||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
|Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|Channels||Digital: 50 (UHF)
Virtual: 31 (PSIP)
|Translators||W48AV 48 Detroit|
|Owner||Ion Media Networks, Inc.
(Ion Media License Company, LLC)
|First air date||January 12, 1981|
|Call letters' meaning||PaX TV Detroit
(Reference to former affiliation)
|Former callsigns||WRHT / WIHT (1981-1989)
|Former channel number(s)||31 (UHF analog 1981-2009)
33 (UHF digital, 200?-2009)
31 (UHF digital, 2009-2012)
|Former affiliations||independent / Satellite Program Network / Financial News Network / IT (1981-1983)
Pax TV (1998-2005)
|Transmitter power||345 kW|
|Height||328 metres (1,076 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
Digital programming 
WPXD formerly broadcast on digital channel 31 (having converted their digital transmitter from their original analog channel after the latter closed on February 17, 2009). Its broadcast is multiplexed into four digital subchannels. WPXD started broadcasting on actual channel 50 from Southfield, Michigan on January 31, 2012, and would shut down its transmitter on RF channel 31 from Chelsea on August 20, 2012. WPXD suddenly ended its transmissions on DTV channel 50 less than two days after the channel 50 signal was first observed. As of March 31, 2012, WPXD was still broadcasting its digital signal only on channel 31 from its original site. At some point on May 23, 2012, the station again turned on its transmitter on UHF 50 but ceased transmission the following day. The station migrated to UHF 50 and moved from Lyndon Township (near Chelsea and Ann Arbor) to WKBD-TV's tower in Southfield on July 24, 2012.
W48AV translator 
The station also operates a translator station in St. Clair Shores, Michigan on channel 48, W48AV. W48AV currently has an application to flash-cut to digital and become a low-power digital translator station. Currently, the station is still broadcasting the primary digital ION feed (31.1) in analog, though experiences some co-channel interference from Toledo's WMNT-CA, also on 48.
Combined coverage 
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) coverage maps for both WPXD and W48AV (, ), neither the main WPXD signal nor the W48AV translator covers the entire Metro Detroit area. WPXD's main signal partially reaches Detroit, while its W48AV translator, on the shores of Lake St. Clair near the Grosse Pointes, is directional towards the west, covering Warren and Center Line and going as far west as Madison Heights, but only covering a small portion of northeastern Detroit.
Moving to Southfield 
During October 2008, the FCC accepted the station's petition to move its digital signal on the national transition date to channel 19, broadcasting at 1000 kilowatts from WKBD's tower in Southfield, vastly increasing its service area in the Metro Detroit and Windsor areas. But on March 20, 2009, the FCC and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) denied WPXD's application to move the channel 19 allocation from Ann Arbor to Detroit and to broadcast from WKBD-TV's tower in Southfield, in order to protect CKXT-DT-2 in London, Ontario, also on channel 19. As the Canadian government ended up rejecting the channel switch, so WPXD had remained on Channel 31.
On or about May 11, 2009, a new application to modify a digital allotment was posted in the FCC database, in which WPXD would broadcast its digital signal on channel 50 from WKBD-TV's tower in Southfield at 345 kW. The FCC and the Canadian government have approved this allotment. It would bar further objection the station will eventually move to this new location. On October 21, 2009, the FCC granted a construction permit for the construction of WPXD's channel 50 Southfield facilities. WPXD believes the stronger signal will reach an additional 1.8 million viewers.
CKXT itself had left the air for good on November 1, 2011, potentially rendering the question of co-channel interference moot.
At some point on January 31, 2012, the station moved its primary transmitter to WKBD-TV's tower in Southfield on UHF 50, when it began testing on its new transmitter there in Southfield, keeping its UHF 31 transmitter in Chelsea operation as a temporary fill-in transmitter. The channel 50 transmitter, however, without warning, ended transmissions less than two days later, leaving only its channel 31 digital signal and its channel 48 analog translator (W48AV). On May 23, 2012, the station again turned on its transmitter on UHF 50, in addition to 31-1, 31-2 and 31-3, but ceased transmission the following day. On Tuesday, July 24, 2012, WPXD had finally moved permanently to Southfield on WKBD-TV's tower, broadcasting on UHF 50. The transmitter in Chelsea remained active until noon on August 20, 2012, though starting on the morning of August 6, 2012, the Chelsea transmitter replaced ION programming with SMPTE colour bars and a scrolling message regarding this "technical change", noting for viewers to re-scan their converter boxes and sets and aim their antennas towards Southfield.
