Ready When You Are
KXMB CBS12 became the first commercial television station in the state to begin broadcasting spectacular digital television (DTV) as KXMB DT in the spring of 2002. We will continue to simulcast as KXMB CBS12 for several years, but the new digital KXMB DT is television like you've never seen before! And just like the switch from black-and-white to color TV decades ago, this new technology will require new equipment. How can you get the most enjoyment from our changes? How will you know what kind of equipment to purchase to receive all the features we plan to provide? Just let "Your Eye on Dakota" help you! Here are answers to some frequently asked questions and a checklist for buying new digital television sets.
Checklist for Purchasing Digital Equipment:
The purchase of a television is a long-term commitment. You're smart for wanting to get the most for your money. Here's a checklist of features you need to be fully compatible in the digital world. Take this to your local electronics store when making your purchase.
Some of the televisions you see in stores are actually just HD-Ready monitors. They will display DVD's and satellite signals, but won't display KXMB DT or other digital signals without a DTV tuner. To receive your favorite programs from KXMB DT you will need to buy either a DTV tuner in addition to your HD-Ready monitor or a digital television set with an internal DTV tuner.
The television you watch now is more horizontal than vertical. The screen has a ratio of 4 parts horizontal to 3 parts vertical. The new digital screen is even more horizontal and resembles a movie screen. Its ratio is 16 parts horizontal to 9 parts vertical. Don't confuse ratio with inches. There are many sizes of digital monitors.
To enjoy the best sound from your new digital equipment you'll need to make sure your receiver comes with stereo audio (left and right channels). There are more advanced audio systems available on the market, but currently, to receive maximum benefit from KXMB DT you simply need stereo audio. For those of you that want to plan for the future, KXMB DT will eventually be providing Dolby E, 5.1 sound. That's six channels of audio to give you a "theater like" experience right in your own living room!
Prices will vary depending on the equipment brand and size you purchase. Contact your local retailer for today's prices. For viewers wanting to subscribe to the cable system's HDTV programming service contact your local cable company about any costs.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q. What is analog television vs. digital television?
A. Analog Television is the television you are currently watching where quality is subject to interference. Digital television allows broadcasters, like KXMB DT, to send a signal to your home that produces clear and crisp TV pictures and better sound quality.
Besides broadcasting in high definition, digital television is capable of multicasting. Multicasting is the transmission of multiple TV programs on one channel. DTV also allows for datacasting, which is the transmission of computer data such as TV program guides, electronic coupons, high-speed internet access, etc.
Q. Can I receive the free over-the-air television signal of KXMB DT?
A. Yes. KXMB DT is broadcasting at a sufficient power level to cover a 30 mile radius from our transmission site. In some of the hilly regions around Bismarck/Mandan the signal may be partially blocked from receiving the maximum benefit of KXMB DT. A UHF antenna that favors TV channel 23 (tell your retailer) will give you the best possible signal.
Q.How do I tune to KXMB DT off air?
A. When you connect your antenna and turn on either your new HDTV set-top box or digital television set for the first time, select the automatic turning mode. The automatic mode will search all the over-the-air TV channels looking for any DTV channels that are currently on the air.
Your HDTV set-top tuner will indicate that you are tuned to channel 12.1.
Q.Can I receive KXMB DT on cable?
A. Yes. KXMB DT is carried on the local Bismarck, Mandan and Lincoln cable system. If you live outside this area contact your local cable company to determine when they will be offering you KXMB DT.
Q.How do I tune to KXMB DT on cable?
A. For people residing in Bismarck, Mandan or Lincoln that subscribe to the cable system's HDTV programming service, simply enter channel 601 on your cable set-top box to tune to KXMB DT.
Q.What can I expect from digital television?
A. The first thing you'll notice is that the screen is much wider. It looks more like the shape of a movie screen in a theater. In high definition television (HDTV) the picture is six times sharper and clearer than the picture you now receive. Color resolution is better, too, and you will hear an improvement in audio quality. Finally, digital television has eliminated ghosting and snow from the television signal.
Q.Will my current television continue to receive KXMB CBS12?
A. Yes. Your existing television set will continue to work, and KXMB CBS12 will continue to broadcast our regular signal. However, you will not be able to receive KXMB DT without new equipment. Many new products on the market will convert your existing television to receive digital signals. However, to enjoy the maximum entertainment benefit from digital television, you will need a digital receiver. Eventually, KXMB CBS12 will be required to cease transmitting analog television. At that time we will exclusively broadcast digital television on KXMB DT and you will then need a DTV converter box to receive programming on your current non-digital television or VCR.
Q. Will my current VCR or DVD player be compatible with my new digital television?
A. Your VCR will still play back your library of tapes on your digital television. However, you will not be able to record digital television with your existing VCR. Newer DTV capable VCRs are now finding their way into the marketplace. Your DVD players take full advantage of the new digital sets and are generally fully compatible with them.
Q.Will all of KXMB DT's programming be broadcast in High Definition Television?
A. Eventually, yes. The first programs you see in high definition are most of CBS's prime time line-up. CBS charged ahead of all other networks in digital television and provides the most hours of HDTV programming offered. Special sporting events are also some of the first programs broadcast digitally in high definition. CBS carried the first Superbowl game televised in high definition. What a difference it makes watching the big game on that widescreen set! Gradually, local programming, like "Eye on Dakota News", will begin to move into the digital world as we replace each piece of equipment we have in our operation with digital equipment.
Q. How do I change channels between my standard channels and KXMB DT?
A. Most set-top boxes or digital television sets not only have an HDTV tuner built into them, but also a standard tuner to pick up the analog channels that you've been watching for years. Some may also have an integrated DirectTV satellite receiver.
Once you have used the HDTV set-top's automatic configuration mode for TV channel tuning for all services, you can simply tune between any channel you wish to watch with your remote control.
For instance, say you are watching standard TV channel 3 and you want to change the channel to KXMB DT, channel 12.1; you can simply use the channel up/down key or simply enter in 12.1. The set-box will then tune to KXMB DT for your high definition viewing pleasure. The same tuning procedure holds true for tuning to KXMB DT while watching a satellite channel.
Q.What if I have more questions?
A. Feel free to contact us at 701-223-9197 or call your local electronics store, or e-mail us at mailto:email@example.com