CLICK HERE FOR FREE DIGITAL HD TV SERVICE
Digital Conversion for Pitkin County TV Service
Pitkin County has completed our transition to digital television. Digital TV provides more channels, better reception, and a higher quality picture to our viewers. You can receive the county-provided TV signal if you live in an area that is within line-of-sight of one of our translator towers. Check the FREE TV COVERAGE MAP to see if your home or business can get our signal.
If your television is an old one, consider replacing it. The price of digital televisions has come way down, and the pictures are beautiful. Everyone who’s tried a digital television has been very happy they made the switch.
If you have an older TV you will have to use a digital converter box. But if you’ve bought a television in the last few years, it may already be able to receive digital signals.
Here is a list of the channels you should be seeing at each site. If you get some of them, but not all the channels listed in your location, rescan your TV or converter box to find all the channels. If you still don’t have them, you may need a better antenna. Our viewers report that older rabbit ears don't work as well as newer ones that have a UHF-VHF reception. Contact us at 920-5395 with any questions.
Following is a list of the Mountain Top sites that TV and Radio are broadcast from and the areas that each serve:
Crown Mt. – Mid Valley-- Basalt, Missouri Heights, Sopris Creek
Sunlight – Carbondale, Catherine Store, Missouri Heights, Lower Crystal River
Elephant Mt / Redstone – Crystal River Valley, Redstone
Thomasville--Upper Frying Pan Valley
Williams Hill-- Woody Creek-Old Snowmass
4-1 KREY Fox Grand Junction
4-2 KREX CBS Grand Junction
4-3 My Network Grand Junction
8-1 KJCT ABC Grand Junction
8-2 Telemundo Grand Junction (en Espanol)
8-3 CW Network Grand Junction
18-1 PBS Grand Junction
18-2 VME Grand Junction (a PBS channel en Espanol)
18-3 Create Network, a PBS channel
29-1 KDVR Fox Denver
29-3 Grass Roots TV
40-1 KUSA Denver
40-2 KBDI Boulder PBS
41-1 KWGN-2 Denver
41-2 KTVD My Network
Aspen / Lower Red:
Getting good reception:
Our "translators" are low power repeaters that relay TV signals into local areas. Coverage depends on line of sight which is good for up to ten miles or so and your antenna has to be pointed at the translator site. Look at our map to see which translator site is closest to you. The system works best if you have a clear view of the towers. TV signals don't go through mountains.
If you don't have good line of sight you’ll need an outdoor antenna. It needs to be pointed at the broadcast site. Viewers report that rabbit-ears don’t work as well as a indoor antenna – they’re best for channels in a lower band and analog broadcast
If you want to try an indoor antenna, and you’re getting service from Sunlight, Elephant, Crown, or Williams Hill, consider a Philips SDV2780, which is made especially for channels in the upper band. It costs about $20, and is available online from Amazon.com and many other vendors. You’ll need to be close to the site and have a clear view of the towers to get an indoor antenna to work with efficiently.
Don’t worry about getting a special “digital” antenna; there is no such thing as a digital television antenna. If you have an antenna that works well now, and receives a good signal on channels 7-13 and 14-50, then it will receive digital signals with no problem. You may not have to change your antenna at all.
Do not buy an amplified antenna, especially one that sits on top of the TV. They rarely work well.
We're not recommending any particular antenna or store, but this is a guide to antennas that should work. Antennas that are very similar in construction to these would also work. Radio Shack, Winegard and Channelmaster all have online stores. You may be able to get a better price through a dealer. All prices shown are approximate, and may have changed.
A few dollars extra will buy you a more rugged antenna. Colorado weather is harsh and might be worth your money to buy a more rugged antenna that will last and not have to be replaced after a couple of years.
UHF-only outdoor antennas:
Recommended for: All viewers except Thomasville and Lower Red in Aspen.
These antennas are all very similar and look like four small wire bow ties in front of a wire screen. They're about 35" tall and 24" wide. They don't have to go on the roof; they can be mounted flat to the side of your home facing the translator site.
Radio Shack Antennacraft U4000 $39.99 Radioshack.com
Winegard HD-4400 $39.99 Winegard.com
Channelmaster CM-4221HD $49.99 Channelmaster.com
There is a UHF-only indoor antenna that might be worth trying if you have a clear view of the translator site. This one has gotten good reviews online. It sits on top of the TV and must be pointed at the translator site. It will never be as good as an outdoor antenna, but it's very convenient; it might work for you, but there’s no guarantee. This is not an amplified antenna; we discourage amplified set-top antennas. This is not appropriate for Thomasville or Lower Red in Aspen.
Philips SDV2780 $19.99 Amazon.com and others
VHF/UHF outdoor antennas:
Recommended for: Thomasville Lower Red in Aspen but will work at all sites, but smaller antennas are available.
These antennas look like traditional roof top TV antennas, but they are a bit smaller. They mount to a pipe or mast that's often attached to a chimney. They're about seven feet long. These antennas are very similar to each other. If you have an antenna like this already and it’s working well, don’t change it.
Radio Shack Antennacraft HBU33 $79.99 Radioshack.com
Winegard HD-7000R $40.00 Winegard.com(good only if you have line of sight)
Winegard HD7694P $93.99 Winegard.com
Channelmaster CM-2018 $77.99 Channelmaster.com
To connect an outdoor antenna to your TV, use coaxial cable. A good type is RG-6, and it’s available with pre-attached connectors (they're called F connectors) in 100 foot lengths from most of the above companies. You don’t need gold plated connectors, or special “Monster” or other exotic types. A hundred foot length with connectors should cost less than $50. Get black cable; the white version doesn’t last at our high altitude … the harsh sunlight deteriorates the plastic.
Why are our recommendations different for Thomasville and Aspen viewers?
At every other site, our digital channels are UHF, between 14 and 50. At Thomasville and Aspen we could not get all UHF channels in our conversion, so we had to take VHF channels between 7 and 13 to complete this conversion. These different channels require a different type of antenna.
Our Sunlight channels are all UHF.