December 7th (Part 2)

(11/24/08) - Part Two of Chris' special series on getting you ready for the digital TV revolution...

Update November 28th:  WBKO has now made arrangements with SCRTC and Glasgow EPB cable systems - in addition to Insight - to continue interrupted programming while work is done starting December 7th on our tower and transmitter.

Let's begin part 2 of our journey into digital television by providing you the most asked about website link in history..."where can I get those $40-off DTV coupons?"  Actually, we don't have the coupons here.  They are issued by the Federal government and are treated as credit cards.  You are limited to only two cards per household and you have 90 days from the day you receive them to use them.

Here's where you order the $40-off coupons:

Or, you can call 1-888-DTV-2009.

For the record, we do not have the coupons at the station!

Wow! The number of e-mails and phone calls lately to the station concerning the transition to digital television has been pretty incredible.  We realize as the countdown continues until we permanently shut down our old analog channel 13 signal we've been broadcasting for 46 years, we're all feeling a bit of anxiety.

As of today, we're only 13 days away from December 7th.  At midnight on that Sunday, we shut down the analog transmitter for good.  From that point on, WBKO will broadcast only in digital form as mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.  As you may have heard, we're making our transition much sooner than the mandated date of February 17, 2009 because simply that's when we could schedule all the transmitter and tower crews to make it all happen.  Keep in mind, just about every TV station in the country is required to make this transition around the same time.

A lot of folks don't know we're already broadcasting in digital.  It's on right now.

Since 1962, WBKO has been broadcasting its analog signal at channel 13.  However, our temporary digital signal has been broadcasting at digital channel 33.  Digital channels can be split several ways with some stations choosing to broadcast all or most of their programs in HD (high definition).  Here at WBKO, we've chosen to parse our digital channels so that WBKO-ABC is broadcast at digital channel 33.1 (your digital tuner or converter box reads this as 13.1 temporarily), WBKO-FOX at 33.2 (13.2) and WBKO-CW is at 33.3 (13.3).

This means at our transmitter site in Richardsville, we've had two transmitters going at the same time in the same building and two antennas broadcasting simultaneously from the same tower.  What we must do now is make room for the new full-power digital transmitter that will broadcast from now on at digital channel 13 and replace the analog antenna with a new digital one.  The FCC requires that while work is being done on the tower and antenna, WBKO must be off the air.  Once our new digital transmitter and antenna is in place, we will no longer broadcast at digital channel 33.

We could be off the air for several days while we dismantle the analog transmitter and antenna and install the new digital equipment.

For this reason, we have made arrangements to continue broadcasting through a fiber-optic line to our partners at Insight Cable in Warren County and through SCRTC and Glasgow EPB cable customers without interruption.  Otherwise, we will fire up our temporary digital transmitter during the evenings so you can watch the local news and your favorite prime time shows.  But when it's day time, the transmitter will have to be shut down so that our tower crews can climb the mighty red and white metal expanse that you see when you drive up Highway 185 to Richardsville.

Yes, we realize this will be a major interruption in the way you watch WBKO - especially during the daytime and if you're not on Insight Cable - but it must be done before we can bring you our new and improved full-powered digital signal.  How long the installation process takes will depend a lot on weather conditions during that time. (Why is everyone looking at me?)  We will do our best to update you as the process goes along.

To recap, here's what you can expect...

Midnight, Sunday, December 7th     ANALOG CHANNEL 13 SIGNS OFF PERMANENTLY!



More Hookups!

Last time I posted here, I promised you more ways to hookup your TV's to get ready for the digital revolution.  I showed you a simple way to hookup a DTV converter box if you used only an antenna going straight into your TV set.  Now, I want to show you some other cool diagrams that will hopefully help those of you with more complicated setups like DVD's, VCR's, Tivo's and DVR's.

This is a hookup if you are using a DVD player or player/recorder or Tivo/DVR unit.  To get the cleanest picture and sound into your TV, I suggest you use what's called the RCA cables (red, white and yellow) coming OUT of your DTV converter box going IN to your DVD unit.  In case you're wondering, the red and white cables are your left and right audio channels and the yellow cable is your video.  To see your DTV converter box on your TV, tune to channel 3.

