Blue Ridge PBS

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Blue Ridge PBS
BlueRidgePBSlogo.jpg
Southwestern Virginia
United States
Branding Blue Ridge PBS
Slogan Your Community Resource for Lifelong Learning
Channels Digital: see chart
Subchannels xx.1 PBS
xx.2 PBS Encore/PBS World
xx.3 PBS Kids
Affiliations PBS
Owner Blue Ridge Public Television, Inc.
First air date August 1, 1967; 49 years ago (1967-08-01)
Call letters' meaning see table below
Former affiliations NET (1967–1970)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Class see table below
Facility ID see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Ridge PBS Profile
Ridge PBS CDBS
Website www.blueridgepbs.org/

Blue Ridge PBS is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member station for southwestern Virginia. It serves the Roanoke-Lynchburg market from studios in Roanoke. It formerly also broadcast to the Tri-Cities, Tennessee-Virginia market.

History[edit]

The primary station, WBRA-TV (channel 15) in Roanoke signed on for the first time on August 1, 1967. It claims to be the first all-color educational station in the country. It was originally a member of National Educational Television (NET), before that organization was replaced by PBS in 1970.

Over the years, WBRA established two satellite transmitters — WSBN-TV (channel 47) in Norton was activated in 1971 and WMSY-TV (channel 52) in Marion began operations in 1981. WSBN brought a city-grade PBS signal to the Tri-Cities for the first time; it is carried on the Tri-Cities DirecTV and Dish Network feeds.

In the 1980s, WBRA began identifying on-air as Blue Ridge Public Television, due of its location near the Blue Ridge Mountains. On February 19, 2007, it changed its on-air name to Blue Ridge PBS, though WBRA-TV remains the official call sign.

In March 2013, Blue Ridge PBS announced that it would close both WSBN and WMSY by June 30, 2013, leaving East Tennessee PBS outlet WETP as the sole source of PBS programming in the Tri-Cities. The move came as a result of budget cuts that followed the elimination of Virginia's funding for public broadcasting stations in 2012. However, station president James Baum told The Roanoke Times that there are no plans to tear down the transmitters, leaving the possibility that WSBN and WMSY could return in the future.[1]

On April 13, 2017, the FCC identified Blue Ridge PBS will be compensated $5.2 million for WMSY and nearly $600 thousand for WSBN for both to go permanently off-the-air as part of the Spectrum auction.[2]

Stations[edit]

Station City of license Channels
TV / DT
First air date ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
WBRA-TV Roanoke 15 (PSIP)
3 (VHF)
August 1, 1967 9.8 kW 618 m 5981 37°11′46″N 80°9′17″W / 37.19611°N 80.15472°W / 37.19611; -80.15472 (WBRA-TV)
WSBN-TV1 Norton 47 (PSIP)
32 (UHF)
March 30, 1971 (signed off March 24, 2013) 100 kW 591 m 5985 36°53′53″N 82°37′21″W / 36.89806°N 82.62250°W / 36.89806; -82.62250 (WSBN-TV)
WMSY-TV Marion 52 (PSIP)
42 (UHF)
August 1, 1981 (signed off March 24, 2013) 100 kW 448 m 5982 36°54′7″N 81°32′32″W / 36.90194°N 81.54222°W / 36.90194; -81.54222 (WMSY-TV)

Note:

  • 1. WSBN-TV used the callsign WSVN-TV from its 1971 sign-on to 1983; there is no connection between this station and the current WSVN Channel 7, A Fox affiliate in Miami, Florida.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The digital signals of Blue Ridge PBS' stations are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3][4][5]
15.1 1080i 16:9 WBRA-HD Main programming / PBS (only seen on WBRA's signal)
15.2

47.2

52.2

480i 4:3 SWVAPTV (on WBRA)

WMSY-SD (on WMSY and WSBN)

PBS Encore "SWVA PTV" (Only programming on WSBN and WMSY) (6:00am-6:00pm)/PBS World (6:00pm-6:00am)
15.3 Kids PBS Kids (only seen on WBRA's signal)

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

Blue Ridge PBS' 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:[6]

  • WBRA-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 15; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 3. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 15.
  • WSBN-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 47; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 32. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 47.
  • WMSY-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 52; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 42. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 52, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Berrier Jr., Ralph (March 27, 2013). "Blue Ridge PBS to go dark in far Southwest Virginia". The Roanoke Times. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. April 13, 2017. p. 1. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WBRA
  4. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WSBN
  5. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMSY
  6. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]