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WXXI logo 2 color by.svg
Rochester, New York
United States
ChannelsDigital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 21
Affiliations21.1: PBS (1970–present)
21.2: World
21.3: Create
21.4: PBS Kids
22.7: WXXI Classical
(WXXI Readout Radio on SAP)
OwnerWXXI Public Broadcasting Council
First air date
September 6, 1966 (55 years ago) (1966-09-06)
Former call signs
WROH (CP, 1952–1966)[1]
WXXI (1966-1984)
Former channel number(s)
21 (UHF, 1966–2009)
16 (UHF, 2003–2019)
NET (1966–1970)
Call sign meaning
XXI = Roman numeral 21 (virtual channel)
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID57274
ERP273 kW
HAAT152 m (499 ft)
Transmitter coordinates43°8′7″N 77°35′2″W / 43.13528°N 77.58389°W / 43.13528; -77.58389
Public license information

WXXI-TV (channel 21) is a PBS member television station in Rochester, New York, United States. It is owned by the WXXI Public Broadcasting Council alongside NPR members WXXI (1370 AM) and WXXI-FM (91.5). The three outlets share studios at 280 State Street near downtown Rochester; WXXI-TV's transmitter is located on Pinnacle Hill on the border between Rochester and Brighton.


National productions[edit]

WXXI-TV's national public television productions include A Warrior in Two Worlds, Echoes from the Ancients, Out of the Fire, Albert Paley: Man of Steel, Biz Kid$, and Flight to Freedom. WXXI-TV also produced Assignment: The World, a weekly current-events program for schools, which aired on approximately 100 public television stations nationwide, and was the nation's longest-running instructional television program. Due to funding cuts, it was canceled and its last episode aired on May 23, 2013.

Former programming[edit]

Headquarters in Rochester, New York

ThinkBright, broadcast from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on 21.3 until the digital transition.

Technical information[edit]


WXXI-TV entered the digital era in September 2003 when it signed on with Rochester's first full-power digital television signal.

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[2]
21.1 1080i 16:9 WXXI-HD Main WXXI-TV programming / PBS
21.2 480i 4:3 WXXI-W World
21.3 WXXI-C Create
21.4 WXXI-K PBS Kids
22.7 WXXI-FM WXXI Classical
(WXXI Readout Radio is on the subchannel's SAP)

Channel 21.4, now PBS Kids since February 1, 2016, was originally a digital standard definition simulcast of WXXI-TV's analog signal.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WXXI-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 21, 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 signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 16.[3] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 21.

As part of the SAFER Act,[4] WXXI-TV kept its analog signal on the air until July 10, 2009 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters. WXXI-TV had been awarded a $202,498 federal contract for an outreach initiative to help Rochester's over-the-air viewers prepare for the digital transition.[5]


  1. ^ "History Cards for WXXI-TV".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WXXI
  3. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  4. ^ "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  5. ^ "WXXI Awarded Digital Television Contract | interactive.wxxi.org". interactive.wxxi.org. Archived from the original on 2009-02-12.

External links[edit]