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Liberty News

WTLU-TV goes digital, improves coverage

January 8, 2010 : Sarah Deskins

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. flips the switch to activate the new digital transmitter for WTLU-TV, which broadcasts the Liberty Channel, on Friday, Jan. 8.

The new digital transmission tower for WTLU-TV will extend the viewing area of the Liberty Channel, now broadcasting on DTV Channels 43-1 and 43-2. .

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, marking the activation of the new digital on-air signal for WTLU-TV, which broadcasts the Liberty Channel from Liberty’s campus.

Since its inception in 1991, WTLU has been committed to providing family-friendly television for the greater Lynchburg area. The Liberty Channel showcases Live from Liberty, featuring Liberty University convocations, Pulpit Classics from the library of the “Old Time Gospel Hour” and weekly services preached by Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, as well as other shows appropriate for families.

“Most of the programs that are on secular television and cable stations are not appropriate for the entire family,” said Sandra Wagner, WTLU station manager. “WTLU is really the only family based package in this area.”

WTLU originally transmitted from Liberty Mountain for 13 years, but was forced to relocate its facility to neighboring Johnson Mountain in 2004 due to industry digital transmitting requirements. The station’s Johnson Mountain transmission location limited the reach of the Liberty Channel, causing some viewers to lose access.

The relocation of the new transmitter site to Monogram Hill on Liberty Mountain, paired with the transition from analog to digital transmission, enables WTLU to provide an enhanced viewing experience, extend coverage and maintain industry standards in light of the industry-wide conversion to digital television in June 2009. The cost of the entire project was $625,000.

“This change brings us up to modern standards,” said Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. “The entire industry is moving to digital and now we are ready for HDTV.”

Liberty officials and WTLU staff attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new WTLU digital transmitter. Pictured from left: Robert Carlberg, Project Manager; Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.; Vice Chancellor Dr. Ron Godwin; Sandra Wagner, WTLU station manager; Milt Ridgeway, Director of Engineering; and Bruce Braun, Executive Director of New Media Communication.

Now that the station has converted to digital transmission, Falwell said WTLU will continue its goal to extend coverage.

“Our goal is to eventually take the signal produced by Liberty Channel and disseminate it wider; regionally, maybe even nationally,” he said. “It’s just one more way for people hear about LU and to spread the Gospel.”

The Liberty Channel can now be found on DTV Channels 43.1 and 43.2; however, WTLU will continue to broadcast Channel 50 via analog transmitter until the FCC authorizes the station to discontinue that service.




To begin receiving DTV Channel 43, viewers must rescan their digital television or converter box. This will allow WTLU and Channel 43 to be programmed into your regular channel line-up. To receive assistance with this process or in viewing the Liberty Channel, contact WTLU by calling (800) 332-1883.

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