DTV Answers - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

DTV Answers

KTIV-DT... Siouxland's First DIGITAL TV station

KTIV was proud to be the first Siouxland station to bring "turbo-charged television" to our viewers with KTIV-DT, broadcasting digital television since Sept. 16, 2002 on digital channel 4.1. KTIV-DT was also the FIRST Siouxland commercial television station to broadcast High Definition programming. And in September 2006, we launched a new station, Siouxland's CW on digital channel 4.2.

On this page, we'll answer some frequently asked questions about this exciting new technology.

What is Digital Television?

Digital television is turbo-charged television, yielding clearer pictures, better sound, more network channels, and more viewing excitement than traditional analog television. Digital TV offers a picture free of "ghosts," "snow" or interference. The crisper, sharper image is due to the increased number of pixels the digital signal puts on the screen - the higher the number, the sharper the picture - and High-definition Television (HDTV) has the highest resolution available. Furthermore, KTIV-DT will eventually offer Dolby 5.1 Digital Audio, providing CD quality surround sound, adding to the ultimate home theater experience. Digital TV also enables broadcasters to multicast, delivering up to three or more simultaneous programs in a Standard-Definition (SDTV) format.

What is the coverage area for KTIV-DT?

KTIV-DT operates with a full power digital transmitter and with a new antenna mounted at the top of our 2,000 foot tower near Hinton, Iowa. With this full power transmitter, the coverage area for KTIV-DT basically duplicates the analog signal, and in some instances may actually improve our reach.

Why is Digital TV better than "regular" analog TV?

DTV brings viewers five times the picture resolution and clarity of analog TV, making viewers feel like they are right in the middle of the action on their screens. Digital TV uses binary code, the same system of ones and zeroes that run on computers and digital is like switching from cassette tape to Compact Disc or from a VHS tape to a DVD - the pictures are clearer and sound is improved, giving viewers the opportunity to experience their favorite programs on a whole new level. What's more, with a 16:9 aspect ratio compared to today's 4:3 aspect ratio of analog television, Digital TV lets viewers see much wider images.

What about my existing analog TV?

Until the total conversion to Digital TV is made (February 17, 2009), broadcasters will generally simulcast the same programs on two different channels - one in a digital format and one in analog. Viewers with analog sets will be able to convert a digital signal to an analog signal by hooking up a converter box to their sets; they will not be able to experience the crystal clear pictures and sound quality that a DTV set provides, but they will be able to continue to watch their favorite channels. Also, if you have cable or satellite service, your analog set may continue to be OK. Check with your service provider.

What are the different signals that viewers will see on a Digital TV?

* High-Definition Television (HDTV) - An HDTV signal allows a broadcaster to transmit a wide screen picture with many times more detail than is contained in current analog TV pictures. HDTV brings viewers programming so crisp and so clear, it produces an image as sharp as reality. In addition, HDTV offers unsurpassed audio quality.

* Standard-Definition Television (SDTV) - A SDTV signal is another type of signal that viewers experience through DTV. While a SDTV signal also has higher-quality video and audio than an analog signal, SDTV is particularly remarkable because it can bring viewers multiple channels of free over-the-air programming from the same station. In affect, one digital television signal has the ability to carry a program broadcast in HDTV, and one or more additional standard definition signals on different channels.

What should consumers look for when shopping for a new TV set today?

When shopping for a new TV set, be sure to get a TV with an integrated Digital TV tuner. This option allows viewers to receive analog and digital signals. An integrated set can project high-definition (HD), enhanced-definition (ED) or standard-definition (SD) signals. A HDTV set has the highest resolution available and provides the ultimate home theater experience. An integrated Digital TV set provides consumers the most convenient, hassle-free way to experience Digital TV. In fact, all TV's shipped from a manufacturer since March 1, 2007 are required by law to include a Digital TV tuner.

Are the new DTV sets readily available?

Digital TV sets are available at retail stores nationwide. Like CD players, MP3 players, cell phones and computers, the prices for Digital TV sets will probably continue to drop, as the technology becomes more prominent.

The Digital TV transition is happening NOW! Local stations all over the country are now broadcasting digital signals. The government has loaned each broadcaster an additional TV channel to permit the transition to the new system. The final date for turning off the analog signals will be in February 17, 2009.  So, it's not too soon to start thinking about a new digital TV set.

If I have digital cable, do I have digital television, and if I buy a Digital TV, will it work with digital cable?

Digital cable is not the same as digital television. Digital cable refers only to how signals are transferred across cable. To be watching KTIV-DT, you must have a new digital TV. KTIV-DT is now available on many cable systems across the area, but it will always be available free, over-the-air using a standard antenna, and in some cases, even a simple pair of rabbit ears will be sufficient.

Do you have a digital HDTV?

We'd love to hear from our viewers who have an HDTV who are watching KTIV-DT. In fact, we will from time to time send email notifications with information about KTIV-DT. If you'd like to be part of this email list, contact us at

If you join our email list, we will NOT release your email address or other information to other organizations.

Links to more Digital TV Information

Digital TV Presentations
KTIV Station Manager Dave Madsen has been doing an educational presentation about the transition to Digital TV at service clubs and organizations around Siouxland. If you would like him to do a presentation for your group, just contact him at KTIV, 712-239-4100.

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