Broadcast of the Pentagon channel began this week for viewers in the Far East.

However, the channel, operated by American Forces Radio and Television Service, may not be available to all AFN cable viewers, yet.

Viewers at some bases may for now get the feed only if they have the AFN PowerVu decoder.

The Pentagon Channel provides Defense personnel extended coverage of many events major news networks may not cover in their entirety.

It also includes daily, weekly and monthly news and military information programs.

The channel can be viewed on Virtual Channel 8 for users of the AFN PowerVu decoder, Tech. Sgt. Harry Taylor, non-commissioned officer in charge of television operations at AFN’s Tokyo headquarters, said Thursday.

“Those are viewers living off-base who lease the decoders through the base exchange,” he said.

Viewers at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, however, will have to be patient.

Taylor said a technical issue between AFN and a local cable television supplier is being examined. He could not provide an exact time when the channel would be available there.

At Misawa Air Base in northern Japan, Master Sgt. Susie McEuen said the Pentagon channel is being delivered to on-base cable viewers on channel 16.

“Viewers off-base with direct-to-home service can find it on Virtual Channel 8,” she said.

Technology limitations may keep some military bases from receiving the broadcasts.

Larry Sichter, affiliate relations chief for the AFRTS Broadcast Center, said in an e-mail to AFN outlets that initially some cable systems may not be able to provide this service due to lack of equipment and/or bandwidth.

Viewers should check with their local AFN station to determine availability of the channel.

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