TV Most Asked Questions

  Why do I hear a radio station when I watch Channel 13?  
  I notice in the newspaper TV listings that some shows have a symbol "DVS." What does "DVS" mean?  
  Why is it difficult to receive KDTN Channel 2 in some parts of the Metroplex?  
  What is "High Definition Television (HDTV)?"  
  Will I need to buy a new television to receive HDTV?  
  I have heard that the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) has changed. What is it, and how will it affect me at home?  
     
     
     
  Why do I hear a radio station when I watch Channel 13?  
     
  You will often hear KERA 90.1 on one speaker of your stereo-equipped TV if the SAP (Second Audio Program) control on your set is activated. KERA 90.1 is carried on that channel when a TV program without a second audio program is being broadcast on Channel 13. The SAP channel is controlled from the audio menu on most newer television receivers.  
     
  I notice in the newspaper TV listings that some shows have a symbol "DVS." What does "DVS" mean?  
     
  DVS stands for the Descriptive Video Service that is broadcast as a community service on the SAP channel during some dramatic programs carried by KERA Channel 13. It provides a verbal description of the setting, characters and action in the video scene for sight-impaired persons.  
     
  Why is it difficult to receive KDTN Channel 2 in some parts of the Metroplex?  
     
  KDTN Channel 2 operates on a long wavelength frequency. For best results, a receiving antenna for it should have an element (metal rod) that is one-half wavelength long and perpendicular to the direction of the signal (Cedar Hill, southwest of Dallas). One-half wavelength on Channel 2 is about 8 feet, whereas one-half wavelength Channel 13 is only 22 inches. Very few of the antennas available, and no rabbit ear antennas, have that long an element; consequently, they work better on the higher channels. Reception can be optimized by using the largest antenna available and by orienting the element(s) perpendicular to a line toward Cedar Hill.  
     
  KDTN Channel 2 also has a lower tower position than other stations at Cedar Hill because no better positions are available.  
     
  What is "High Definition Television (HDTV)?"  
     
  High Definition Television (HDTV) or Advanced Television (ATV) is a completely new system of broadcasting images and sound that is being proposed by a group of television set manufacturers. Some of its features are that it is digital instead of analog as is the present system (called NTSC); it has four channels of CD-quality sound; it has twice the scanning lines (picture-resolving elements) of NTSC; and the picture is wider (16X9 ratio instead of 4X3). It has not yet been adopted by the FCC, but it could be before the end of 1996.  
     
  Will I need to buy a new television to receive HDTV?  
     
  You will need a new TV set to receive HDTV. They will be expensive, at least at first - about $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the size and features. It's likely that a converter will be available for about $250 that will allow HDTV to be received on NTSC sets, but the quality would be about the same as NTSC. Stations will be required to transmit the same HDTV programs simultaneously on their present NTSC channel for five years or so. All or nearly all HDTV stations will be UHF (channels 14 to 70).  
     
  I have heard that the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) has changed. What is it, and how will it affect me at home?  
     
  On January 1, 1997, the EBS (Emergency Broadcast System) was replaced by a new system. The main difference you will notice is the absence of the weekly tests now required of all broadcast stations. The new system will still use the present two-tone alerting system, but it will be highly automated from the stations' standpoint and should provide better and more timely emergency information.