AFN TO DISCONTINUE OVER-THE-AIR TELEVISION BROADCAST IN KOREA
SEOUL — American Forces Network-Korea will discontinue its analog over-the-air TV broadcast May 1. The switch means that viewers in Korea will no longer be able to watch AFN using conventional roof-top aerials or old-style rabbit ears. The move is part of the industry-wide transition to digital television, including in Korea.
Those living off base there will have to rely on over-the-air radio broadcasts in the event of an emergency. Retirees and U.S. government ID card holders living off-base in Korea are authorized to use AFN satellite decoders that will enable them to continue to watch AFN after the analog broadcast ends. “This transition will allow AFN Korea to change its programming to add additional sports and entertainment programming,” said Lt. Col. Eric C. Bloom, AFN Korea Commander.
Over-the-air viewers were able to receive AFN’s Prime Pacific channel, which broadcasts a lineup of American dramas, sitcoms, talk shows, news and reality television along with locally produced news and information. That channel will continue to be available to viewers receiving programming via on-base cable or through AFN satellite decoders.
Decoders are available for sale or lease at Army and Air Force Exchange service stores. The move to digital TV will not affect viewers on U.S. military installations in Korea. “AFN Korea is the last to make the transition. AFN Japan and Europe have already made the transition,” said Bloom.
On September 15, 1956 American Forces Korea Network (AFKN) Seoul, became the first Army outlet to broadcast television shows from the states.
Television programming has changed dramatically since 1956 and AFN has always continued to bring ‘a touch of home’ to deployed troops.
AFN is in the beginning stages of transitioning to HD and already provides AFN Sports in HD.