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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: October 14, 2002
Volume 38, Number 7

KNME-TV goes digital with past bond boost

By Misty Salaz

With help from a $7.2 million bond, KNME-TV was the first station in New Mexico to turn-on a digital signal.

KNME-DT, channel 35, began broadcasting last fall thanks to the passage of a November 2000 General Obligation Bond.

KNME-DT is currently in a low-power test phase along with two other public television stations in New Mexico. The Federal Communications Commission requires all public television stations to convert from analog to digital programming by May 2003.

Although KNME is one year ahead of the deadline, Ted Garcia, KNME General Manager and CEO, said it is in the middle of a multi-year federal grant.

“The $7.2 million from the General Obligation Bond is being used as a match for a multi-year grant of about $8.2 million, which will come from the U.S. Department of Commerce,” Garcia said.

“There will be a requirement of about $30 million for all three public television stations in New Mexico to accomplish all the goals that digital is capable of.”

Garcia said analog and digital signals are very different types of programming.

“It’s like apples and oranges,” Garcia said. “Analog is one thing at a time and digital is many things at a time.”

In digital television, images and sound are captured using the same digital code found in computers.

Garcia said High Definition Television, multicasting and datacasting are among the advantages of a digital signal.

High Definition Television has much higher resolution and clarity than standard analog television. HDTV is displayed in a wide screen format, which is 16 inches wide and nine inches high.

Even at low power, digital television has already brightened the future of KNME, with a promise of high power to come.

“KNME will be vastly different from the KNME of the past,” he said. “It is a totally new way of addressing broadcasting, public and otherwise.”