Broadcast news — A new digital translator on Chehalem Ridge will broadcast three channels to customers in the Chehalem Valley

Chehalem Mountain has long made it difficult for Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) to transmit a signal to Newberg, Dundee and other areas of Yamhill County, as it creates interference and shadowed areas, but that appears to be a problem of the past thanks to the addition of a digital television translator on the hill north of Newberg.

OPB has been working to address the problem since the nationwide transition to digital broadcasting in 2009, but now customers in the area can rescan their televisions or set converter boxes to receive stations 10.1 OPB HD, 10.2 OPB Plus and audio channel 10.3, which includes OPB radio, OPD music and KMHD Jazz Radio.

“Our mission here is to be as accessible to all Oregonians and really make our services available, especially in rural communities,” OPB public relations manager Lauren Elkanich said. “I know there was a need from the community to have that access there.”

Elkanich said that the new translator, which was added to an already existing tower, was the last of OPB’s conversion to digital. The signal can also be picked up in McMinnville, Yamhill and Carlton, but customers in those areas would need a stronger antenna.

“The DTV transition provided us a great opportunity to create and offer our viewers a second OPB channel called OPB Plus,” Elkanich said in an e-mail. “Our second channel is a combination of the best of how-to and documentaries in one place. It also affords us the ability to air news programs and series earlier in the day and at different times than the regular OPB channel.”

The three audio channels show up as alternate audio or SAP options that can be selected using the remote control.

“The signal is very strong in the Newberg and Dundee area so folks are really happy about that,” Elkanich said. “We’re really excited about it.”

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