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Rocky Mountain County Transitions Translators

PITKIN COUNTY, COLO.: Even as lawmakers consider reallocating TV spectrum for broadband use, the digital television transition continues. Only full-power TV stations had to wrap the transition last June. Low-power TV stations and translators were not required to shut down analog transmissions. Communities in the high country of Colorado are getting around to the process just as winter closes in. Pitkin County is taking its translator service digital.

“Expect this change to start Dec. 17, but the exact day depends on the weather. We need good weather to access the sites by helicopter,” the county’s Web site states. Nine translator sites will have to be equipped with digital equipment.

“When we start the conversion, all the channels at all the sites will go off the air,” the site said. “We plan to restore service from Sunlight and Elephant mountains that same day, and from Crown that evening. Thomasville should come back up the next day, with Williams Hill and Lower Red right after.”

All nine translator sites are expected to be converted by early next year. Area property owners pay around $13 a year on average for the service that delivers five TV stations and nine FM radio stations.