What Happened To TV Sound On 87.7 FM?

Wednesday, February 18th 2009, 6:41 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- What happened to the TV sound on 87.7 FM?  Afternoon drive was a peak time for people to listen to Channel 6 on the radio when they were driving home from work.  That ended yesterday with the end of programming on analog Channel 6.

Many Channel 6 viewers were also Channel 6 listeners on 87.7 FM.  But, that ended Tuesday with the switchover to digital only broadcasting.

"When we changed the program on analog Channel 6, 87.7 followed suit and so now the program that's on that channel now is what you hear on the radio," said KOTV Chief Engineer Gerald Weaver.

The radio broadcast of Channel 6 is a casualty of the digital conversion and the end of analog broadcasting.  KOTV's chief engineer says having TV sound on 87.7 FM was a coincidence of the frequency for Channel 6.

"87.7 is an anomaly of Channel 6, because of the channel position, it butts right up against the FM band," said KOTV Chief Engineer Gerald Weaver.

KOTV viewers noticed the loss of programming on the radio right away.  Hundreds of listeners called in to ask if it will come back.

"Well if we can find some other way, we'll let folks know about, but we're sorry it's an inconvenience right now," said KOTV receptionist Kortney Smith.

There is the not as handy option of using a television in the car to pickup Channel 6.  Eventually, cell phones and other hand held electronics will pickup digital TV sound, but not yet.

"Well, I would imagine in the future we would see products like that, that you could detect the audio off a digital TV signal, there's no reason that wouldn't work, but for now, I don't know of any product on the market like that," said KOTV Chief Engineer Gerald Weaver.

So, 87.7 FM is not coming back, but KOTV management say they are pursuing a radio partnership to air newscasts.

And of course, during breaking news, and severe weather, Newson6.com carries streaming video online.