Southwestern Adventist University’s TV station, KGSW, turns digital today, Aug. 24. The station should be up and running by this evening at the earliest and tomorrow at the latest, according to station manager Randy Yates. It will now broadcast from channel 18, making use of four sub-channels.
“Southwestern is the only Seventh-day Adventist university in the world to own and operate a broadcasting TV station,” said Yates. “Now that it’s digital it will be so much better for our viewing audience and for the school. The picture will be in HD, so there’s no more snowy stuff. There will be better quality and a farther reaching signal.”
The new antenna is omni-directional. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the signal will travel north to cover the southern part of Fort Worth; to the east it will almost reach Cedar Hill, to the south near Hillsboro and to the west just to the edge of Bosque County.
KGSW will make use of channel 18.1 for the Hope Channel, 18.2 and 18.3 are in the process of being leased and 18.4 will be used for university events and announcements. Yates said that he hopes to air church, vespers and in the long term, maybe even Wharton Auditorium recitals.
The station made its first step to digital TV when Southwestern applied for a construction permit 10 years ago, according to Yates. Since then they’ve received several grants, such as a $25,000 grant from Versafund, to help cover the cost of new equipment. The total cost of the new digital transmitter was around $100,000.
“KGSW going digital brings with it a lot of new opportunities,” says Yates. “Communication students will have the chance to get experience in their field of study. People from the community can tune into what’s happening on campus, and they can get involved. I definitely think this will have a positive effect on the community.”