Super Bowl silent in Aspen |

Super Bowl silent in Aspen

Tim Mutrie

An untimely technical glitch left Aspen’s nondigital TCI cable subscribers with shoddy audio reception on Super Bowl Sunday.

The audio problem, which TCI officials hoped to have fixed yesterday, caused excessive background noise during FOX broadcasts, making it necessary to turn the volume up beyond normal levels in order to hear the already distorted audio for the big game.

The glitch left die-hard Broncos fans in local watering holes without the audio portion of the Super Bowl broadcast, though the video of the game came through.

Monday afternoon, TCI general manager Jim Niswender said the audio problem was connected with a microwave station atop Sunlight Mountain in Glenwood Springs, which receives FOX and relays it to viewers in Aspen.

Niswender said FOX was the only channel affected by the audio problem. The problem did not affect downvalley TCI subscribers, he said, because elsewhere in the valley, FOX is received via satellite.

“We’ve called our microwave people that we actually buy the service from,” Niswender said Monday. “At this time, we really don’t know exactly what the problem is, because the microwave station is up on a mountain.

“We are going to take measures to prevent that problem from happening again,” Niswender said. “If we have the opportunity, we’re going to try to pull in FOX off a satellite, so we have more control if something goes wrong in the future.”

Niswender said the answering service that handles calls for the Aspen TCI office on weekends received quite a few calls from viewers Sunday reporting the problem.

“And by that time, it was too dangerous to go up on that mountain at night,” he said. “As soon as day broke, they were getting a maintenance guy up there to check it out.”

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