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Saturday, April 18, 2015

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Questions about the DTV Conversion?
Call 800-442-2771 or email dtv@wgvu.org
  Further Education:

Comparison of CECB Units

Antenna Directions

Commonly Asked Questions
See below for answers to your questions about the Digital Conversion.
Click HERE for a list of the 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Digital and High Definition TV
Digital Conversion

What will a converter box do?


The converter box will allow your existing analog television to receive the new digital signal without the use of cable or satellite. 

How/Where do I get a converter box?


Converter boxes are available at retail stores that sell televisions and other electronics, including Best Buy, Radio Shack, Circuit City, Kmart, Sears, Target & Wal-Mart. Click here to find a retailer near you.

Can I get any kind of converter box with my coupon?


Click here for an updated list of coupon eligible converter boxes.

Do I need a converter box for every TV?


Yes. Each television will need its own converter box to be able to receive the new digital signal.

I haven't received my coupons yet - how can I track them? Can I find out when my coupon will expire?


You can check the status of your application or the expiration date of your coupon by visiting www.dtv2009.gov and clicking on "Where's my coupon?" You'll need either your reference number (to check on an application) or your coupon number (to check an expiration date), or you can search using your address.

How do I scan for channels on my converter box?


Both converter boxes and digital or HD TVs will need to be rescanned.Analog TVs themselves do NOT need to be scanned or rescanned, just the converter boxes connected to them.

  • Any time a digital station previously received is lost -- rescan!
  • Scanning is simple. TVs and boxes are programmed to do it when told.
  • Once the process is begun, don't press any buttons until the screen says the scan is complete.
  • Consult the owner's manual for the TV or converter box. The up/down and left/right buttons move you through the on-screen menu. Here are simple scanning directions for the most common converter boxes:
  • Apex DT250 (Best Buy): Press Menu button, highlight and select Auto Program by pressing OK (See page 12 in the owner's manual)

  • Digital Stream 9900 or 9950 (Radio Shack): Press Menu. See that CH (on upper left) is selected. Highlight Auto Scan in the column headed Channel. Highlight Rescan. Press OK to begin.(See page 6, top right)

  • Dish TV Pal (Sears): Press Menu, highlight and select Setup, highlight and select System Setup, highlight and select Installation, highlight and select Setup Wizard and have it scan for channels. (Page 16). Also as part of the initial set with the Installation Wizard (page 4, step 14)

  • Insignia NS-DXA1 or NS-DXA1 APT (Best Buy): Press Menu, highlight and select Setup. Highlight and select Auto Tuning (See page 7)

  • Magnavox TB 100MG9 (Wal-mart): Press Setup button. Progress through the Setup Wizard to the last step, Channel Scanning. Select Channel Scanning. Alternate route: Press Setup ->Channel ->Autoscan (See page 13/14, paragraph 9)

  • Philco TB100HH9 (Fred Meyer): Press Setup button. Progress through the Setup Wizard to the last step, Channel Scanning. Select Channel Scanning. Alternate route: Press Setup ->Channel ->Autoscan (See page 13/14, paragraph 9)

  • RCA 800 (Walmart): Press Menu; then highlight and select Settings (option -5 on the Main Menu). Highlight and select 1 to begin channel scan. (See section 5 of the Menu Settings section)

  • Tivax STB-9 (No analog-pass through) (Standard Appliance): Press Menu, see that Auto Program is highlighted, select it by pressing OK. (See page 17)

  • Zenith 900 or 901 (Radio Shack, Bi-Mart, Standard Appliance, Circuit City): Press Menu, highlight and select Setup. Highlight and select Auto Tuning (See page 7)
Digital and
High Definition TV

How is Digital Television (DTV) different from High Definition Television (HDTV)?


DTV is the new way of transmitting television signals, replacing the analog signal, which is the way television has been transmitted for the last 50 years.   HDTV uses more of the allotted channel to offer superior picture and CD quality audio.  Stations may provide multiple, simultaneous television programs, including HDTV, within the allotted channel, a process called multicasting.

Will I be able to use my present outdoor antenna to receive HDTV broadcasts?


You may depending on the type of outdoor antenna you have. WGVU has been a UHF station broadcasting on Ch.35 for the past 30+ years. WGVU digital is now on VHF channel 11. If your outdoor antenna is an all channel antenna (VHF/UHF Combination) it may pick up WGVU just fine. Most of the all channel antennas usually have a rotor that turn the antenna for best reception.

If your outdoor antenna is one that is made of three antennas with a UHF antenna that was used for WGVU it will no long perform desirably.
For best reception you may want to purchase an all channel antenna with a rotor. All channel antennas reception strength are measured by the number of elements that they have. A 50 element or larger antenna will best serve your needs to pick up all of the area stations including WGVU.

All channel antenna w/rotor

Non-digital analog three antenna system

Will there be fringe reception problems with digital broadcasts?


No, the days of “snowy pictures” and fading in and out will end.  With digital transmissions, you either get a perfect picture and sound, or nothing at all.

What is data-casting and will it be available with digital television?


Data-casting allows the transmission of special information to your home using hidden space in the digital broadcast signal, much as closed captioning does with today’s conventional television.  WGVU will be able to provide you with stock quotes, sport statistics, school closings, weather bulletins, travel information, electronic newspapers, and other educational material to enhance your availability of resources.  DTV provides a digital pipeline into your home with a transmission rate up to 500 times that of your PC modem.

My favorite programs were produced for conventional analog TV.  Will they be available for DTV?


Yes.  A format converter will be used to convert analog programs to DTV.

Why will HDTV programs be rectangular rather than the square picture I now have?


Today’s TV receiver has a picture in a 3:4 ratio – three units high and four units wide.  HDTV is broadcast in a 9:16 ratio – 9 units high and 16 units wide.  HDTV format accepts wide screen movie format perfectly.  Movies will be experienced in your home with a clarity and sound quality previously reserved for the finest theaters.

What is the key advantage of DTV?


Probably the most important advantage is that it preserves a free, over-the-air television service.  DTV will also make it possible for the first time for broadcasters to deliver multiple channels and enhanced data services into your home.

What if I live in an apartment and can only use an indoor antenna. How can I get WGVU?


Depending on where you live you may do just fine with an inexpensive pair of rabbit ears. Do not be enticed into getting “Powered Rabbit ears” as it has been found that they do more harm to the digital signal than good. You will need to have the list of digital channels in use for the greater Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo area (see below) to set up your converter box or digital TV. Many of the converter boxes and TV’s perform an auto scan for digital channels. When using rabbit ears you may have them positioned to get all the signals from the south only to find that when you auto rescan to get signals from another direction it overwrites your previous scan. The solution is to add channels by entering the digital channel numbers manually. Using the signal strength menu option on the converter box or TV will help with proper positioning of the antenna for best reception.

Below is the Greater Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo Channel lineup currently in use.

Call Sign Analog Digital Channel after
February 17,2009
Transmitter Loc.

WMMT 3 2 8 Kalamazoo
WOOD 8 7 7 Middleville
WZZM 13 39 13 Grant
WXMI 17 19 19 Middleville
WGVK 52 5 5 Kalamazoo
WGVU 35 11 11 Allendale
WOTV 41 20 20 Battle Creek



WGVK Form 388
2d Qtr
WGVU TV Form 388
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WGVK Form 388
WGVU-TV Form 388

Download PDFs of our Digital Conversion from the past few years:




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