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Minneapolis Public TV Takes Unique Approach to DTV

Twin Cities Public Television, operator of KTCI-TV and KTCA-TV Minneapolis-St. Paul, will try a novel way of complying with the FCC mandate to phase-in simulcasts of analog programming on new digital channels.

Rather than simulcast on the digital version of each station, Twin Cities Friday won permission to air both digital simulcasts on KTCI-DT, allowing the organization to dedicate KTCA-DT’s spectrum to full time high-definition programming. The FCC said the waiver will allow Twin Cities to meet the intent of the simulcasting rule and experiment with new digital programming at the same time.

The rules required stations to digitally simulcast 50% of their analog lineup beginning April 1. The requirement increases to 75% April 1, 2004 and to 100% April 1, 2005.