AFN moving to new satellites

by AFN Broadcast Center Public Affairs
Defense Media Activity

The American Forces Network (AFN) is migrating to three satellites that will require people who own or lease decoders in the Pacific and afloat units in the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean to repoint their satellite dishes and change settings to continue to receive TV and satellite audio services.  The change will not result in a reduction in service.

“Viewers can make the changes anytime between February 19 and April 22,” said AFN Broadcast Center spokesman George Smith. “We’ve found with previous satellite moves that some people wait until the last few weeks to make the necessary changes and encounter difficulties or lose service. What we want people to know is that we’re strongly recommending making the switch in February or March.” 

Smith said cable operators, State department locations and some military units will make the changes for the official organizational decoders they have; but, those who own or lease a decoder in the Pacific region will need to realign their dish and change decoder settings.

“It’s fairly easy if you use our step-by-step illustrated instructions,” said Smith. “Best of all, some viewers will immediately realize an enhanced viewing experience.   Audience members in 12 countries currently only receiving three AFN TV services will be able to receive all of them.”

Smith estimates there are approximately 15,000 AFN decoders in Japan, Korea and other locations in the Pacific. Americans who own or lease a decoder in Europe or Southwest Asia are not impacted by the satellite changes.

“We’re giving viewers impacted by the changes 24/7 user-friendly and courteous telephonic support and increasing staffing with our help desk,” Smith said. “And we’re posting a useful step-by-step video with illustrated instructions on how to adjust a dish and a decoder.” AFN is posting its help documents at under “AFN Satellite Realignment” on February 19.

AFN is making the satellite moves in response to ongoing budgetary constraints and a savings of approximately $4.3 million over the remaining duration of the contract. The moves are unrelated to AFN’s ongoing efforts to field more HD TV services or offer a streaming video service.

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