antenna tv tower
Image: Sura Nualpradid /

Valemount will be losing Channel 12 CBC on July 31st due to budget cuts to CBC. However, the local TV society is looking to take over the service.

CBC currently pays to maintain hundreds of transmitters across the country, which it will cease to do come this summer. If the local society does nothing, CBC would no longer be available via antenna reception.

Right now the Valemount Entertainment Society is looking at carrying CBC on another analog transmitter.

But there’s another change on the horizon for local broadcasting: the society is also considering broadcasting some channels in digital format in the near future.

Digital quality is far superior to the analog signal. It is transmitted the same way: over the air and picked up with an antenna. You can watch digital channels on your old analog television set with a digital converter box.

A digital converter box costs between $40 and $90. Most televisions purchased in the last five years already have digital receivers built in. Residents would simply need to plug in their antenna to the new television if they haven’t already.

If you don’t buy a converter box you will still be able to pick up the majority of channels. The Valemount Entertainment Society would likely maintain analog transmitters until people have a chance to get comfortable with the new technology. While the board has not committed to transfer any channels to digital just yet, there are definite economic incentives to switch.

Transferring some channels to digital would open the door to carrying more stations with less hardware. The cost of powering and maintaining digital channels is also less than the old analog towers.

Valemount has maintained its own over-the-air television stations since the early 80s and also operates the local television station called VCTV Channel 7.