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More TV for Overseas Military Audiences

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 1996 – Military audiences overseas will now have more program choices, thanks to digital compression technology Armed Forces Radio and Television Service officials are installing.

AFRTS audiences who receive cable or wireless cable will enjoy at least three television channels. A customized entertainment channel, the American Forces Network, is timeshifted for each regional audience.

Another channel, AFN NewSports, features a variety of current affairs, news and sports programs. A third channel, AFN Spectrum, will offer alternative entertainment and family programming from selected U.S. cable networks and the Public Broadcasting Service. Other radio entertainment and information services will also be available.

Viewers who receive AFRTS over the air will continue to get the existing single channel, although the programming will be more current.

An added benefit to viewers: Programs will be more current because tapes won't have to travel among stations. Also, DoD will save money by not having to duplicate and mail video and audio tapes to outlets overseas.

The new digital system allows multiple audio and video signals to be compressed into the same satellite transponder space that carried only one television service.

AFRTS audiences in Panama, Cuba and Puerto Rico already have the new digital devices. Pacific audiences will get theirs in midDecember, and the Atlantic/Europe area completes the switch in spring 1997.

AFRTS transmits all programming to outlets directly by satellite from its Broadcast Center at March Air Reserve Base near Riverside, Calif.

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