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ThinkTV Logo.png
Dayton, Ohio
United States
BrandingThinkTV 16
SloganImagine. Discover. Experience.
ChannelsDigital: 35 (UHF)
Virtual: 16 (PSIP)
TranslatorsW32DS-D Maplewood
Affiliations16.1: PBS
16.2: Again
16.3: Life
16.4: Ohio Channel/World
16.5: PBS Kids
OwnerPublic Media Connect
LicenseeGreater Dayton Public Television, Inc.
First air dateMarch 8, 1972 (47 years ago) (1972-03-08)
Call sign meaningWatch Public Television Dayton[1]
Sister station(s)WPTO, WCET
Former call signs
  • WKTR-TV (1967–1971)
  • WOET-TV (1972–1977)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 16 (UHF, 1972–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 58 (UHF, 2003–2009)
  • 16 (UHF, 2009–2019)
  • Translators:
  • 17 W17AA Celina (until 2011)
  • 63 W63AH Maplewood (until 2009)
Former affiliations
Transmitter power250 kW
Height345 m (1,132 ft)
Facility ID25067
Transmitter coordinates39°43′16″N 84°15′0″W / 39.72111°N 84.25000°W / 39.72111; -84.25000Coordinates: 39°43′16″N 84°15′0″W / 39.72111°N 84.25000°W / 39.72111; -84.25000
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile
Oxford/Cincinnati, Ohio
United States
BrandingThinkTV 14
Slogansee WPTD infobox
ChannelsDigital: 29 (UHF)
Virtual: 14 (PSIP)
Affiliations14.1/14.5: PBS
14.2: Prime
14.3: PBS Kids
14.4: World/Ohio Channel
OwnerPublic Media Connect
LicenseeGreater Dayton Public Television, Inc.
First air dateOctober 14, 1959 (60 years ago) (1959-10-14)
Call sign meaningWatch Public Television Oxford[1]
Sister station(s)WPTD, WCET
Former call signsWMUB-TV (1959–1977)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 14 (UHF, 1959–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 28 (UHF, 2004–2019)
Former affiliationsNET (1959–1970)
Transmitter power253 kW (STA)
535 kW (CP)
Height265 m (869 ft) (STA)
279 m (915 ft) (CP)
Facility ID25065
Transmitter coordinates39°7′27″N 84°31′18″W / 39.12417°N 84.52167°W / 39.12417; -84.52167 (WPTO)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

WPTD, virtual channel 16 (UHF digital channel 35), is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Dayton, Ohio, United States. The station's transmitter is located near South Gettysburg Avenue in the Highview Hills neighborhood in southwest Dayton. Its signal is relayed by translator station W32DS-D in Maplewood, Ohio.

WPTD has a sister station, WPTO, virtual channel 14 (UHF digital channel 29), also a PBS member. Licensed to Oxford, WPTO is a secondary PBS station for the Cincinnati market, alongside that city's primary PBS outlet, WCET (channel 48). WPTO's transmitter is located in the Clifton Heights neighborhood of downtown Cincinnati.

Together, WPTD and WPTO are known as the ThinkTV Network (stylized as ThinkTV): WPTD is ThinkTV 16, and WPTO is ThinkTV 14. Despite shared branding, WPTO is not a satellite of WPTD; the two stations are separately programmed, with almost no overlap, except during pledge drives. ThinkTV is a subsidiary of Public Media Connect, a regional non-profit company, which also owns WCET. Master control and internal operations for all three stations are at ThinkTV's facility on South Jefferson Street in downtown Dayton.[2]

WPTD's broadcast coverage includes much of southwestern Ohio, including Dayton and Cincinnati, and parts of eastern Indiana. Most of WPTO's coverage area, which is smaller, overlaps WPTD's; WPTO's is concentrated in the extreme southwest corner of Ohio, providing a stronger signal to Cincinnati than to Dayton. Both stations are available on Charter Communications' cable television service throughout southwestern Ohio, though some providers may offer only WPTD's digital subchannels or WPTO's, depending on their location.


WPTD first signed on the air on April 24, 1972 as WOET-TV (standing for "Ohio Educational Television"); it was operated by the Ohio Educational Broadcasting Network Commission (OEB). Prior to the station's launch, the channel 16 frequency in Dayton was occupied by a commercial independent and sometime ABC-affiliated station, WKTR-TV.[3] That station was owned by Kitty Hawk Television Corporation and licensed to Kettering when it began broadcasting in April 1967. It went dark February 27, 1971, but returned to the air with a limited schedule from April until October while the license transfer to OEB was pending Federal Communications Commission approval. The FCC formally reallocated the frequency as non-commercial September 14, 1977.

WPTO began broadcasting on October 14, 1959 as WMUB-TV, operated by Miami University. The call letters matched those of then co-owned WMUB radio, and stood for "Miami University Broadcasting". It was the secondary educational station in the Cincinnati area, alongside future sister WCET.

