Here are some suggestions from the FCC and VPT s engineers for viewers who need help tuning in digital channels with a converter box. Are you able to pull in any local digital channels? If no digital channels are coming through at all, it s likely your converter box or TV was not set up correctly. Check your owner s manual. Purchase a digital converter box A digital converter box is an electronic device that makes the new digital signal viewable on an older analog television set. Converter boxes cost between $40 and $70. You will still need an over-the-air antenna in addition to the converter box to receive a digital signal on your analog television set. Your current antenna should work the same as before. Purchase a new TV with a digital tuner Another option you may choose is to upgrade to a new television set with a built-in digital tuner. As with older sets, you will need an over-the-air antenna that provides quality reception of analog television signals to pick up free digital broadcast programming from local stations. Before deciding to purchase a new digital TV, you should make sure your current TV doesn t already have a built-in digital tuner. Most sets sold in the last few years that are larger than 27 inches will likely have a digital tuner. To check whether your TV set can receive over-the-air digital broadcast signals, take a look at your owner's manual or look on the set for an indication that it has a built-in Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) tuner. You can also go to the manufacturer's website and check the capabilities of the set by manufacturer model number. Subscribe to cable or satellite

3 These services will allow you to receive digital television signals on your analog or digital television set. No additional equipment is required if you decide to go this route. However, be sure to check that the pay service you choose carries all of the program services provided by the local broadcast stations. SCAN AND RE-SCAN Before most converter boxes will work, they must scan all available digital channels and load that information into the box s memory. Most will do this automatically. If you change the location of your TV or antenna, do a re-scan. If you don t get all the local stations at first, re-scan. Rescanning can also help when you lose a station you were receiving or when you lose the video or audio from a station. RE-SCANNING IS ALSO IMPORTANT FOR DIGITAL TV SETS. If the converter box or TV displays no signal or weak signal when you ve set it up and scanned for channels, or if there is a signal only at certain times or in certain weather, this usually means you need to adjust your antenna or need a better antenna. It probably doesn t mean the TV station is at low power. You can try manually entering VPT s real digital channel number. TV stations digital channel numbers are different from their analog channel numbers, but stations are required to identify their digital channels by the same number as their analog channels. Try entering the real VPT digital channel number you re trying to receive: Real Digital Channel 33 Burlington Digital from Mt. Mansfield is UHF St. Johnsbury Digital from Burke Mt. UHF Windsor Digital from Mt. Ascutney is UHF Rutland Digital from Grandpa Knob is VHF 9 Other Local Channels 3 WCAX Digital from Mt. Mansfield in Vermont is UHF 22 5 WPTZ Digital from Mt. Mansfield is UHF WVNY Digital from Mt. Mansfield is VHF WNNE Digital from Mt. Ascutney is UHF WFFF Digital from Mt. Mansfield is UHF Mountain Lake PBS WCFE Digital from Lyon Mt in NY is UHF 38 USING A SUITABLE ANTENNA is essential to good digital reception. Try tuning in with your existing antenna first. If your television had very good reception on analog channels with your antenna, you should be able to receive digital TV signals with the same antenna. If you have any interference, static, snow or distortion with analog, you may not get quality reception of digital channels with your previous antenna. Digital has what s called the cliff effect, meaning that if the digital signal falls below a certain strength, it can disappear entirely. You may have to adjust or upgrade your antenna to get a reliably good signal for digital broadcasts. Since TV reception can be affected by such factors as hills, trees, buildings, weather and damaged or deteriorated equipment, digital reception can sometimes be improved by changing the location of your current antenna. Moving it away from other objects and structures, or placing it higher can often improve reception. Try tuning in with the signal strength display on your converter box turned on. Allow up to 10 seconds at each location for the box to respond to the signal. Try leaving the room temporarily. Many antennas need to be aimed to get the best signal from the desired station. For indoor antennas, you may need to do this manually by trial and error. For outdoor antennas, a rotor that re-orients the antenna can improve performance. If you use a typical arrow-shaped outdoor antenna, be sure that you have the front of the antenna pointed toward the site. The front is the single straight end, and the pointed or curved cluster part is the back.

4 On indoor rabbit ears antennas, the ears are for receiving VHF channels (2-13) and the loop or bow tie part is for receiving UHF channels (14 and higher). Make sure you re using an antenna that covers both UHF and VHF channels and that it s connected properly. Your current rabbit ears or other indoor antenna may not be effective at pulling in digital signals, but there are newer indoor models designed for viewers more than 30 miles from a transmitter that include an amplifier to boost the received signal. VPT s engineers have had good results with the Terk HDTVA model, available online and in stores. If your indoor antenna doesn t pull in digital channels, you may need to try an OUTDOOR ANTENNA. There are smaller outdoor antennas that do a good job of picking up digital signals; however, some viewers will need a full- sized, higher gain, directional rooftop antenna. If you use an outdoor antenna and do not receive digital signals, VPT suggests you add a high gain signal amplifier. For an outdoor antenna, the amplifier should be mounted on the mast near the antenna. Radio Shack sells one model. If you already use an outdoor antenna, you may get better digital reception if you relocate the antenna mast to another location on the roof. It can be helpful to check what kinds of antennas your neighbors are using to pull in TV over the air. The performance of an outdoor antenna can degrade over time due to exposure. If you are having problems with reception while using an outdoor antenna that is aimed correctly, check for loose or corroded wiring and broken antenna elements. For best reception, with indoor or outdoor antennas, try to keep the length of wire between your antenna and TV set as short as possible. Splitters that are used to connect a single antenna to multiple TVs reduce the amount of signal available to each TV set. If you use a splitter and are having problems, check to see whether reception is improved without the splitter. If you want to continue using a splitter, an active splitter that includes an amplifier may solve reception problems. Note that if you are near a station s broadcast tower, you can actually get too much signal. Consider using an attenuator or removing amplifiers to improve your reception. Another quirk: Sometimes we find people can get good results if they point the antenna away from the mountain and use a signal that has been reflected off a hill or building behind your location. So, don't be afraid to move the antenna around and point it in directions that are not directly toward the mountain. Your best resource to get set up for digital reception may be a LOCAL ANTENNA INSTALLER. These people know the area and the antennas that work best.

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