WBEC-TV, virtual channel 63 (UHF digital channel 40), is an educational independent television station located in Boca Raton, Florida, United States. The station is owned by the Broward County Public Schools district, along with student-run high school radio station WKPX (88.5 FM), which features an alternative music format, and carries audio broadcasts of the school board's meetings. WBEC-TV maintains studio and transmitter facilities located in Davie (within the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market). Although based in Broward County and primarily serves and its based within the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market, WBEC's city of license is located within the West Palm Beach television market.
WBEC traces its history to the launch of Instructional Television of Broward County, Florida (ITV), a local educational cable channel that debuted in the mid-1970s. Some of the in-school programming that was produced by ITV were also distributed to PBS member stations and other educational television stations throughout Florida, especially as a benefit to those without cable television. In order to have unrestricted use of the Instructional Television Center, in 1984, the Broward County Public Schools district reimbursed the funds it had received from the Florida State Department of Education to establish the center. The center placed emphasis on the production and broadcast of instructional television programming, but it also produced television programs for the community that were carried by cable companies that provided broadcast time to the district.
In 1998, the channel was renamed as the Broward Education Communications Network (BECON); the district subsequently expanded to broadcast television after its purchased the license for WPPB-TV, which dates back to June 10, 1986; the station itself would not sign on the air, under the district's ownership, until 1999. On March 15, 2008, the station changed its call letters to WBEC-TV, to reflect its branding, Broward Education Communications.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|63.1||480i||4:3||WBEC-TV||Main WBEC-TV programming|
WBEC-TV terminated its analog signal, on UHF channel 63, 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 40. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WBEC-TV's virtual channel as its former analog channel 63, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.