TV/FM Translator Services

The Pitkin County TV/FM Translator maintains and operates a mountain top translator system that re-broadcasts FM radio and television signals to residents of Pitkin County and other portions of the Roaring Fork Valley.

Maintenance and Outages:


Good news, one of our engineers was able to get the Crown Mtn TV and FM functioning again for the Basalt and lower Frying Pan area.

Bad news, Sunlight, Williams and Lower Red Mtn are still having problems. The recent rash of storms with lots of moisture, wind and ice have caused these sites to have on again off again problems. Some of the sites have solar panels that get covered with snow, power goes off and signals go away. Some of the sites have some water leakage that changes with the freeze and thaw cycle. 

All of these site are difficult and sometimes down right dangerous to get to, especially with snow storms bearing down on them. Our engineers continue to try to get up to the sites but are driven back by storms on a weekly basis. Once again, they will try this week to get to one or two sites to patch things up. Permanent fixes won't happen until the summer. Thanks for hanging in there with us.  


One of our engineers went up to the Crown Mtn tower yesterday and found it caked with many layers of ice and in need of a little work. He needed another person so next week 2 engineers will go back to the Crown Mtn tower and try to make repairs. This is affecting both TV and FM signals in the Basalt, Old Snowmass and maybe Lower Frying Pan.


There seems to be some sort of outage at our Crown Mtn site. TV and FM stations are down. The guess right now is that something happened during the last 4 day snow storm. Possibly the heavy snow caused some damage.

An engineer is planning on visiting the site tomorrow, Wednesday, weather permitting. If he can not get in there Wednesday it will probably be another week before another visit can be scheduled. This outage is affecting Basalt, Emma and Old Snowmass areas.


The TV is back at Elephant, residents in Redstone should now be receiving all channels that they had before last week.

This includes: the 3's, the 4's, the 8's, and the 18's.

County Government/Grassroots on 11/12 from Elephant is having reflected power issues on the transmit antenna line and will be out until we can climb the tower and make repairs this summer.

A trip to the Sunlight tower is scheduled for this week, weather and other emergencies permitting. 


This afternoon we were in the process of trying to repair the issue on Elephant with the 4's and the 8's remotely, but have only encountered more problems.  We  first checked the 4's and 8's at Sunlight and all channels appear to be broadcasting properly from that site. However, we found that at Elephant there appears to be an issue with the Power Distribution Unit (PDU) that powers all of the TV translator units.  We are trying to resolve the issue remotely, however the unit is severely acting up and has shut off all of the TV translators on Elephant.

There is nothing further that we can do remotely and a site visit is required to perform repairs. We are currently arranging helicopter transportation and the site visit is weather dependent. We will provide updates on the scheduled repair date once this is confirmed."


Thank you to all for reaching out to us on the translator outages.  We apologize for the delay in responding; due to the holiday weekend we were unable to address the problem until Tuesday January 22, 2019.  We have investigated the issue and are having an equipment failure caused by the recent snow and cold weather on Sunlight Peak, where we receive most of the TV stations from Grand Junction.  We have attempted to resolve the problem remotely, however it appears we will need to go up to the site to resolve it in person.  We are currently short-staffed but are attempting to schedule a day to haul the snowcat to the base of the mountain to resolve the issue during the first couple of weeks of February. Thank you for your patience. If you have further questions please email   

 We apologize for the outage and are working to have the 8’s back on the air as soon as possible.


Thomasville Viewers: 

Thanks to everyone for filling us in on the state of TV in the Frying Pan Valley. After talking to our engineers it is not looking like there will be a fix until late summer to the in and out reception of the 4s. The Thomasville site is only accessible by helicopter so that cost factor has ruled out a visit until the snow melts.

The good news is we are working on permits and plans for a rebuild of the Thomasville site and Red Hill above the Ruedi marina for the summer of 2019. When both of these are finished, hopefully by the end of the summer, we will have new state of the art equipment and shelters and be able to monitor everything from our offices. This should keep the TV signals coming on a more reliable basis.


Thomasville Viewers: The transmitter that broadcasts Channel 18 (PBS, VMe and Create) is down. County staff plans to hike to the site the week of 6/18 to determine the issue. We will provide updates to the website as soon as we learn more information. 


Denver TV Stations:  County staff have been investigating options to restore the lost network stations that were rebroadcast from Denver on the Translator network.

We currently rebroadcast the following stations from Grand Junction: 4-1 FOX, 4-2 CBS, 4-3 Escape, 4-4 Grit, 18-1 PBS, 18-2 Vme and 18-3 Create. We also broadcast 11-1 Community Government (CGTV) and 12-1 GrassRoots (GRTV) out of Aspen.

Adding Grand Junction over-the-air stations to replace the lost stations appears to be the most viable solution of the current options. This solution will provide the following stations: 3-1 Heroes & Icons, 8-1 ABC, 8-2 CW and 22-1 Movies. All major network stations will be available with the exception of NBC. The equipment installation need for this service can be completed by early fall 2018.

  1. System Overview
  2. TV / FM Stations 
  3. TV Reception / Antennas
  4. System Update
  • Funding for this service comes from a dedicated Pitkin County mill levy of 0.374. The cost to the taxpayer is $1.42 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
  • Translator Advisory Board (TAB)

Report a Problem

To report problems with the system, please call 920-5395 or email us. Please provide the nature of the outage, your location and a call back number; someone will contact you within 24 hours.

Notify Me

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