The two stations joined forces in 1975 under the banner of University Regional Broadcasting, a consortium of Miami, Wright State and Central State universities. WMUB-TV served as the primary station for a year, until WOET-TV became the primary station in 1976. In 1977, the stations were transferred to a new community organization, Greater Dayton Public Television, and received their current callsigns, with WOET-TV becoming WPTD and WMUB-TV becoming WPTO.

From the creation of University Regional Broadcasting onward, the secondary station operated as a semi-satellite of the primary station, only rarely airing different, usually local public affairs-type, programs. This situation existed until cable television began to become widely available in Cincinnati and Dayton. As cable availability rose, Greater Dayton Public Television began to differentiate its stations' programming gradually, with the stations eventually becoming separately programmed.

The stations rebranded themselves as the ThinkTV Network in 1998, though the legal name remained Greater Dayton Public Television.

On October 31, 2008, Greater Dayton Public Television and the Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation (CET), owner of WCET, announced plans to merge their resources into one non-profit organization serving all of Southwest Ohio, while maintaining separate identities.[4] The merger completed on May 8, 2009 with the formation of Public Media Connect, Inc. Both ThinkTV and CET operate as subsidiaries under the new organization.[5] The merger resulted in the July 2010 transfer of WCET's master control operations to ThinkTV's facilities in Dayton.[2]

The ThinkTV channels and WCET were off the air (and not available through any other providers) from just after 4 p.m. on July 5 until 11:40 a.m. on July 9, 2019 due to the failure of a multiplexer in the master control power supply at ThinkTV in downtown Dayton.[6][7]

On November 15, 2019, per an agreement with Greater Dayton Public Television, WHIO-TV (channel 7), which had suffered a transmitter failure on November 5, requested special temporary authority from the FCC to transmit its main (CBS) subchannel over WPTD's subchannel 16.2, displacing the "16 Again" service.[8][9][10] On November 18, subchannel 16.2 began broadcasting WHIO-TV programming.[11] On November 21, WHIO-TV repaired its transmitter and normal content was restored to subchannel 16.2.[12]

Digital television[edit]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

On May 1, 2003, ThinkTV marked the beginning of its conversion to digital technology with the introduction of four new digital program services and a digital simulcast channel for WPTD. WPTD originally operated its digital signal on UHF channel 58. One year later in May 2004, ThinkTV entered phase two of its digital conversion with the installation of new digital master control equipment and the introduction of new digital channels for WPTO. WPTO operated its digital signal on UHF channel 28, broadcasting from Cincinnati.

During this period, the digital channels were 16.2 (ThinkTV 16 DT), 16.3 (ThinkTV 16 Again), 16.4 (ThinkTV 16 Create), 16.5 (ThinkTV 16 Ohio) and 16.6 (ThinkTV HD) for WPTD; and 14.2 (ThinkTV 14 DT), 14.3 (ThinkTV 14 Prime), 14.4 (ThinkTV 14 Learn, carrying PBS Kids and college telecourses), 14.5 (ThinkTV 14 World) and 14.6 (ThinkTV HD). Neither WPTD nor WPTO had an x.1 subchannel; the x.2 subchannels matched their respective analog channels; also, 16.6 and 14.6 carried identical PBS HD programming, which was distinct from the separate analog programming on WPTD and on WPTO.

On May 1, 2009, just over one month before full-power television stations in the United States were scheduled to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate, WPTD shut down its analog signal over UHF channel 16 and WPTO shut down its analog signal, broadcasting from Oxford, over UHF channel 14. WPTD's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 58, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era UHF channel 16; WPTO's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 28, continuing to broadcast from Cincinnati,[13] using PSIP to display WPTO's virtual channel as 14 on digital television receivers.

On the same day, the subchannels were realigned. On WPTD: ThinkTV 16 HD on 16.1, ThinkTV 16 Again on 16.2, ThinkTV 16 Create on 16.3, ThinkTV 16 Ohio on 16.4, and ThinkTV 16 DT (a standard-definition simulcast of 16.1) on 16.5. On WPTO: ThinkTV 14 HD on 14.1, ThinkTV 14 Prime on 14.2, ThinkTV 14 Learn on 14.3, ThinkTV 14 World on 14.4, and ThinkTV 14 DT (a standard-definition simulcast of 14.1) on 14.5.

WPTD's digital subchannel 16.3 was changed from ThinkTV 16 Create to ThinkTV 16 Life, carrying similar types of programming, later in 2009.

On January 16, 2017, both WPTD's digital subchannel 16.5 (ThinkTV 16 DT) and WPTO's digital subchannel 14.3 (ThinkTV 14 Learn) were changed to 24/7 carriage of PBS Kids.[14]

In September 2017, WPTD's digital subchannel 16.4 was rebranded from ThinkTV 16 Ohio to ThinkTV 16 Ohio/World, with programming added from World.

