WMVS, virtual channel 10 (VHF digital channel 8), is a PBS member television station located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. The station is owned by the Milwaukee Area Technical College, which also owns sister PBS member station WMVT (channel 36). The two stations are collectively branded as "Milwaukee Public Television". WMVS and WMVT share studio facilities located at the Continuing Education Center on the Milwaukee Area Technical College campus on North 8th Street in downtown Milwaukee, and its transmitter is located on North Humboldt Boulevard in Milwaukee's Estabrook Park neighborhood.

WMVS and WMVT operate separately from the Wisconsin Public Television state network that is owned by the University of Wisconsin Extension and serves the rest of the state; however WMVT runs instructional television programs from Wisconsin Public Television, and Milwaukee Area Technical College/Milwaukee Public Television coordinate instructional television efforts for their broadcast area. The station's programming is also available on the video on demand service, Wisconsin On Demand 1111, on Time Warner Cable systems across southeastern Wisconsin.

History

The station first signed on the air on October 28, 1957, as the 28th educational television station in the United States and the second in Wisconsin (after WHA-TV in Madison). Among the strongest and earliest backers of the creation of Milwaukee Public Television (over the opposition of at least some of the area's commercial stations) was Frank Zeidler, who served as the mayor of Milwaukee from 1948 to 1960. In 2007, WMVS celebrated its 50th anniversary of broadcasting. Upon a September 2010 realignment of its digital signal, the station's changed its on-air branding to "MPTV 10-HD".

The two MPTV stations, WMVS and WMVT, have the unique distinction of their studio's address number incorporating the channel numbers for both of the stations, which is in Milwaukee's street numbering system (most television and radio stations that have their channel number as an address use a vanity address or street not within a community's numbering system, e.g. KLAS-TV channel 8 in Las Vegas is located on Channel 8 Drive). The studios are in the Continuing Education Center of the MATC Downtown Campus, at 1036 North 8th Street.

Digital television

WMVS's digital signal on VHF channel 8 broadcasts its main channel, on virtual channel 10.1, in the 720p high definition format.

Analog-to-digital conversion

WMVS's digital signal was previously carried on digital channel 35, which is the designated digital channel of WMVT, due to interference issues with the analog channel 8 signal of WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids until a channel realignment on September 1, 2008. WMVS shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, at 9 a.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 remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 8.[2] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 10.

On September 1, 2010, another channel realignment took place which added three of MPTV's digital subchannels to WMVS's signal bandwidth, while a standard definition simulcast of WMVS's 10.1 feed was added to digital subchannel 36.2 for over-the-air viewers who were unable to receive WMVS's VHF signal since the conversion (or only have UHF antennas; outside of WMVS and WIWN, all of Milwaukee's other stations transmit on UHF signals), an issue that has plagued many stations continuing to broadcast on VHF post-transition.[3] The picture format on 10.1 was also reduced from 1080i to 720p to enable multicasting on WMVS's bandwidth. A secondary translator station for WMVS, broadcasting on UHF channel 36, began operations on August 14, 2012 from the MPTV Tower to better serve the main portion of WMVS's service area with UHF-only antennas,[4] along with a boost in power to the main WMVS signal courtesy of a Public Telecommunications Facilities Program award.[5] The secondary translator carries WMVS's main feed and all three of its subchannels, but identifies each channel via PSIP as "10.1X" to reduce confusion with the main channel and allow viewers to choose which signal serves their needs better.

Programming

Local programming

The station's annual fundraising auction in May (which started in 1969, and is one of the oldest station auction campaigns in existence) has been broadcast in high definition since 2003; along with all of the station's weekly local programs, which include Black Nouveau, ¡Adelante! (a Spanish language program with English subtitles), I Remember, Outdoor Wisconsin and Interchange. Tracks Ahead, which premiered in 1990, also is produced in HD, and was previously syndicated by MPTV for broadcast on the HDNet (now AXS TV) cable channel.