KTBU, virtual channel 55 (UHFdigital channel 42), is a Mega TVowned-and-operatedtelevision station serving Houston, Texas, United States that is licensed to Conroe. The station is owned by the Spanish Broadcasting System. KTBU maintains studio facilities located on Equity Drive (adjacent to the Sam Houston Tollway) on the northwest side of Houston; digital channel 55.5 (branded as ITV) has a separate studio located near the intersection of Bellaire Boulevard and Boone Road. The station's transmitter is located in unincorporated northeastern Fort Bend County (near Missouri City).

History

The station first signed on the air on July 15, 1998, and was originally owned by Charles Dowen Johnson's Humanity Interested Media (alongside KVQT-LD) and then by the Osteen Family of Lakewood Church. The station was later purchased by the Houston-based USFR Media Group.

As an independent station branded as "Houston's 55", KTBU formerly carried an eclectic line-up of classic and recent syndicated television series, as well as locally produced shows focusing on sports, history and other topics of interest to Houstonians.

In May 2011, the station was sold to the Spanish Broadcasting System for $16 million. Upon the completion of the sale, KTBU joined SBS' Mega TV network.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming
55.1480i4:3KTBUMain KTBU programming / Mega TV
55.2VANTVVAN-TV(Vietnamese)
55.3NacionNacion TV (Spanish)
55.4ABTVApple Broadcasting Television (Vietnamese)
55.5ITV(Chinese)
55.6WCETVCCTV News(English)

Analog-to-digital conversion

KTBU discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 55, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 42, using PSIP to display KTBU's virtual channel as 55 on digital television receivers, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.