Frequently Asked Questions


Please contact us if you don’t find your answers here.


What is a Television District?

In 1971 the Washington legislature passed a law to allow remote counties to establish television reception districts. These districts were formed to bring nearby television and radio broadcasts into our community. Our Okanogan Valley area is the Television Reception Improvement District #1 of Okanogan County, known by most as TV District #1.


Our purpose is to bring affordable over-the-air antenna TV and FM radio stations to the Okanogan Valley. Television and radio signals are broadcast throughout the valley from towers on Omak Mountain (serves Omak/Okanogan), Pickens Mountain (serves Oroville/Tonasket), Mount Olive (serves Riverside), and Fox Mountain (serves Malott)


Questions about our service and your reception

Does the District provide on-air TV for the entire county?

No. The 4 District translator sites were selected to provide TV signal to most residents of the Okanogan Valley. Most homes in the towns of Omak, Okanogan, Malott, Riverside, Tonasket, and Oroville receive a usable signal. A very simple map of the District boundary is available on our Map page. Call Victoria Velategui at 509.322.0333 if you would like help testing for a signal.


Do I need to sign up or rent something to receive the TV signal?

No. This is old-fashioned on-the-air television. If the signal from one of our 4 translators reaches your home, all you need is a TV and an antenna.


How do I connect to the signal?

To start receiving signals, you will need to make your digital-ready TV or converter box scan for available channels.  Usually this is accomplished with the remote control by hitting the "Menu" button and then navigating to a "Scan", "Re-scan", "Channel Search" or similar menu item.  It can be a little tricky because there is a lot of variety in the terminology used by TV manufacturers.  The user’s guide that came with your TV or converter box should provide detailed instructions for scanning.  If you can’t locate the user’s guide for your TV, they can frequently be found in the tech support section of the manufacturer’s website.  Some converter boxes may indicate channel numbers different than the ones shown on our Services page (such as 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, etc.).  They are probably the correct stations, but are just displayed with different channel numbers.


Do I need a "converter box"?

If you have an older television that does not have a digital tuner, you’ll need a digital-to-analog converter box.


Do I need a signal pre-amplifier?

If you have a good view of the transmitter site, you can try using a simple antenna. If you find the the signal is too weak, we recommend a signal pre-amplifier for most subscribers. The best type has a part that mounts at the antenna and is often called an "outdoor pre-amplifier” or “outdoor amplifier".


Is this high-definition TV (HD or HDTV)?

Some of the channels will be in high-definition at least part of the time. Whether it is HD or “normal” will depend entirely on the originating station. To display HD, you’ll need a television that can produce either 720 or 1080 lines (720p or 1080i). Unfortunately, older analog TVs with converter boxes will not be able to display content in high-definition; it will look like television.

For information on resolving reception issues, see the Troubleshooting page.


Where can I get information on erecting an antenna?

For help selecting and installing an antenna:


Questions about the tax assessment and billing

What am I being billed for?

Each television district established in the state is supported by its community.  The owner of each real estate parcel that has a residence within the TV District’s coverage area receives a bill.  It is known as an excise tax assessment, mailed out by the County Treasurer in the same format as your property taxes, but not included with them.


What if I use satellite or cable service?

The law provides that anyone who pays for other television service can claim an exemption from this excise tax.  It requires the property owner to indicate what exemption they are claiming.  Please be sure to look at the Exemption page for more information.


What if I do not use a television?

Please see the Exemption page.


What is this tax used for?

The amount is set annually to cover the cost of maintenance and repair of TV/Radio transmission equipment and services.  TV District #1 has four separate mountaintop retransmission sites - Omak Mountain, Mount Olive, Fox Mountain, and Pickens Mountain.   The 2020 fee is $40 dollars for the year, unchanged since 2017.


When is the tax due?

Payments are due by April 30th.  A two dollar delinquency fee will be added to your assessment if unpaid.


Who can I talk to about service or charges?

The District is under the authority of its own Board of Directors, appointed by the Okanogan County Commissioners.  The Board meets on the second Wednesday of each month in the conference room of the Okanogan County Child Development Association.  The public is welcome to attend.  Questions may be directed to the District secretary, Lisa Olson, at 509-322-3970, and questions about service areas and reception may be directed to the Board chair, Victoria Velategui, at 509-322-0333.

Television Reception District #1 of Okanogan County | PO Box 111 | Okanogan, WA  98840