Analog transmitter 
WPXD's analog transmitter was located on Highway M-52 in Lyndon Township, Michigan located in Washtenaw County seven miles north of the town of Chelsea, Michigan. The analog transmitter was actually closer to Lansing and Jackson than it was to Detroit, and was 55 miles from downtown Detroit. (Comcast systems in Lansing and Jackson get their Ion programming from Battle Creek's WZPX, however.) WPXD's analog signal could be picked up as far away as St. Johns, Flint, and Owosso, with its fringes making it close to Battle Creek, Coldwater and Toledo. WPXD's analog antenna was 1,079 feet in height.
Digital transition 
WPXD's pre-transition digital channel assignment was 33 using a relatively low wattage (110 kW). The channel 33 digital signal originated from the same transmitter location as the analog channel 31 signal in Lyndon Township, interfering with Detroit's W33BY a low-power Class-A station currently on channel 33. The initial plan was to go back to channel 31 after its analog cutoff on February 17, 2009.
Although the DTV Delay Act officially delayed the shutdown of analog stations until June 2009, WPXD turned off its analog signal on February 17 as originally planned. WPXD was the only Detroit market station that was allowed to go fully digital on February 17.
Three years after WKBD-TV shut down its analog signal on channel 50 after nearly 45 years, WPXD was finally able to move its digital signal to the channel 50 allocation in Southfield on July 24, 2012.
Former callsigns 
As WRHT 
The station signed on as WRHT on January 13, 1981 as an independent station. The first program it aired was, oddly enough, a basketball game between Texas Tech and Baylor, picked up from the TVS Television Network, a nationwide sports syndication network. This was done largely to test the satellite equipment, which would be utilized further after the switch to In-Home Theatre (see below).
Most of TV31's early programming, as WRHT and the later WIHT, was either locally produced or outsourced by other production companies; it also carried live news from cable financial network FNN (now known as CNBC), as well as some programs from the Satellite Program Network.
As WIHT 
WRHT's callsign was changed to WIHT on February 1, 1981; IHT stood for "In-Home Theater", more commonly known as IT, an over-the-air subscription pay-TV service. WXON, Channel 20 in Detroit offered a similar service, ONTV, at that time; but unlike ON-TV, which was generally limited to evening hours, IT's programming was broadcast over WIHT at least 14 hours each day, and had a wider selection of movies. However, while IT was available in Lansing, Jackson and Flint, it was not available in the eastern Detroit suburbs or Windsor, Ontario, due to the transmitter's location and signal power.
As WBSX 
Channel 31 was purchased by Blackstar television and their call letters changed to WBSX on July 14, 1989; local/syndicated programming was phased out in favor of home shopping programming. On February 4, 1998, Paxson Communications of Palm Beach, Florida (now Ion Media Networks) purchased WBSX to be part of a new "family network" called PAX (renamed to i in July 2005 and Ion Television on January 29, 2007) and changed its call letters to WPXD-TV and moved it from its offices in Ann Arbor, to a location in downtown Detroit, before moving back to its office in Ann Arbor.
See also 
- "CDBS Print". Fjallfoss.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in regard to WPXD
- "FCC Ruling Docket 08-101" (pdf). Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 2000-03-20. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "FCC info WPXD". Fjallfoss.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- "List of stations turning off their analog signals before or on February 17th". Federal Communications Commission. p. 13. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- FCC's TV station database for WHTV
- Radio-Info: "RETRO: Detroit, Monday 7/6/1981", November 22, 2009.
- Per TV Guide ads at Vintage Toledo TV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WPXD
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WPXD-TV