AFN upgrade to give Zama better reception, more channels
August 12, 2004
A half-million-dollar overhaul to the system that provides AFN to Army televisions in Japan will give viewers at Camp Zama and its housing areas access to new channels and radio stations and improved quality and reception.
The improvements are being made to the closed-circuit television system, which brings programming from the American Forces Network based in California to Pacific viewers, along with the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Channel and Commanders Channel at Camp Zama, Sagamihara Housing Area and Sagami Depot.
“The quality is a lot better,” said John Austin, chief of the applications integration branch of the Information Support Activity Department, which is part of the 78th Signal Battalion. Austin also heads the Visual Information Division.
AFN engineers have been upgrading the hardware all month, including adding 250 amplifiers at Camp Zama to improve reception.
The new system, which includes modulators, decoders, tuners and amplifiers, will give viewers access to new AFN programming.
Beginning Sept. 3, AFN will add a movie and family programming channel to its current lineup. Current channels include news, sports, Spectrum and AFN Atlantic and Pacific.
AFN also will offer six radio stations through the television and 12 stations to FM receivers hooked up to the system, Austin said.
Viewers at Sagami Depot won’t have the radio stations until the spring, when a new building is completed there, Austin said.
To receive the new channels, viewers should reset their televisions, so their TVs can scan and add new channels.
“It might even appear that they’ve lost channels unless they do the scan,” Austin said.
Viewers can do the scans now, although programming on the new channels won’t begin until Sept. 3.
Updates are still being made to systems at other Army locations including North Dock, Hardy Barracks and Kure.
For information about AFN and the new channels, visit www.afrts.osd.mil.