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AFN and AAFES help clarify decoder issue

AFN-Korea logo

AFN-Korea logo

YONGSAN, Republic of Korea -- American Forces Network viewers who have an AFN decoder and satellite dish must make minor adjustments to their satellite decoders by April 25 to avoid losing AFN service.

Customers are encouraged to log onto http://myafn.dodmedia.osd.mil for instructions on making adjustments. A customer service line has been established at the Defense Media Center to guide customers through the process. Technicians are available 24-hours-a-day at (DSN) 312-348-1339 or (Commercial) 001-951-413-2339.

"There is an actual human being manning those phones 24-hours a day," said Lt. Col. Michael T. Lawhorn, American Forces Network-Korea commander. "If you're asked to leave a message, it's because the technicians are helping someone else and they will call you back."

Lawhorn said that he had personally visited the DMC last week and talked with the technicians and supervisors about how important quality service was to the viewers here in Korea.

The decoder adjustments are necessary to receive a better quality signal as the American Forces Radio and Television Service (which runs the DMC) improves its service for viewers in Korea and Japan. Most viewers will be able to accomplish the change relatively quickly.

"MWR cable viewers should have noticed an increase in the quality of the AFN Prime Pacific signal because MWR has already made the switch," said Lawhorn. "Because the signal comes from the same satellite as before, viewers simply have to tell their decoder to grab the new signal instead of the old one."

Customers who have problems adjusting their decoder are highly encouraged to contact technicians at the DMC for assistance before attempting to exchange their decoder. The DMC technician will determine whether the decoder is serviceable. In some cases, customers may need a new decoder but AAFES officials are prepared to assist those who need to make an exchange.

"Customers may go to AAFES stores and switch decoders only after if it is determined that there is a decoder problem. We will gladly make the trade," said Jessie Martinez, AAFES Yongsan main store manager.

AAFES officials want to point out that they are only responsible for the decoders since the equipment is being leased by their customers. Decoders not leased from AAFES are not covered for exchanges. Other equipment such as satellite dishes are not leased items and not covered under any warranties.

Both Lawhorn and AAFES officials emphasized that customers need to go to the My AFN Web site soon to get the right information about this important AFRTS initiative.

"We don't want a single viewer to lose their programming, and we hope no one waits until the last minute," Lawhorn said.

Those who wish to voice concerns may contact AFRTS's customer relations department at affrel@dodmedia.osd.mil.