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Selective TV's annual meeting will look into NextGen TV

The meeting will take place at the Ida Township Hall, which is located at 4700 County Road 6 NW in Garfield.

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Selective TV operates a tower near Garfield (above) that receives fiberoptic signals transmitted from the KSTP building in the Twin Cities. (Contributed photo)
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GARFIELD — Selective TV will have its annual meeting on Monday, July 11, at 7 p.m.

The meeting is open to all current members of Selective TV and anyone else who has an interest in the future of over-the-air television in the Alexandria area.

The meeting will take place at the Ida Township Hall, which is located at 4700 County Road 6 NW in Garfield.

Among the items up for discussion at the meeting will be a video presentation on what is called NextGen Television, which is also known by the technical name of ASTC 3.0.

"The technology that over-the-air television operates with is called ASTC 1.0," said Lonnie Wing, vice president of the board and Selective TV office manager. "This new technology, which is rolling out slowly in various markets across the country, is called ATSC 3.0. It's more like (Internet Protocol television) than what is currently used, and it can do some amazing things."

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Among its features are 4K picture and theater sound, Wing said.

"The way the signal is formatted, it does a much better job at penetrating obstructions like buildings and trees and that kind of thing. So it's a big deal," he said.

Unlike the change from analog to digital television, which was mandated by the federal government, broadcasters are adopting NextGen Television at their own pace, Wing said.

"It's currently rolling out in some markets around the country," he said. "It's not currently rolling out in the Twin Cities … but it eventually will."

This is reflected in the televisions that are currently being manufactured, he said.

"If you went out and bought a new television today, a more expensive television, it would have two tuners in it — a 1.0 tuner and a 3.0 tuner built into it."

Among the other items the board of directors will discuss at the meeting is the financial statement for 2021 and an update from the board president on 2021.

Over-the-air television is expanding all the time, Wing said.

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"It's just kind of exploded across the country in recent years, and one of the reasons that's happening is streaming television," he said. "If I live in an area like Alexandria where I had access to 60-some over-the-air channels (through Selective TV), including all four major networks, public television, 24/7 news channels and what I like to call specialty channels for $10 a month, and I decide I'm going to get Netflix or Paramount or something else, that costs me another $10 a month.

"Now I'm spending $20 a month as opposed to $120 a month (for cable), and I've got everything I want," he said. "So people are going back to their antennas in droves across the country, and we're seeing it right here, as well."

People can become members of Selective TV by visiting its website at www.selectivetv.org .

They can also call the office, which is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., at 320-763-5924.

(This story has been changed to clarify that the July 11 meeting is open to all current Selective TV members and others with an interest in the future of over-the-air TV in the Alexandria area.)

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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