WPTD moved its digital signal from channel 16 to channel 35, and WPTO moved its digital signal from channel 28 to channel 29, at 10 a.m. on October 18, 2019, as part of the FCC's spectrum reallocation process.[15][16][17] In addition, WPTD's Maplewood translator, W32DS-D, is scheduled to move its digital signal from channel 32 to channel 25.[18]

Digital channels[edit]

The digital signals of WPTD and WPTO are both multiplexed:


Channel Branding Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[19]
16.1 ThinkTV 16 HD 1080i 16:9 16HD Main WPTD programming / PBS
16.2 ThinkTV 16 Again 480i 4:3 16Again Repeat broadcasts of WPTD primetime shows
16.3 ThinkTV 16 Life 16 Life Lifestyle and how-to programming
16.4 ThinkTV 16 Ohio/World 16:9 16OH-WO The Ohio Channel and World
16.5 ThinkTV 16 Kids 16Kids PBS Kids


Channel Branding Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[20]
14.1 ThinkTV 14 HD 1080i 16:9 14HD Main WPTO programming / PBS
14.2 ThinkTV 14 Prime 480i 4:3 14Prime Repeat broadcasts of WPTO primetime shows
14.3 ThinkTV 14 Kids 14Kids PBS Kids
14.4 ThinkTV 14 World 14World World and The Ohio Channel
14.5 ThinkTV 14 DT 16:9 14DT SD simulcast of 14.1

While the "DT" designations have appeared on the ThinkTV website and have displayed on-screen via PSIP, they are omitted from ThinkTV's advertising and on-screen "bugs".


Per FCC filings, WPTD's translator station W17AA in Celina had authorization in 2009 to flash-cut to digital operations on UHF channel 17, at a tower site near its existing analog tower. However, before this conversion could be completed, W17AA suspended operations on January 5, 2011 due to circumstances beyond Greater Dayton Public Television's control, namely a loss of site. The tower owner, the State of Ohio, has plans to dismantle the tower utilized by W17AA, and in anticipation has disconnected power to the tower site location. As a result, GDPTV was forced to suspend operations on W17AA. On January 14, 2011, GDPTV requested a six-month authorization to maintain silent (off-air) status. GDPTV then began the process of considering its options for modification of the W17AA license to allow for its resumption of service. On July 26, 2011, the FCC accepted GDPTV's surrender for cancellation of W17AA's license.[citation needed]

WPTD's other translator station, W63AH channel 63 in Maplewood, also had authorization in 2009 to switch to digital operations, on channel 32. However, W63AH suspended operations on March 30, 2010, also due to a loss of site, following a change in ownership for the translator station's licensed tower location. On April 5, 2010, GDPTV requested a six-month authorization to maintain silent status. On September 9, 2010, GDPTV was granted authorization to relocate its approved digital broadcast facility to a tower near Celina, with the community of license remaining Maplewood. On January 18, 2011, the station was granted "license to cover", allowing it to resume broadcasting. The station now operates digitally on channel 32, as W32DS-D (it officially took the W32DS callsign in May 2009).

W32DS-D covers both Celina and the Maplewood, Ohio, area and operates with a directional antenna towards the southeast.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "History of ThinkTV". Greater Dayton Public Television. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Kiesewetter, John (2010-07-19). "Merger cuts CET jobs". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Retrieved 2010-07-20. Five full-time positions, including both master control operators, have been eliminated by CET. ... Starting last weekend, CET's signal was being sent from Dayton to the station here, and then to the Fairview Heights tower and Time Warner cable, employees say.
  3. ^ http://img384.imageshack.us/i/wktrgames1970gw5.jpg
  4. ^ "ThinkTV and CET to Merge" (Press release). Greater Dayton Public Television. 2008-10-31.
  5. ^ "Dayton, Cincy public TV stations finish merger". Dayton Business Journal. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-05-08.
  6. ^ Schroeder, Kaitlin (July 9, 2019). "ThinkTV is back on air after equipment failure". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  7. ^ Kiesewetter, John (July 9, 2019). "WCET-TV, WPTD-TV And WPTO-TV Back On Air". WVXU. Cincinnati Public Radio. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  8. ^ "DTV Engineering STA Application". Public Inspection Files. FCC. November 15, 2019. File Number:0000090086. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  9. ^ "WHIO-TV Exhibit for Emergency STA for Channel Share". Public Inspection Files. FCC. November 15, 2019. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "GDPT-MVBC Agreement". Public Inspection Files. FCC. November 15, 2019. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  11. ^ "WHIO-TV technical difficulties affect over the air viewers – How to watch online". WHIO. November 19, 2019. Archived from the original on November 19, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "THE WAIT IS OVER! Signal restored, WHIO-TV back on-air". WHIO. November 21, 2019. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  13. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  14. ^ "PBS Kids 24/7". ThinkTV. 2017. Archived from the original on January 23, 2017. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  15. ^ Filby, Max (June 6, 2018). "TV antenna not working? Local channels start changing frequencies soon". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  16. ^ "Form 399: Incentive Auction Relocation Reimbursement Fund System". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. October 24, 2017. File Number: 0000028659. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  17. ^ "Form 399: Incentive Auction Relocation Reimbursement Fund System". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. March 12, 2018. File Number: 0000028670. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  18. ^ "Displacement for LPTV Translator Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. May 23, 2018. File Number: 0000054368. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  19. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WPTD
  20. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WPTO
  21. ^ Google Maps: FCC coverage area for W32DS-D

External links[edit]