By Devin Ulibarri

Board Member, White Pine TV District #1

The latest drama or sitcom.  National and local news and weather.  Cheering for your favorite college or pro football team on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  Children’s educational programming.  Watching reruns of that old favorite show you had many years ago.  What do all these things have in common?  You can see them all on your television without an expensive cable or satellite subscription in much of White Pine County.

Since the early 1960’s, the White Pine TV District #1 has been operating television translators to bring in the news, sports, educational, and entertainment we all love.  Currently, the White Pine TV District #1 brings in television stations in uncompressed HD (high definition) from Salt Lake City (KUTV CBS2, KTVX ABC 4, and KSL NBC 5), Las Vegas (KVVU Fox 5, KLAS CBS 8, and KLVX PBS 10), and Reno (KTVN CBS 2, KOLO ABC 8, KRXI Fox 11).  In addition to the network feeds, all of the channels carry subcarrier channels which carry secondary programming such as news and weather, networks such as MyNetwork TV and Retro TV playing classic television programs and movies, and my personal favorite, PBS Create TV.

White Pine TV District broadcasts from four sites in the area.  The main site on Cave Mountain, is the hub of the district’s broadcast system, receiving TV via microwave relay sites and broadcasting it to our other sites on Squaw Peak (serving Ely and McGill), Rib Hill (serving Lund, Preston, and White River Valley), and Motorcycle Hill (serving Ruth).  In addition, we also broadcast KSFI FM 100 from Salt Lake City at 95.3 FM in Ely and 103.9 FM in Lund and Preston.

All White Pine TV District #1 sites broadcast in ATSC (digital) format.  Most modern televisions purchased in the last 10 years or so should have a ATSC tuner built in.  Older televisions may require a converter box to receive digital transmission.  As far as antennas, any antenna made for television reception will receive digital television signals, there are no special antennas needed to receive digital television.  For most customers, you will probably find that an outdoor directional antenna, pointed to the transmission site with best line of site from your home, will offer you the best reception.  A small preamplifier may be beneficial if you will have long runs of coaxial cable or split the signal to multiple televisions in your home.  Plug your antenna into your television, find the option in your television’s menu to scan for channels, and you should see the channels become available.  Some customers may find their television receiving signals from multiple WPTV sites and may have duplicate channels.

Maintaining a broadcast system such as this requires dedicated, knowledgeable personnel.  We are proud that we can maintain broadcasting on the air over 99% of the time.  When troubles do arise, our staff respond as quickly as we are able to safely.  With our broadcast facilities located on mountain top areas, inclimate weather can make travel to our broadcast sites difficult, especially in the winter months.  I discovered this myself as I accompanied our maintenance tech on a service call this past January on Cave Mountain.  Digging a Sno Cat out of nearly 5 feet of snow at an elevation of over 10,000 feet gave me a new appreciation of what it takes to maintain broadcast service to the public.  While we strive to restore service as quickly as possible during any outage, please understand that sometimes there are delays beyond our control, such as equipment failure which may need to be replaced or repaired.  We do our best to notify the community in event of prolonged outages.

The White Pine TV District board holds regular meetings monthly, usually on the 2nd Monday of the month at 5:15pm at the district’s offices at 1701 Avenue F in Ely.  The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend and take part in our meetings.  We can also be contacted by phone at 775-289-2359, and by email at whitepinetvdistrict@gmail.com.  You can also find more info at our website, whitepinetv.com.  We are proud to serve the citizens of White Pine county and hope you enjoy the benefits of television service in White Pine County.