WGBX-TV

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WGBX-TV
WGBX44.png
Boston, Massachusetts
Branding WGBX 44
Channels Digital: 43 (UHF)
Virtual: 44 (PSIP)
Affiliations PBS
Owner WGBH Educational Foundation
First air date September 25, 1967
Call letters' meaning Great
Blue
EXperimental (supposedly)
(referring to WGBH's transmitter, all WGBH television stations include these two letters)
Sister station(s) WGBH-TV, WGBY, WGBH, WCAI, WCRB
Former channel number(s) Analog:
44 (UHF, 1967–2009)
Former affiliations NET (1967–1970)
Transmitter power 500 kW
Height 391 m
Facility ID 72098
Transmitter coordinates 42°18′37″N 71°14′14″W / 42.31028°N 71.23722°W / 42.31028; -71.23722
Website wgbh.org

WGBX-TV, virtual channel 44 (UHF digital channel 43), is a non-commercial educational PBS member television station located in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The station is owned by the WGBH Educational Foundation, and is a sister station to fellow Boston area PBS member station WGBH-TV (channel 2), Springfield, Massachusetts-based PBS station WGBY-TV (channel 57) and Boston area public radio stations WGBH (FM) and WCRB, and WCAI radio (and satellites WZAI and WNAN) in Cape Cod. WGBX's studios are located on Guest Street in Boston, and its transmitter is located in Needham, Massachusetts.

The station airs PBS programs that are not aired by WGBH-TV as well as additional supplemental programming. Reruns of the previous night's programming either from WGBH-TV or from WGBX-TV itself also makes up part of channel 44's programming schedule. WGBX also carries the digital subchannels owned by the WGBH Educational Foundation; this enables WGBH to maintain a full 1080i high definition picture resolution on its main channel 2 signal, without any loss in visual quality.

History[edit]

The station initially existed as a construction permit for WJDW-TV, a commercial station co-owned by television producer Jack Wrather and his business partner, Maria Helen Alvarez. In 1965, Wrather and Alvarez donated the license to WGBH Educational Foundation, in which WGBH used to launch its secondary educational station. WGBX-TV first signed on the air on September 25, 1967; its transmitter has been located in Needham (on a broadcast tower that is now operated by CBS Corporation, and is used by some of the Boston markets' commercial television stations, including CBS-owned WBZ-TV), WGBX's current digital transmitter shares the master antenna at the very top of the tower with the commercial stations. The now defunct analog signal maintained a separate antenna on a lower portion of the tower that was shared with WGBH's digital transmitter.

The X in its callsign stands for "Experimental", as WGBX (more primarily in the 1970s) was home to programming that was given a trial run on the lower-rated UHF signal before possibly moving onto the more-established WGBH-TV. Such Eastern Educational Network imports from the United Kingdom as Doctor Who were seen first or more frequently on WGBX, and one late 1970s local "nightclub"-style variety show, Club 44, proved popular enough to be moved over to WGBH and retitled The Club.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
44.1 1080i 16:9 WGBX-HD Main WGBX programming / PBS
2.2 480i 4:3 World World
44.3 Create Create
44.4 Kids PBS Kids

PBS World moved from digital subchannel 41.2 to 2.2 in the spring of 2012, possibly temporarily due to damage to their primary transmitter.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WGBX-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 44, on April 23, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 43.[2] Through the use of PSIP digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 44.

References[edit]

External links[edit]