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Selective TV discusses premium channels

Selective TV, Inc. held its annual meeting on July 12 at Living Waters with more than 150 contributors and viewers in attendance.

An update was given about what has happened over the past year and future changes.

Jim Borgrud, Selective TV president, has been a member since 1976.

Borgrud explained that several of the premium channels have been taken from Selective TV because of the way it was being broadcast. These channels had been pushing for viewing protection for Selective TV.

Borgrud added that Selective TV had been broadcasting in similar ways since the 1990's with clear viewing or "unscrambled" channels.

This meant, however, that people could view the channels without making any contributions.

A conversion to digital channels will also be taking place.

When the premium channels are back on the Selective TV lineup, these channels will no longer be available unless the user is a paying member.

Selective TV has not decided on the process to scramble the premium channels. Borgrud said that they are focusing on the digital channel conversion that must take place first and then the encryption will need to take place. This process will be discussed at the directors' meeting in August and the member survey results will be taken into consideration.

An increase in cost has been discussed for users wishing to view the premium channels. Borgrud said the cost to view Selective TV is currently an $80 yearly donation. It has been discussed to increase this to $180 a year for members who wish to use the cable-type channels. Regular channels will still be in the clear, added Borgrud.

Those who wish to view the cable-type channels will need to make a deposit for the converter box and pay the extra fee monthly to keep the signal, said Borgrud.

He added that it is difficult to maintain members when the channels are offered for free. This makes cash flow hard to maintain, said Borgrud.

Channels must be upgraded to digital by 2015, said Borgrud. The upgrade to digital is currently in process with the second channel, 36, to be upgraded to digital soon, said Borgrud. He added that analog licenses are no longer being issued. Channel 36 is the second channel to be converted to digital.

Converting to digital costs about $25,000 for the basic equipment for each channel.

Selective TV currently has 16 channels, but the number continues to fluctuate, said Borgrud.