Idaho Public Television (Also known as IdahoPTV and Idaho Public TV) is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member network serving the state of Idaho. It comprises five television stations, operated and funded by the Idaho State Board Of Education, an agency of the Idaho state government that holds licenses to all PBS member stations in the state. The network is headquartered in Boise, with satellite studios at the University of Idaho in Moscow and Idaho State University in Pocatello.

Funding for Idaho Public television comes from three major sources. 63% of funding comes from private contributions. 24% is provided by the State of Idaho. 13% is provided by an annual grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.[2]

History

The network's first station, KUID-TV, signed on from the UI campus in September 1965. KBGL-TV signed on in July 1971 from ISU in Pocatello, followed that December by KAID-TV in Boise, licensed to Boise State University. After a decade, KBGL changed its call letters to KISU-TV in 1981. The three stations shared many programs, but were largely operated independently at first. However, in 1981, two KUID-produced documentaries—one about logging practices, another about lead exposure—caused such an outcry that the state legislature yanked nearly all funding for public television.[3] Citing budget restrictions in early 1981, the state legislature cut 90% of the state funding for public television,[4] and the stations relied on federal funding and private donations.[5] A year later, the legislature ordered the merger of the three stations into a single network.[6][7] The licenses for all three stations were transferred to the state board of education.[8] Two other stations in Coeur d'Alene and Twin Falls were added in 1992.

In 2001, Idaho PTV began broadcasting its HD channel, KAID HD, using PBS HD satellite feed. With PBS's national feed switch over to all HD and a need to differentiate the channel, IPTV decided to reprogram the channel. In August 2011, KAID HD was replaced by KAID Plus.[9]

Stations

Combined, the five stations and their extensive translator network reach almost all of Idaho, as well as parts of Washington, Montana, and Oregon. The north Idaho stations of Coeur d'Alene and Moscow are in the Pacific Time Zone, while the south Idaho stations of Boise, Twin Falls, and Pocatello are in the Mountain Time Zone. There is a one-hour video delay for stations in the Pacific Time Zone so that all programs are broadcast at the same local time (i.e. a printed schedule would be valid in both time zones). The exception is for viewers in Montana tuned to a north Idaho station, as the time is one hour later.

StationCity of licenseChannels
(Digital)
Virtual channel
(PSIP)
First air dateCall letters’
meaning
ERP
(Digital)
HAAT
(Digital)
Facility IDTransmitter Coordinates
KAID
(Flagship station)
Boise21 (UHF)4December 31, 1971Ada County, IDaho725 kW858 m62442
KCDTCoeur d'Alene45 (UHF)26September 22, 1992Coeur
D'Alene
Television
38 kW465 m62424
KIPTTwin Falls22 (UHF)13January 19921Idaho
Public
Television
50 kW181.9 m62427
KISU-TV2
Pocatello17 (UHF)10July 7, 1971Idaho
State
University
189 kW451.1 m62430
KUID-TVMoscow12 (VHF)12September 6, 1965University of IDaho78 kW339.7 m62382

Notes:

  • 1. The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says KIPT signed on January 18, while the Television and Cable Factbook says it signed on January 17.
  • 2. KISU-TV used the call sign KBGL-TV from its 1971 sign-on until December 7, 1981. (The ISU athletic teams are the Bengals.)
  • 3. KUID-TV was on analog channel 12 until its digital channel signed on; the analog signal was moved to Channel 35, which had previously been assigned as KUID's digital allocation.

Digital television

Digital subchannels

The digital channels of IdahoPTV's stations are multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[10][2][2][2][2]
xx.1720p16:9IdahoPTVMain programming / PBS
xx.2480iIdahoPTV PLUS
xx.34:3Learn (12 a.m.-6 a.m.)
Create (6 a.m.-12 a.m.)
xx.4World

Plus is a "best of" channel with nightly themes. Sunday's theme is history programming while Mondays is local content and exploration. Tuesdays' theme is science, Wednesdays, drama; Thursdays, British comedies; Fridays, natural history; and Saturdays, performance.[9]

Analog-to-digital conversion

IdahoPTV's 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:[2]

  • KAID shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 21. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.
  • KCDT shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 26; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 45. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 26.
  • KIPT shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 22. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 13.
  • KISU-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 17. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 10.
  • KUID-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 35; the station's digital signal broadcasts on its pre-transition VHF channel 12.

Translators

Idaho Public Television has a network of low power translators across Idaho, which are rapidly being converted to digital (analog translators marked after the city):

KCDT - Coeur D' Alene, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 26.x by PSIP)

KAID - Boise, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 4.x by PSIP)

KIPT - Twin Falls, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 13.x by PSIP)

KISU - Pocatello, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 10.x by PSIP)

KUID - Moscow, Idaho (digital channels displayed as 12.x by PSIP)