HDTV IS HERE!
Many years in the planning, but at last it is here! The broadcast industry of America is beginning the conversion to HDTV -- "High Definition Television," or DTV -- "Digital Television," as it is beginning to be referred to.
As usual, there is good news and not so good news! The GOOD NEWS -- all of our major full power stations have been issued a second TV license to build a second TV station in each city. For example, in Southern California, we have Channel 40 on the air. This has been our first and primary channel since 1974. Now the FCC has allocated Channel 23 as our new HDTV channel, which through new technology could actually be divided into six separate channels, giving us room for dozens of new programs! I wrote to you about this many months ago, that some day we might have an all-youth channel, an all-music channel, an all-Bible study channel, and so on -- plus, of course, our regular old faithful TBN channel! As most of you know, we have already established our new "CHURCH CHANNEL," featuring many of the great church services, some of which we had no room for on TBN. The bottom line -- more, much more Christian TV programs from which to choose, bless us all and reach many more with the Good News of Jesus Christ!
The GOOD NEWS I share with you today is the fact that the FCC has begun issuing "CONSTRUCTION PERMITS" to TBN and some of our affiliates. Hello -- Canton/Cleveland Ohio! You are the first TBN station to receive your "CP"-- construction permit! Hello, CET, Community Educational TV -- Houston; and Beaumont, Texas were next. We are told that the FCC is poised to begin issuing "CP's" fast and furious, after many months of delays due to technical problems. This means we could have THIRTY CONSTRUCTION PERMITS this year! Yes, with TBN and our affiliated stations, we together have THIRTY FULL POWER TV STATIONS! This means within the next several months we will have to build thirty brand new TV stations and big FULL POWER stations at that!
So what is the NOT SO GOOD NEWS? Our engineering department estimates that the cost to build will average about ONE MILLION DOLLARS per station! In addition, the electric and maintenance cost will virtually double. A bit of good news is, we will not have to build new studio buildings, just new transmitters and antennas. Also in some cases, we will have to re-engineer the tall towers to hold the additional weight of a powerful new antenna.
So, how will we all be able to receive the new HDTV signal? This, too, is not so good. We will have to either purchase a new HDTV television set (pretty pricey now) or get a little set-top tuner box to place on top of your present TV set. They say these little boxes may be as low as $100.00 -- perhaps a little more. Also, as time passes, the cost of the new HDTV sets will come down as is the case with all new technology.
Ah, dear Partners, "the agony and the ecstacy" best describes my emotions today! In time, we will reach millions of new and additional viewers! Multitudes more will be born again into the Kingdom of God! But I think I feel like you precious expectant mothers -- the BIRTH PANGS HAVE BEGUN! All of our dear mothers went down through the valley of death to give each one of us life! Your TBN now faces NEW BIRTH -- but ask any new mother -- "Was the pain worth it?" Well, the smile and the joy, as she holds that precious new life in her arms, says it all! "Yes," a thousand times, "YES!" Well, all we need to say is 30 times "Yes!" So, do we HAVE TO BUILD all these new TV stations? Believe me, I asked the same question many times. The answer is "YES" -- the Congress of the United States, through the agency of the FCC, has mandated the change to this new HDTV technology.
Dear Partners, if that happened, it would be the end of Christian TV as we have come to know and love it. It would also be the end of our foreign TV stations and satellites, which cover the whole world! We simply cannot -- we WILL NOT let that happen! Let us take courage from the charge that King David gave to his son Solomon when faced with a far greater task than ours: the building of the great Temple of God in Jerusalem.
Yes, dear Partners, we CAN and WILL build our houses of God! Today, we do not build a solitary Temple, of gold, silver brass and timbers, as Solomon did. Today, God's temples are the SOULS of mankind. As the Apostle Paul says:
Praise God, we, through TBN, have built millions of temples these past, nearly, 28 years! Every time old 714-731-1000 RINGS, we expect another soul to be BORN AGAIN! Every time the sinner's prayer is prayed -- Praise God -- ANOTHER TEMPLE IS BUILT! But our link, our Voice to MILLIONS of unbuilt temples is YOUR TBN! Jan and I cannot do it alone, just as Solomon could never have built the Temple of God alone. Thousands helped him. We need MILLIONS today in this 21st century, with over 6 BILLION SOULS on planet earth!
Can Jan and I, and this great TBN family count on YOU again? Millions of you HAVE done it before -- I am confident you will again. Yes, YOU are the reason over 2,300 TV stations, 15 satellites, over 5,000 cable stations, shortwave, and long wave radio are blanketing the earth -- AND NOW -- HDTV, a new offensive weapon in the making! "ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS!" Let us hear from you this Praise-A-Thon month of April. We must ALL do more this time, and here is HOW:
God bless you, everyone. Jan and I love you more with each passing year. We promise to do more than our part -- will you? Oh, I know you will!
© 2001 Trinity Broadcasting Network. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of TBN.