Twin Cities Public Television
|St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota
|Channels||Digital: KTCA: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 2.1, 2.2, 2.4 (PSIP)
Digital: KTCI: 23 (UHF)
Virtual: 2.3 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||2.1 tpt-2HD/PBS (KTCA)
2.2 tpt-MN (KTCA)
2.3 tpt-Life (KTCI)
2.4 tpt-WX (KTCA)
23.7 tpt-MN (KTCI)
|Owner||Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.|
|First air date||KTCA: September 16, 1957
KTCI: May 4, 1965
|Call letters' meaning||KTCA: Twin Cities Area|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
2 (VHF, 1957-2009)
17 (UHF, 1965-2009)
16 (UHF, 1999-2010)
|Former affiliations||NET (1957-1970)|
|Transmitter power||KTCA: 662 kW
KTCI: 375 kW
|Height||KTCA: 411.1 m
KTCI: 412.9 m
|Facility ID||KTCA: 68594
|Transmitter coordinates||Both stations:
|Public license information:||/ KTCI-TV Profile
/ KTCI-TV CDBS
Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) is a non-profit organization based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States, that operates the Twin Cities' two Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member Public television stations, KTCA-TV (digital channel 34, PSIP channel 2.1) and KTCI-TV (digital channel 23, PSIP channel 2.3). It produces programs for regional and national television broadcast, operates numerous Web sites, and produces rich media content for Web distribution.
The organization's mission is to "harness the power of television and other media for the public good."
Twin Cities Public Television was incorporated in 1955 as Twin City Area Educational Television.
KTCA (channel 2) began broadcasting as the first non-commercial Public television station in the state on September 16, 1957 from shabby, WWII wooden barracks-type structure on the University of Minnesota Agricultural Campus. The studios and offices were moved in the '60 to what was known as the Minnesota Statehood Centennial Memorial Building for Education Television, at 1640 Como Avenue in Saint Paul. (Incidentally, that building now houses another Twin Cities commercial television station-WUCW, channel 23.) KTCA's first program was "Exploring Science". A second station, KTCI (channel 17), was launched on May 4, 1965. Channel 17 was originally assigned to the Tedesco Brothers in the early 1950s to be a Commercial broadcasting station, WCOW-TV (see KDWB) affiliated with the DuMont network, but this station never made it to air. In 1967, KTCA became the first educational television station in the United States to broadcast in color, then in 1977, it changed its corporate name to the current Twin Cities Public Television.
On September 16, 1999, the stations began their first digital television broadcasts, which by then were originating from their current building at 172 4th Street East in downtown Saint Paul. In 2000, KTCA and KTCI were rebranded tpt2 and tpt17, paving the way for the larger family of digital broadcast services to come. In August 2003, TPT became the first broadcaster in Minnesota to launch a channel, tptHD, fully devoted to high-definition programming, and on September 16, 2005 the organization launched a full-time digital channel, tptMN, devoted entirely to local and regional programs.
In December 2005, the organization began distributing many of its productions online, making programs available through iTunes, Google Video, and Yahoo! Podcasts among others. Its website, features streaming video as well as video podcasts. In 2007, TPT also plans to begin offering Video-On-Demand (VOD) thorough local cable providers.
KTCA's Nielsen ratings are among the highest of any PBS station in the country.
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TPT is one of the few public television organizations that regularly produces programs for the national PBS schedule. Major productions include The New Medicine (2006), Suze Orman: The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life (2004),The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's (January 21, 2004), Benjamin Franklin (November 19-20, 2002), Seth Eastman: Painting the Dakota (2002), American High (April 4, 2001), Organizing from the Inside out with Julie Morgansterm (June 2, 2000), Transistorized (November 8, 1999), American Photography: A Century of Images (October 13, 1999), Jane Goodall: Reason for Hope (October 27, 1999), Liberty! The American Revolution (November 1997–2004), Hoop Dreams (1995), and Grant Wood's America (1985). In addition, TPT has produced the children's science series Newton's Apple (October 15, 1983–January 3, 1998) DragonflyTV (January 19, 2002–January 31, 2009), and SciGirls (February 6, 2010–present). Other series included Right On The Money and Alive From Off Center Make: television, produced in collaboration with Make magazine premiered on PBS stations and on the web in January 2009.
TPT also regularly produces programs exclusively for and about Minnesota and the surrounding region. Its Friday night public-affairs program Almanac, has been aired weekly for more than 20 years. Other significant local productions include numerous concerts with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota: A History of the Land (2005), North Star: Minnesota's Black Pioneers (2004), the series Don't Believe The Hype (10 seasons), Seth Eastman: Painting the Dakota (2001), Death of the Dream: Farmhouses in the Heartland (2000), the series Tape's Rolling, Wacipi-Powow (1995), Lost Twin Cities (1995), The Dakota Conflict (1994), Iron Range: A People's History (1994), and How to Talk Minnesotan (1992).
The Minnesota Channel
The Minnesota Channel (tptMN) is a full-time statewide network originating at Twin Cities Public Television and carried on digital subchannels of nine stations. It features programming related to Minnesota and Wisconsin, including ethnic and public-affairs programming.
In early 2003, TPT began setting aside time on KTCI for the "Minnesota Channel", an evening dedicated to local and regional related programming, which expanded to a full-time digital channel on September 16, 2005. The Minnesota Channel was expanded region-wide in Minnesota and North Dakota in February 2008.
The stations' digital channels are multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|KTCA-DT 2.1||1080i||16:9||tpt 2||Main KTCA-TV programming / PBS|
|480i||4:3||tpt MN||Minnesota Channel|
|KTCI-DT 2.3||tptLife||Main KTCI-TV programming / PBS|
|KTCA-DT 2.4||tpt Wx||Weather radar and NWS audio KEC65|
KTCA-DT and KTCI-DT began broadcasting on channels 16 and 34 on September 16, 1999.
TPT rearranged the on-air lineup on February 18, 2009. TPT continued to use both KTCA-DT and KTCI-DT's transmitter, but shut down the separate tpt17 service and unified all over-the-air channels as virtual subchannels of 2. KTCA-TV & KTCI-TV shut down their analog signals, respectively over VHF & UHF channels 2 & 17, at 9 a.m. on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. Both stations' digital signals remained on their pre-transition UHF channels 34 & 16. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display KTCA-TV's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.1 & KTCI-TV's virtual channel as 2.3.
Subchannels 2.1, 2.2 and 2.4 broadcast through KTCA-DT's transmitter while 2.3 and 23.7 broadcasts through KTCI-DT's transmitter. Some of the bandwidth on KTCI-DT is being reserved for future broadcast services or to lease to commercial interests. During severe weather, KTCA Channel 2.4 airs a live broadcast from NOAA Weather Radio station KEC65.
The then-new channel lineup was originally meant to coincide with the DTV transition. When the transition's mandatory cutoff was delayed, TPT announced the new lineup would still go forward and they would continue their analog service until the new cutoff. Until then KTCA-TV simulcasted tpt 2 and KTCI-TV simulcasted tptLife on their analog signals.
Transmission Technical Data
- RabbitEars TV Query for KTCA
- RabbitEars TV Query for KTCI
- Twin Cities Public Television | Digital Channels Update
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Geneva Collins (2005-03-14). "TPT gives area nonprofits a voice on Minnesota Channel". Current. Retrieved 2006-02-20.
- Twin Cities Public Television
- Minnesota Channel
- RabbitEars.info website - KTCA
- RabbitEars.info website - KTCI
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KTCA
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KTCI
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KTCA-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KTCI-TV