WTVS, Detroit


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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
WTVS, Detroit on Wikipedia
Detroit Public TV Logo.svg
Detroit, Michigan
United States
BrandingDetroit Public TV
ChannelsDigital: 43 (UHF)
Virtual: 56 (PSIP)
  • .1: PBS
  • .2: PBS Kids
  • .3: Create
  • .4: World
OwnerDetroit Educational Television Foundation
First air dateOctober 3, 1955; 61 years ago (1955-10-03)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 56 (UHF, 1955–2009)
Former affiliationsNET (1955–1970)
Transmitter power600 kW
Height318 m
Facility ID16817
Transmitter coordinates42°26′52″N 83°10′23″W / 42.44778°N 83.17306°W / 42.44778; -83.17306Coordinates: 42°26′52″N 83°10′23″W / 42.44778°N 83.17306°W / 42.44778; -83.17306
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information:Profile

WTVS, UHF digital channel 43 (virtual channel 56), is a PBS member television station located in Detroit, Michigan, United States. The station is owned by the Detroit Educational Television Foundation. WTVS maintains studio facilities and offices located at the Riley Broadcast Center and HD Studios in Wixom,[1] with a satellite studio located at the Maccabees Building in Midtown Detroit;[2] its transmitter is located at 8 Mile and Meyers Road in Oak Park (operating on the same tower as WMYD, channel 20, and WWJ-TV, channel 62).

The station partners with Detroit Public Schools in the management of classical and jazz music station WRCJ-FM (90.9). WTVS is also one of only three Detroit stations that mention Windsor and London, Ontario, Canada as part of its primary service area (alongside WDIV-TV, and WMYD).

On cable, the station is available in standard definition on channel 6 on most cable systems (except on WOW!, where it is carried on channel 3, and Charter Spectrum, where it is carried on either channel 10 or channel 11), channel 56 on AT&T U-verse, and channel 67 on Cogeco's Windsor system, and in high definition on Xfinity channel 240, Cogeco channel 715, and AT&T U-verse channel 1056.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Digital television
    • 2.1 Digital channels
    • 2.2 Analog-to-digital conversion
  • 3 Programming
  • 4 Cable coverage
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


The station first signed on the air on October 3, 1955; WTVS began broadcasting in color in 1968. Previously the studios were at 9345 Lawton in Detroit, along with the studios of WRCJ, before later moving studios to the New Center area of Detroit which are now served for its fixed satellite services.[3][4] WTVS broadcasts its digital signal from the same tower as at a height of 1073 feet (327 m). Prior to the digital TV switchover, WTVS transmitted its signal from a 1,000-foot (300 m) tower located near the intersection of 11 Mile and Inkster Roads in Southfield, along with WMYD (channel 20) and WKBD-TV (channel 50). Today, only WKBD-TV and WPXD-TV (channel 31) broadcast from that tower.

On January 11, 2016, Detroit Public Television announced a partnership with WKAR, the PBS station serving Central Michigan operated by the Michigan State University, in which they will jointly operate a 24-hour children's television service to be carried by both stations.[5]

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Many newer television receivers also list WTVS subchannels 43.177 and 43.193. These subchannels are artifact channels from the UpdateTV service.

WTVS also has plans for a Mobile DTV feed of subchannel 56.1.[7][8]

Analog-to-digital conversion

WTVS became the first public broadcaster in the state of Michigan to offer a digital high-definition feed, launching their simulcast on UHF 43 in October, 2000 (exact date not yet known).[9] The station shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 56, at noon on April 16, 2009; the switchover occurred after a presentation of the national anthems of Canada ("O Canada") and the United States ("The Star-Spangled Banner").[10] WTVS management cited repeated failures of the station's 28-year-old analog transmitter as the reason for ceasing its analog signal on April 16 rather than the June 12 transition date for full-power stations (the analog transmitter had failed seven times between January 1 and April 16 alone). The station's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 43.[11] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 56, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

On October 12, 2009, WTVS upgraded to a new 600 kW transmitter, tripling its effective radiated power and vastly increasing the coverage area of its signal.[12]

On January 13, 2017, WTVS re-organized its digital subchannels when it added PBS Kids as a full-time 24/7 subchannel on 56.2, with PBS World moving to 56.4. This was in part of WTVS' larger plan of launching a statewide PBS Kids subchannel network in partnership with other PBS member stations within the state of Michigan, such as Lansing's WKAR-TV and Flint's WCMZ-TV. On March 8, 2017, WTVS announced it would be moving its digital broadcast frequency from UHF Channel 43 to UHF channel 20 (currently occupied by WHNE-LD Channel 14. It is unknown at this time what frequency WHNE-LD will move to.[13]


Locally produced programming on the station includes Get Up! Get Out, In the Frame: Exploring the DIA, Leaders on Leadership, American Black Journal and Am I Right. WTVS is also a leading producer of fundraising programs for PBS.[citation needed] In the 1990s this station produced Club Connect.

In addition to locally produced programming, Detroit PBS also is the sole creator of all IL VOLO (popular Italian singing group) DVD concerts and related CDs. The Detroit PBS Il Volo concerts were the Oct. 2011 "Il Volo Takes Flight - Live from the Detroit Opera House", the March 2013 Il Volo at the Miami Fillmore - "We Are Love" concert, the March 2013 Il Volo at the Miami Fillmore - "Buon Natale" concert, the June 2015 "Il Volo - Live at Pompeii" concert, and July 2016 Il Volo - "Tribute to the 3 Tenors - in Florence" concert.

Cable coverage

WTVS is carried on most cable television providers in Southeast Michigan, Southwestern Ontario and parts of the British Columbia Southern Interior (WTVS is carried in that province despite the existence of KCTS-TV in Seattle, the PBS member station commonly found in that province). WTVS is one of five Detroit television stations available in Canada on cable through Shaw Broadcast Services and on satellite provider Shaw Direct; it began to be distributed by Cancom (now Shaw Broadcast Services) in 1983 as the PBS station signal for Canadian cable television systems too distant to receive a border station over-the-air. Since then, it had developed a strong base of Canadian viewer support in all provinces and territories.

See also

  • iconTelevision in the United States portal
  • iconMetro Detroit portal
  • Media in Detroit


  1. ^ "Contact Us." WTVS. Retrieved on December 8, 2012. "Contact Us Riley Broadcast Center and HD Studios 1 Clover Court Wixom, MI 48393-2247"
  2. ^ "Detroit Public TV opens Midtown studio." Model D. Tuesday March 22, 2011. Retrieved on December 8, 2012.
  3. ^ "Driving Directions." WTVS. Retrieved on December 8, 2012.
  4. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions." WTVS. February 4, 2005. Retrieved on December 8, 2012. "Detroit Public Television 7441 Second Avenue Detroit, MI 48202"
  5. ^ "WKAR to stay on air, launch 24/7 children's channel with Detroit Public TV". MLive.com. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WTVS
  7. ^ http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=atscmph
  8. ^ http://www.mdtvsignalmap.com/
  9. ^ http://www.michiguide.com/history/tv.html
  10. ^ theSameRetroWindsor (2009-04-16), WTVS - Final Sign Off - April 16, 2009, retrieved 2016-02-11 
  11. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  12. ^ WTVS Detroit Public TV Digital TV information page
  13. ^ http://rabbitears.info/market.php?

External links

  • WTVS official website
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WTVS
  • BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WTVS-TV
  • WTVS TV Channel 56 Detroit (4-27-2005). Michigan's Radio & TV Broadcast Guide.

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