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Monday July 6 2020
Juneau: °F
Now in Digital HD on Ch. 5.1!

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions page. Below, we have tried to answer the most common questions that visitors to our Website may have. If you find that your question is not answered on this page, please email us at or call us at (907) 586-8384.

Question: What channel are you? How can I get NBC for Southeast Alaska?
Answer: There are many ways to watch:


  • HD Over the Air (Downtown & Douglas): Digital Channel 5 (UHF Frequency #35)
  • HD on GCI Cable: Channel 652
  • GCI Cable: Channel 15

  • Over the Air: Analog Channel 5
  • HD on GCI Cable: Channel 652
  • GCI Cable: Channel 5

Petersburg, Wrangell
  • HD on GCI Cable: Channel 652
  • GCI Cable: Channel 2

  • GCI Cable: Channel 2

  • HD on GCI Cable: Channel 652

All of Southeast Alaska
  • HD DirectTV: Channel 5
  • DISH-Network: Channels 9380 & 5
For more information, contact either GCI, your local DISH-Network or DirecTV representative, or give us a call!

Question: What is "Digital TV"? Does KATH-TV broadcast digitally?
Answer: Yes! As of October 1st 2011, KATH-TV is broadcasting digitally in downtown Juneau. Digital TV, or "DTV" for short, is a new way of transmitting a TV signal. The result is normally a clearer picture with better sound. DTV is rapidly replacing traditional analog TV, with "Full Power" analog TV stations having switched off in June 2009. Digital TV can be either 'standard definition' or 'high definition', this varies from station to station. At this time, KATH-TV is the only digital TV station in Juneau broadcasting in high definition.
The switch to Digital TV does NOT affect cable and satellite TV. Most satellite TV service has already been digital for years, and cable TV systems can choose how they deliver their signals. The corresponding "Cable Boxes" and "Satellite Receivers" provided by the service provider already handle any necessary conversions. However (generally) those boxes have nothing to do with over-the-air digital TV

Question: What is a "DTV converter box"?
Answer: You don't need a new TV to watch Digital TV, you just need a digital "tuner". A "DTV Converter Box" is a digital tuner that receives a digital over-the-air TV signal and then uses an analog TV to display the picture.
Note: Most DTV converter boxes down-convert HD channels (such as KATH-HD) to standard definition for older TV's. If you want to watch in HD, you'll need an HDTV and almost all HDTV's have a digital tuner built in.

Question: How can I get KATH-TV in HD?
Answer: KATH-HD is available for free in downtown Juneau and Douglas on digital TV channel 5.1. KATH-HD is also available in the rest of the Juneau area, Sitka, Ketchikan, Petersburg and Wrangell on GCI Channel 652. KATH-HD is also available as of Feb 3, 2012 on DirecTV on Channel 5 with a DirecTV subscription.
To receive our HD signal over the air, all you need is an HDTV and a UHF antenna! To watch on GCI cable, you'll also need a cable HD-tuner such as GCI's silver "HD-DVR". For details on how to hook up your HDTV to cable, please call GCI's customer support at 1 (800) 800-4800. To watch on DirecTV, you'll need a HD DirecTV receiver. For help with HD on DirecTV, call their customer support at 1 (800) 531-5000.

Question: I have DirecTV, can I get KATH-HD?
Answer: Yes! As of February 3rd, 2012. DirecTV is carrying our KATH-HD signal. Simply tune to our channel 5 on your DirecTV HD receiver (connected to an HDTV) and you should see our HD signal.

Question: I have DishNet, can I get KATH-HD?
Answer: Unfortunately KATH-HD is not yet available on DishNet satellite service. We are actively working with DishNet to expand our HD coverage across southeast in the near future. To help us, you can contact DishNet customer service and tell them you want to see KATH-TV in HD!
If you live in downtown Juneau or Douglas, you can receive our HD signal over-the-air for free in addition to your satellite service.

Question: What is "HDTV"?
Answer: HDTV is a relatively new television format that brings a wider-screen image with up to 6 times the picture sharpness of SD and other enhancements such as surround-sound audio. Of the two HD formats, 720p (which is better suited to faster action) and 1080i (which has a more detail), NBC uses the sharper 1080i format which is better for dramatic content. It also allows for a clearer view of large sporting events like football and the Olympics, especially when viewed on larger TV's.

Question: Doesn't everyone have to "go HD" soon?
Answer: No. DTV and HDTV are related, but not the same.
HDTV can only be transmitted digitally (there's just too much information in HD to fit into an analog signal), so "DTV" is a requirement for "HDTV". However a digital signal can carry many formats (just like you can have many types of digital files on a computer.) Basically all HDTV is Digital, but DTV isn't necceseraly HD. Digital TV is a requirement for full power TV stations after June 2009, however HDTV is NOT a requirement.

Question: Can I order a copy of a local program you broadcast?
Answer: Absolutely! Call (907) 586-8384 to place an order. Programs are available on DVD and typically cost $20.

Question: Are you actually located in Juneau?
Answer: You bet! We don't call ourselves Juneau's "Local" station for nothing! We also have offices in Sitka and Anchorage.

Question: I'd like to send you some video, what formats do you accept?
Answer: We can work with and accept the following formats (in order of preference): most computer based formats on most computer media (we also have an FTP server), Full and Mini size DV, DVCAM, BETA-SP, BETACAM-SX, and DVD. We may be able to make arrangements for conversions from other formats, contact us for more information.

Question: Why can't I get KATH Channel 5 over the air in the Mendenhall Valley?
Answer: Our transmitter is located in Downtown Juneau, and due to Juneau's mountainous terrain, our signal simply can't make it to the Mendenhall Valley.

Question: Where are your legal statements posted?
Answer: Our legal statements can all be found on our Legal & policy statements page.