By Andru McCracken

If television signals aren’t coming in clearly you’re doing it wrong, said Tony Rykes, president of the Robson Valley Entertainment Society. Likely you’ve got a television built before 2005 that doesn’t work with the new digital format.

After a long battle with satellite rebroadcasters, equipment manufacturers and obsolete equipment McBride’s local rebroadcasting service is back up to full power; the single exception is

Fox News, which is sound only (Rykes said the channel isn’t very popular and will likely be replaced before it’s fixed).

There is work being done to make the service more robust.

Rykes said they are looking at bringing internet to the headend (the headend is where the signals are re-broadcast from locally), allowing the Prince George-based tv technician to assess what’s wrong from afar.

There are currently five people on the entertainment society board, and they hope to have an Annual General Meeting soon to rebuild membership.

President Tony Rykes said he and the new vice chair Wanda Holmes signed up for the same reason: they were tired of missing out on their favourite programs.

Rykes has been a long time financial contributor to the Knowledge Network, but he was unable to watch it for years because the signal was so bad. Then in August the whole rebroadcast system came offline. Getting the service back online in the digital era was a lot of work.


“There was nothing but trouble the whole way through: wrong parts, things weren’t ready, an endless litany of errors and omissions. Wanda and I were getting very frustrated. When a call came out in February to form a new board we jumped in there,” he said.

Rykes’ only complaint about the system is that closed captioning isn’t available. But there’s a major upgrade.

“The quality is ever, ever, ever so much better.”