|Branding||PBS Kansas Public Television (general)|
PBS Kansas (alternate)
PBS Kansas Explore (DT2)
PBS Kansas Create (DT3)
PBS Kansas Kids 24/7 (DT4)
PBS Kansas Kids (alternate; DT4)
|Affiliations||8.1: PBS (1970–present)|
8.2: PBS Explore
8.4: PBS Kids
|Owner||Kansas Public Telecommunications Service, Inc.|
First air date
|January 5, 1970|
Former channel number(s)
8 (VHF, 1970–2009)
29 (UHF, 2003–2009)
|NET (January–October 1970)|
Call sign meaning
|Kansas Public Telecommunications Service|
|HAAT||244 m (801 ft)|
|Translator(s)||17 (UHF) Wichita (city)|
Public license information
KPTS (channel 8) is a PBS member television station licensed to Hutchinson, Kansas, United States, serving the Wichita area. It is owned by Kansas Public Telecommunications Service, Inc., a non-profit educational organization. KPTS' studios are located on East 32nd Street in northeastern Wichita.
The station broadcasts from two over-the-air transmitters—its main tower is located in northeastern Reno County (east of Hutchinson), and its signal is relayed on a fill-in low-power translator station on UHF channel 17 in south Park City for the Wichita metro area. In addition to the translator, CSN International translator K204DQ (88.7 FM) transmits its signal at this site.
In June 1965, the Garvey Foundation purchased a transmitter site in Hutchinson, with the intent to start a non-commercial educational television station. Shortly afterward, on July 21, 1965, the Sunflower Educational Television Corporation was chartered to start a public television station for the Wichita market. A year later, the SETC's board of trustees filed for a construction permit with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a non-commercial educational license on VHF channel 8, which was eventually assigned KPTS as its call letters.
The station first signed on the air on January 5, 1970; for its first ten months on the air, it served as a member station of National Educational Television (NET), before becoming a member of PBS when it launched on October 6, 1970. In 1978, Sunflower Educational Television Corporation was reorganized as the Kansas Public Telecommunications Service. In 1980, the station moved to its second studio facility at 320 West 21st Street North in Wichita.
In January 2021, KPTS transitioned to a new name, PBS Kansas Public Television. The move highlights how PBS Kansas serves the majority of Kansas residents. The station moved to its current studio building on East 32nd Street North a year later.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|8.1||1080i||16:9||KPTS-HD||Main KPTS programming / PBS|
|8.2||720p||Explore||PBS Kansas Explore|
|8.3||480i||Create||PBS Kansas Create|
|8.4||KPTSKID||PBS Kansas Kids 24/7|
KPTS signed on its digital signal on channel 8 at 10 a.m. February 16, 2008. The station shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8, on January 5, 2009. One month later on February 18, the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 29 to VHF channel 8.
Due to reception problems that occurred after the transition due to the short height of its previous transmitter tower near Buhler and the fact that the transmitter operated at a lower power that limited the station's coverage area, resulting in signal loss issues – especially in areas of lower terrain located south and east of Wichita, KPTS began raising funds to sign on a fill-in translator from a tower north of Wichita in 2011. Plans called for construction on the tower to begin in the summer of 2013 with the translator signing on by September; however, these plans were delayed due to frequent occurrences of record rainfall during July and August. The translator began operating on November 8, 2013.
- "KPTS - History". Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
- "RabbitEars TV Query for KPTS". rabbitears.info. Retrieved November 26, 2021.
- "KPTS - About Digital TV". Archived from the original on May 19, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2009.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- FCC Document
- "Records falling with the rain in Wichita". The Wichita Eagle. July 29, 2013.
- "Only one August has seen more rain in Wichita". The Wichita Eagle. August 13, 2013.
- Photos of KPTS Tower Project in 2013.