This is a hookup if you have a VCR.  Simply put, in all hookups, you want the first piece of electronics your antenna goes into should be your DTV converter box.  For a cleaner picture, use the RCA cables as shown in the diagram below.  Don't forget to tune your TV to channel 3 to "see" the DTV converter box!

I really hope these diagrams and tips are helping you as you prepare your TV's for digital.  But we're not done yet...there's much more to discuss.  We'll do that in future posts here and on our regular "Techie Tuesday" segments on AM Kentucky.  In the meantime, if you have a question that we have yet to post an answer to, please send us an e-mail at


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kenneth Murray Location: Burkesville, Ky. on Jun 7, 2010 at 05:31 PM
    I live in Burkesville Ky. and recieve my ch 13 signal on Mediacom cable tv.They are still using the analog method of transmission.Since I hava a Hi-Def tv I would very much like to recieve ch-13 on sat. so it would be Hi-.Def. Is this possible and if not, why not?
  • by Dave Location: Cleveland, Ohio on Apr 28, 2009 at 06:17 AM
    I need a diagram that would show the following. SDTV VCR Digital Convertor Box, indoor antenna.
  • by John Location: park city on Jan 7, 2009 at 07:46 PM
    I can get WNKY analog and digital but can not get wbko why could you leve you analog on till you gite your digital working , will I get WBKO agan
  • by margaret Location: bowling green on Jan 6, 2009 at 06:17 AM
    need diagram showing how to hook up converter box with satellite tv and vcr-dvd combo recorder
  • by Georgia Location: Leitchfield on Dec 9, 2008 at 05:38 AM
    WBKO was my favorite channel for weather & news. Now since the change I get a picture but the sound isn't hardly there & it is staticky (a word?)All my other channels work fine so I know it isn't my TV.Is it something in your system that will be changed? I hope so because Chris Allen always gives the most accurate weather news. I hope this is fixed really soon because I mis my WBKO. Thank you. I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
  • by Michelle Location: Clarkson on Dec 9, 2008 at 04:13 AM
    How do I recieve WBKO news. My box is hooked up and I can not recieve anything. When will I be able to recieve WBKO 13 again. Is it a for sure thing that EVERYONE will again recieve WBKO 13 again when you all come back on the air .I sure do miss the news at AM and PM .Especially the weather because I don't have any other means of getting the lastest weather updates or school closings. PLEASE HELP . I miss my WBKO 13 that is my cup of coffee every morning. THANK YOU
  • by Jennifer Location: Columbia on Dec 8, 2008 at 05:10 PM
    I live in Columbia KY and we were getting WBKO just fine on the analog now that it has switched we cannot get any of the WBKO stations on the digital. We have called the converter box company and they say it is on your end somewhere, can you tell us what is going on?
  • by Becki Location: Morgantown on Dec 8, 2008 at 08:18 AM
    My TV was working this morning, I love the picture but now I have no picture,and I do have the converter box
  • by Rick Location: Tompkinsville on Dec 7, 2008 at 12:00 PM
    I didn't have any problems finding digital 13 after a channel scan. Analog 13 is a little snowy, but the digital is good and clear. The only bad thing with digital is either you have signal or no signal where as the analog will just get some snow at times. Good bye analog 13 you have served the area well.
  • by Lee Location: Sweeden, Ky. About 6 miles north of Brownsville on Hwy 259. on Dec 5, 2008 at 12:16 PM
    Our driveway is downhill off Hwy 259. We recently hooked up the converter box and when we try to use it it says no signal on all 3 bowling green stations. we have a attic antenna mounted on a pole about 4 0r 5 feet above our roof. Can you please give us some idea what is wrong. Thank You
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WBKO 2727 Russellville Road Bowling Green, KY 42101-3976 Phone: 270-781-1313 After Hours Hotline: 270-781-6397 Fax: 270-781-1814
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