Idaho Public Television

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Idaho Public Television
Idaho PBS Logo.svg
statewide Idaho
United States
ChannelsDigital: See below
BrandingIdaho Public Television PBS
OwnerState of Idaho
(State Board of Education, State of Idaho)
FoundedSeptember 6, 1965
First air date
See below
NET (1965–1970)
Technical information
Facility IDSee below
ERPSee below
HAATSee below
Transmitter coordinatesSee below

Idaho Public Television (also known as IdahoPTV and Idaho Public TV) is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member network serving the U.S. state of Idaho. Consisting of five television stations, it is operated and funded by the Idaho State Board of Education, an agency of the Idaho state government that holds the licenses to all PBS member stations in the state. The network is headquartered in Boise, with satellite studios at the University of Idaho in Moscow and Idaho State University in Pocatello.

Funding for Idaho Public Television comes from three major sources. 65% of funding comes from private contributions and an annual grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 31% is provided by the State of Idaho. 4% is provided by the Federal Government.[1]


The network's first station, KUID-TV, signed on from the UI campus in September 1965.[2] KBGL-TV signed on in July 1971 from ISU in Pocatello, followed that December by KAID-TV in Boise, licensed to Boise State University. After a decade, KBGL changed its call letters to KISU-TV in 1981. The three stations shared many programs, but were largely operated independently at first. However, in 1981, two KUID-produced documentaries—one about logging practices, another about lead exposure—caused such an outcry that the state legislature yanked nearly all funding for public television.[3] Citing budget restrictions in early 1981, the state legislature cut 90% of the state funding for public television,[4] and the stations relied on federal funding and private donations.[5] A year later, the legislature ordered the merger of the three stations into a single network.[6][7] The licenses for all three stations were transferred to the state board of education.[8] Two other stations in Coeur d'Alene and Twin Falls were added in 1992.

In 2001, Idaho PTV began broadcasting its HD channel, KAID HD, using the default PBS HD schedule. Once the digital switchover had occurred in July 2009 and after a two-year acclimation process, the main HD channel became the home of the regular IdahoPTV schedule in August 2011, and the second standard definition channel was converted from the regular IdahoPTV schedule into a "Plus" subchannel, featuring an alternate schedule of programming.[9]


Combined, the five stations and their extensive translator network reach almost all of Idaho, as well as parts of Washington, Montana, and Oregon. The north Idaho stations of Coeur d'Alene and Moscow are in the Pacific Time Zone, while the south Idaho stations of Boise, Twin Falls, and Pocatello are in the Mountain Time Zone.

Station City of license1 Channels
(RF / VC)
First air date Call letters'
ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Public license information
(Flagship station)
Boise 21 (UHF)
4 (PSIP)
December 31, 1971 (48 years ago) (1971-12-31) Ada County, IDaho
(county where Boise is based)
725 kW 858 m (2,815 ft) 62442 43°45′20.8″N 116°5′57″W / 43.755778°N 116.09917°W / 43.755778; -116.09917 (KAID) Profile
KCDT Coeur d'Alene 18 (UHF)
26 (PSIP)
September 22, 1992 (28 years ago) (1992-09-22) Coeur
54.7 kW
50 kW (CP)
465 m (1,526 ft) 62424 47°43′53.6″N 116°43′50.6″W / 47.731556°N 116.730722°W / 47.731556; -116.730722 (KCDT) Profile
KIPT Twin Falls 22 (UHF)
13 (PSIP)
January 1992 (28 years ago) (1992-01)2 Idaho
77.98 kW 181.9 m (597 ft) 62427 42°43′45.9″N 114°24′56.5″W / 42.729417°N 114.415694°W / 42.729417; -114.415694 (KIPT) Profile
KISU-TV3 Pocatello 17 (UHF)
10 (PSIP)
July 7, 1971 (49 years ago) (1971-07-07) Idaho
189 kW 451.1 m (1,480 ft) 62430 43°30′3.6″N 112°39′43.9″W / 43.501000°N 112.662194°W / 43.501000; -112.662194 (KISU-TV) Profile
KUID-TV Moscow 12 (VHF)4
12 (PSIP)
September 6, 1965 (55 years ago) (1965-09-06) University of IDaho 78 kW 339.7 m (1,115 ft) 62382 46°40′54″N 116°58′17″W / 46.68167°N 116.97139°W / 46.68167; -116.97139 (KUID-TV) Profile
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX


  • 1. Aside from their transmitters, KCDT and KIPT do not maintain any physical presence in their cities of license.
  • 2. The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says KIPT signed on January 18, while the Television and Cable Factbook says it signed on January 17.
  • 3. KISU-TV used the call sign KBGL-TV from its 1971 sign-on until December 7, 1981. (The ISU athletic teams are the Bengals.)
  • 4. KUID-TV was on analog channel 12 until its digital channel signed on; the analog signal was moved to Channel 35, which had previously been assigned as KUID's digital allocation.

Digital television[edit]

Digital subchannels[edit]

The digital signals of IdahoPTV's stations are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[10][11][12][13][14]
xx.1 1080i 16:9 IDPTVHD Main PBS programming
xx.2 480i 4:3 PLUS IdahoPTV PLUS
xx.3 LEARN Learn (12 a.m.-6 a.m.)
Create (6 a.m.-12 a.m.)
xx.4 WORLD World
xx.5 Kids PBS Kids

Plus, originally launched in high definition, carried same-day repeats of HD content packaged and distributed by PBS. In 2011 Plus switched to standard definition to differentiate its content from the primary channel, as well as to establish a place for higher-rated programs in standard definition.[9]

Plus is a "best of" channel with nightly themes. Sunday's theme is history programming while Mondays is local content and exploration. Tuesdays' theme is science, Wednesdays, drama; Thursdays, British comedies; Fridays, natural history; and Saturdays, performance.[9]

By investing $250,000 for new encoders and a multiplexer, Idaho Public Television plans to switch Plus back to high definition in July 2017. The new equipment will allow running two HD channels and three SD widescreen channels, one of which will be PBS Kids.[15]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

IdahoPTV's stations shut down their analog signals 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. The station's digital channel allocations post-transition are as follows:[16]

  • KAID shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 21. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.
  • KCDT shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 26; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 45. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 26.
  • KIPT shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 22. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 13.
  • KISU-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 17. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 10.
  • KUID-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 35; the station's digital signal broadcasts on its pre-transition VHF channel 12.


Idaho Public Television has a network of digital low power translators across Idaho:

KCDT – Coeur D' Alene, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 26.x by PSIP)

KAID – Boise, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 4.x by PSIP)

KIPT – Twin Falls, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 13.x by PSIP)

KISU-TV – Pocatello, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 10.x by PSIP)

KUID-TV – Moscow, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 12.x by PSIP)


  1. ^ By The Numbers - 2018
  2. ^ "Education TV station opens". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). September 3, 1965. p. 14.
  3. ^ Snow, Ruth (October 20, 2001). "IPTV could shift back into university control". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). p. 10A.
  4. ^ "Public TV report due". Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. July 14, 1981. p. 9.
  5. ^ "Public TV funds sought". Spokane Daily Chronicle. UPI. September 10, 1981. p. 3.
  6. ^ "Idaho PBS future fuzzy". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. February 8, 1982. p. 8.
  7. ^ "Idaho public TV hot issue". Spokane Daily Chronicle. UPI. February 8, 1992. p. 5.
  8. ^ "Idaho public TV stations to have single manager". Spokane Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. April 6, 1982. p. 5.
  9. ^ a b c Sefton, Dru (June 11, 2012). "Multicasts tailored to local priorities". Current. American University SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  10. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KAID
  11. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KCDT
  12. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KIPT
  13. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KISU
  14. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KUID
  15. ^ Sefton, Dru (15 January 2017). "Launch of PBS Kids streaming channel reshapes multicast lineups". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  16. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  17. ^

External links[edit]