KBTC launches service on Seattle channel 16

Wednesday, June 20

Contact:               Darin Gerchak, Director of Engineering, 253.680.7705, dgerchak@kbtc.org

On Tuesday, June 19, KBTC, the public television station licensed to Bates Technical College in Tacoma, powered up a new transmitter on UHF channel 16.

"With the digital conversion and the nature of digital broadcast signals, most stations lost reach to certain viewers," says David Hinman, KBTC General Manager. "Channel 16 fills in the broadcast shadows caused by tall buildings, trees and hills."

Channel 16 is a low-power frequency that serves downtown, the west and north sides of Seattle and surrounding communities. Over-the-air viewers had previously learned of KBTC's construction permit (issued by the Federal Communications Commission) and have followed the station's progress, sharing information on various internet chat sites.

To receive the new signal on channel 16, viewers must re-scan their television sets and digital converter boxes. Scanning locks available signals into the devices' computer memory and allows for later recall when "surfing" the channels.

KBTC broadcasts three program signals: 

KBTC-1 (HD) is the primary, high definition service which includes a variety of PBS favorites, programs from other noncommercial providers, and KBTC local documentaries and series such as Full Focus and Northwest Now.

KBTC-2 (SD) provides news, public affairs and entertainment from around the world, including: Al Jazeera English, Beijing TV, Deutsche Welle, euroNews, France 24, NHK World TV, SABC News International, to name but a few. The channel also includes independent producers and original MHz Networks productions. Worldview on KBTC-2 serves as a liaison in bringing programs and understanding from around the world to western Washington audiences.

KBTC-3 (SD) is a partnership with TVW covering state government and politics. TVW is available on the web and Comcast Cable. That leaves a large number of viewers without access. KBTC broadcasts the 24/7 TVW programming to serve over-the-air viewers.

KBTC is a service of Bates Technical College in Tacoma. The public television station serves Western Washington with three transmitters and one translator.