|WVPT: Staunton/Harrisonburg, Virginia
WVPY: Front Royal/Winchester, Virginia
WVPT: 11 (VHF)
WVPY: 21 (UHF)
|Owner||Shenandoah Valley Educational Television Corporation|
|First air date||WVPT: September 9, 1968
WVPY: August 22, 1996
|Call letters' meaning||Western
|Former channel number(s)||WVPT:
51 (UHF analog, 1968–2009)
42 (UHF analog, 1996–2009)
|Former affiliations||NET (1968–1970)|
50 kW (digital)
400 m (digital)
|Facility ID||WVPT: 60111
WVPT is a public television station in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It is the PBS member station for the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia. The station is licensed to Staunton, and is located on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg. Owned by Shenandoah Valley Educational Television Corporation, it broadcasts a digital signal on channel 11 (redirecting to former analog channel 51 via PSIP) from a transmitter in central Augusta County, Virginia.
WVPT operates a full-time satellite, WVPY in Front Royal, which serves Winchester and the upper Shenandoah Valley. It broadcasts on digital channel 21 (virtual channel 42) from a transmitter in northern Warren County.
WVPT signed on for the first time on September 9, 1968 and is the third-oldest educational station in Virginia, behind Hampton Roads' WHRO-TV and Richmond's WCVE-TV. WVPY was added in 1996. It also doubled as the default PBS station for Charlottesville (by way of two translators in the area) until WCVE signed on WHTJ as a satellite.
WVPY is available over-the-air in large portions of the Virginia and West Virginia portions of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area; Front Royal is part of the Washington market. WVPT is available on cable in Lynchburg. Additionally, the station is carried on the Harrisonburg DirecTV feed and the Washington DirecTV and Dish Network feeds. While it is available on Comcast's digital cable tier in Charlottesville and central Virginia, it is not carried on satellite there; U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules do not allow a station to be uplinked unless it has a full-power station located in the market. All told, WVPT reaches a potential viewing audience of over 6.1 million people in four states and the capital.
On October 1, 2008, WVPT started broadcasting in all HD.
WVPT is the smallest PBS station licensed to Virginia, but serves one of the largest coverage areas of any PBS member. It primarily serves 22 counties and independent cities in Virginia and nine counties in West Virginia. Much of this area is very mountainous. Largely because most of its service area is located in the United States National Radio Quiet Zone, its two main transmitters operated at only 525,000 watts and 141,000 watts in analog—in both cases, fairly modest for a full PBS member on the UHF band. Even in digital, they are not nearly strong enough to cover this vast and rugged area. This is despite WVPT's digital channel being located on VHF; normally VHF signals "bend" over rugged terrain better than UHF signals. As a result, it operates several translators and a digital distributed transmission system.
It also relies heavily on cable and satellite for its viewership, which are all but essential for acceptable television in this region.
|Charlottesville||40 watts, VHF 11|
|Monterey||8 watts, VHF 11|
|WVPY Front Royal:|
|Fulks Run||100 watts, UHF 21|
|Luray||100 watts, UHF 21|
|Ruckersville||500 watts, UHF 21|
The station's distributed transmission system allows the translators to rebroadcast digitally on the same frequencies as the parent stations under an experimental license. For instance, WVPT can be seen digitally as WVPT1-DT Charlottesville on VHF channel 11, virtual channel 51.1 (same channels as WVPT-DT).
Communities listed above are as they appear on the NTSC-M broadcast translator licences on the FCC database. For synchronised on-channel digital transmitters used to provide "fill-in" distributed transmission system coverage, content is bitwise-identical to the main signal and the legal city of license is that of the respective main station. Digital DTS callsigns are based on those of the respective main stations, suffixed with a sequential number.
Virginia Farming - the only regular television program dedicated to Virginia's key economic engines, agriculture and the environment. It is distributed to PBS stations in Virginia, West Virginia and on RFD-TV nationwide.
The Miller Center Forums - produced in conjunction with The University of Virginia's Miller Center for Public Affairs. The series is distributed nationwide to approximately 50 PBS stations.
Roadtrip to History - produced by Oaktree Productions and Executive Producer Wayne Bronson.
The Mickey Matthews Coaches Show - premiered fall 2012. Produced by Telemedia Productions, this is the coaches' show for the James Madison University football team.