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Four free digital channels come to historic Idaho City

November 22 2012 by Peter Morrill

 On Tuesday, November 20, IdahoPTV engineering staff powered up a new IdahoPTV digital television “fill-in” translator on channel 17 serving Idaho City, the county seat of Boise County. This culminates more than five years of work to return regular IdahoPTV television service to the residents of one of Idaho’s most famous mining towns, a place that more than a century ago was our state’s largest city, but where today regular cell phone service is not yet a reality.


The need for this translator began in the late 1990’s when the Federal Communications Commission issued IdahoPTV a digital television channel in Boise that was not effective at navigating the mountains of central Idaho. Historically, IdahoPTV had successfully served rural communities like Idaho City with an analog signal from our main transmitter located on Deer Point, near Boise.


At IdahoPTV’s invitation, the FCC sent staff in 2006 to visit the Idaho City area, to see firsthand the mountainous conditions that Idahoans take for granted, and the digital television reception problems associated with this location. FCC staffers also had the opportunity to participate in a Boise County Commission meeting and hear first hand concerns of local residents.


A year later, the FCC offered broadcasters nationwide an opportunity to apply for special “DTV translator fill-in” licenses that would allow us operate equipment to better serve affected areas. IdahoPTV applied for and received six fill-in licenses, including Idaho City, Emmett (eastside), Boise Foothills, Glenns Ferry, Wood River Valley (southern portion) and Pocatello (northeast side). Months later, IdahoPTV secured competitive grant funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the State of Idaho for the needed equipment.

 The new Idaho City translator is located north-northwest of downtown Idaho City and will serve people in the near-surrounding areas, including Duquette Pines subdivision. Viewers will need to point their rooftop antennas in that direction and then re-scan their digital television to acquire the new signal.


For the next several weeks, we'll be in a testing mode for the new translator. We are also very excited to be partnering with the Idaho Department of Homeland Security to provide enhanced emergency alert services to the county residents, government and sheriff’s office. Special thanks go to IdahoPTV technical staff members Rich Van Genderen and Larry Smith. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the efforts of Idaho Power, the Idaho Department of Public Works and the US Forest Service's Idaho City District and Interim Ranger Mary Faurot. USFS staff members have had their hands full with a very busy summer fire season, and we appreciate their efforts with this project.




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Idaho Supreme Court Live Coverage

August 24 2012 by Peter Morrill


Beginning Monday, August 20, Idaho Public Television added gavel to gavel coverage of the  Idaho Supreme Court to its live coverage of the Gem State’s government in action. Courtroom sessions can be found at: .


IdahoPTV’s IDAHO LEGISLATURE LIVE, which provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Idaho House, Senate, Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, and all Statehouse committee rooms will, for the first time, began live streaming of Idaho Supreme Court oral arguments. Future  arguments will be scheduled throughout the high court’s fall/winter session. Details of schedules and arguments can be found at .


IdahoPTV’s coverage of the state Supreme Court will be from the high court’s Boise courtroom only. In addition, no television broadcasts of arguments are currently scheduled.


Idaho Public Television’s coverage of the Supreme Court is provided via a Windows Media stream that will play on most Macs and all Windows computers. IdahoPTV will soon be adding services that will allow live playback on all Macs, iOS mobile devices (iPad, iPhone) and Android devices.


“With the addition of the Idaho Supreme Court, IDAHO LEGISLATURE LIVE has the ability to stream committee meetings, hearings and press conferences from all branches of state government that are conducting business within the Capitol building,” says Jeff Tucker, IdahoPTV production manager. “We’ve also live streamed many other agency meetings and even off-site meetings around the Capitol mall area and around the state.  It’s a great way for the public to stay involved in their state government”


According to an unofficial poll by Steve Kenyon, clerk of the courts for the Idaho Supreme Court & Court of Appeals, Idaho is the 15th state to have a broadcast service provide live coverage of its state supreme court.



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New Dialogue Writers Collection on Scout

August 05 2012 by Peter Morrill

Scout Dialogue Writers Collection

Dialogue Writers’ Collection is now available free, for students of all ages and teachers, at our Scout Video Collections at


In partnership with the Idaho Commission for Libraries, we’re making available more than 70 interviews with renown writers through IdahoPTV’s Scout Video Collections.


The Dialogue Writers’ Collection join more than 18,000 additional videos, images,  mobile apps and lesson plans at the Scout Online Video Collections…which can be found at…and at


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Outdoor Idaho Explores "Idaho's Salmon"

July 16 2012 by Peter Morrill

Idaho Salmon

OUTDOOR IDAHO’s newest episode examines the rise and fall of Idaho’s salmon. Once known for their abundance, the state’s salmon species today balance on the edge of extinction.
Producer Aaron Kunz traces the history of salmon runs into Idaho, examines the present, and looks to the future for this fish that travels more than 800 miles from the ocean to spawn in the Gem State. “Idaho’s Salmon,” which premiered Thursday (July 19) at 8:00/7:00 p.m. MT/PT, captures the beauty, drama and science of this amazing migration. The episode repeats Sunday, July 22, at 7:00 p.m. MT/PT.

The program can be viewed on-line after the initial premier at:
“We explore the decline of Idaho’s remarkable salmon that once flooded Idaho’s rivers and stream by the millions, an army of migrating fish,” Kunz says. “And we look at what is being done to bring them back from the brink of extinction.”
Cameras capture members of the Nez Perce tribe fishing for salmon at Riggins, scientists at Redfish Lake working to save the sockeye, and salmon themselves navigating Dagger Falls in the heart of Idaho during the 2012 run. The show looks at the increase in salmon numbers reaching Idaho during the last few years, the science of projects that seem to be working and those that don’t achieve their goals, and ideas for the immediate future.
“There’s nobody who is anti-salmon. It’s just about how much can you do about them and how much do you want to balance salmon against other interests,” says Rocky Barker, environmental writer for The Idaho Statesman in Boise.
Sportsman Tom Stuart points out that salmon also play a vital role in the Northwest ecosystem.
“Salmon provide the fundamental building block for the food chain that feeds hundreds of other critters. So its a big deal for Idaho,” says Stuart, who also is a board member of Idaho Rivers United. “Idaho has the most to gain and the most to lose in this debate, and I hope we seek the balance that is possible and achieve it.”
This OUTDOOR IDAHO episode is being produced in association with EarthFix, a collaborative journalism initiative among Northwest public media.


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Earthfix Explores Our Environment

July 13 2012 by Peter Morrill

(Photo: Allen Powers)

Idaho Public Television is partnering with northwest public tv and radio stations to expand journalism about the environment.


EarthFix brings together journalists from Oregon, Washington and Idaho to examine the region’s environmental, energy and resource issues.


  Catch veteran reporter Aaron Kunz’s stories on Idaho Public Television, Boise State Public Radio, and at Earthfix at


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