MediaCom TV going digital: How does this affect our schools?

MediaCom has announced that local TV service in Des Moines will be making another step towards going fully digital in Feb 2012.

How does this affect our schools?  Will we lose TV services? What is our plan?

Q1.  Exactly what is happening?
A1. In Feb 2012, MediaCom will convert current channels from 23 to 78 to digital only.

Q2. Most of our TV sets in the schools are analog –  will we lose these stations? do we need to buy new HD TVs?
A2.  No, we do not need to buy HD TVs at this time.  MediaCom has contacted each of our schools and has collected information on how many analog TVs exist.  MediaCom will be sending an appropriate number of small converter boxes for each school.  The convertor box will enable your existing classroom TV to continue to receive channels 23 thru 78.

Q3. Will MediaCom bring the converters to the school – and will they be installing them on the TVs?
A3. Yes, they will ship them to each school – however, they will not be installing the devices on each TV, that will need to be handled at each school.

Q4. Is there more information available from MediaCom?
A4. Yes, the following are details provided by MediaCom.

Q5.  What is the long term solution for this?  Will we eventually have to replace all the TVs?
A5. At this time, we are not looking to replace the TVs. Instead, we are investigating options such as Safari Montage which will distribute TV stations across the computer network, which will make television available through all computers – and therefore available through your classroom projector.  Using a solution such as Safari Montage will certainly make it easier to display TV on your classroom projector – however, it will have a limited amount of channels, as it would be too costly to redistribute all channels.  However, the plan would be distribute the most common news and educational stations – and to receive other stations, the digital converter boxes would still be available.

Q6. Exactly how many of these convertor boxes will be sent to each school?
A6. Here’s the exact numbers that were sent to MediaCom. If you feel this number is not enough for your school, please contact Brian Abeling, who will contact MediaCom to make an adjustment.

Clive Elementary, 35

Crestview, 34

Crossroads Park, 42

Fairmeadows, 30

Hillside, 32

Jordan Creek, 45

Phenix, 19

Western Hills, 32

Westridge, 41

Indian Hills, 52

Stilwell, 46

Valley Southwoods, 63

Valley High School, 140

Walnut Creek Campus, 17

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