By Spencer Hall, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, RMG
Viewers of Valemount’s local TV station may have noticed a marked improvement in quality recently as the station recently upgraded VCTV Channel 7 to digital.
Station Manager Michael Peters says as a side benefit, since there are currently no other programs on Channel 7, they currently have the bandwidth to broadcast Channel 7 in HD.
“So for at least the next 6-8 months or so, VCTV will be Valermount’s first and only HD program.”
In the spring, the station intends to add additional subchannels that will decrease the bandwidth for each. But Peters says there is some leeway in that decision.
“Does the community want more channels with less quality – the quality is already really good,” he says. “Or less channels and make them HD?”
He says instead of having 20 channels, perhaps they have 10 HD channels.
“It’s the age old question of quality vs. quantity.”
He says for years VCTV (Channel 7) had the poorest quality while it waited for the other channels to be upgraded first.
“For me, since I spend the majority of my time producing content for that channel (having it in HD) is very rewarding.”
Peters says the digital upgrade of channels is the culmination of a vision from previous station managers and past Boards from over 10 years ago, plus the continued vision of Valemount Entertainment Society Boards, many grant applications, lots of government applications and field testing, and a huge amount of hard work and determination. There are now three digital TV channels with 16 subchannels on the air in Valemount, along with one HD channel. He says there is space for up to 20 channels on the current configuration.
In addition to over-the-air channels, VCTV is available as Channel 653 on Bell and Telus satellite, and its videos are also available on its YouTube channel.