- This article is about a PBS-member television station in El Paso, Texas.
- For the unrelated religious television station in Phoenix, Arizona, see KCOS-LP.
- "KCOS" is also the ICAO airport code for Colorado Springs Airport.
KCOS, virtual and VHF digital channel 13, is a PBS member television station located in El Paso, Texas. The station is owned by nonprofit agency, the El Paso Public Television Foundation. KCOS maintains studio facilities located on Viscount Boulevard (northeast of I-10) in northwest El Paso, and its transmitter is located atop the Franklin Mountains on the El Paso city limits. On cable, the station is available on Time Warner Cable channel 12.
The station first signed on the air on August 18, 1978, originally broadcasting on VHF channel 7. It was the first English language television station to sign on since KVIA-TV (channel 7) debuted 22 years earlier in September 1956. Prior to KCOS's debut, El Paso was the largest city in the United States that did not have a PBS member station. Some viewers in the market were able to receive Las Cruces-based KRWG-TV (channel 22), however, that station was unreceiveable in most of the market due to the presence of the Franklin Mountains, which impaired KRWG's signal coverage deep into the market. PBS arranged for NBC affiliate KTSM-TV (channel 9) to carry Sesame Street in the market from the show's 1969 debut until KCOS's sign-on (this was a common practice in other markets throughout the country that similarly lacked access to public television). Until KCOS signed on in 1978, cable providers in the El Paso market carried KRWG and imported out-of-market PBS station KNME in Albuquerque.
On July 10, 1981, KCOS switched channel positions with KVIA, the city's ABC affiliate, and moved to VHF channel 13. This was done to give KVIA a greater broadcast signal range on parity with KTSM-TV and CBS affiliate KDBC-TV (channel 4).
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|13.1||1080i||16:9||KCOS-HD||Main KCOS programming / PBS|
|13.2||480i||4:3||KCOS-DT||El Paso Community College TV|
Analog-to digital conversion
KCOS shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, at 11:30 p.m. 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 30 to VHF channel 13 for post-transition operations.