Blue Mountain TV Takes Second Channel Digital

Blue Mountain Television's Channel 21, located atop Pikes Peak, Ore., is no longer broadcasting in analog, following the July 19 transition to a digital signal.

The viewer-supported Christian broadcaster's analog transmitter went dark at 9 a.m. Sunday and by 11:15 a.m. the station's new digital transmitter, 21.1 (English) and 21.2 (Spanish), was up and running.

"Our engineers report Sunday's transition went extremely smooth. Now, we're awaiting word from viewers on how well they receive us and we're prepared to answer any questions they might have," reports Dan Thesman, BMT's station manager.

The Channel 21 transition marks the second of three channels owned and operated by the low-power Christian broadcaster to make the digital transition. Yet, Channel 21's broadcast area, aside from cable, is BMT's largest.

"What's exciting is we hope our digital 21 reaches even more people," says Thesman. The analog, Channel 21 signal spreads over a good portion of northeastern Umatilla County (Ore.) and southeastern Walla Walla County (Wash.) "But with digital, we're hoping to hit the rural communities east of Pendleton (Ore.), such as Helix, Adams and Athena and those rural communities north of Walla Walla, such as Prescott, Waitsburg and Dayton even better," adds Thesman.

In March, Channel 36 went digital with 36.1 (English) and 36.2 (Spanish) from BMT's soon-to-be completed 2,500 square foot broadcast facility at the SonBridge Community Center, located at 1200 S.E. 12th Street in College Place, Wash. With sheet rock nearly completed, the project now prepares to move into mudding, taping, painting and carpeting.

However, Thesman is quick to point out that despite the community's ongoing support, finances are still needed to complete the project before staff can move in — hopefully this fall. "We're so close to completion. We need about $70,000 to completely finish this project," says Thesman.

Featured in: September 2009


Jay Wintermeyer

North Pacific Union assistant to the president for communication and Gleaner editor