WNIT, virtual channel 34 (UHF digital channel 35), is a PBS member television station located in South Bend, Indiana, United States. The station is owned by the Michiana Public Broadcasting Corporation. WNIT's studios are located in Lafayette and Jefferson Boulevards in downtown South Bend, and its transmitter is located just off of the St. Joseph Valley Parkway in the southern portion of South Bend.

History

The station first signed on the air in February 1974 as WNIT-TV (the "-TV" suffix was dropped from the call letters in 1989). Prior to the station's launch, PBS programs had been offered to the market's commercial stations on a per-program basis, or via cable from Chicago member station WTTW.

On February 26, 2008, the klystron tube that powered WNIT's transmitter failed,[2] which reduced WNIT's analog signal strength to only 15 percent of its normal 1.38 million-watt effective radiated power. The transmitter's major signal amplifiers subsequently failed on March 25, completely disabling the station's analog signal. With analog broadcasting due to end in the United States in 2009, the station opted to broadcast solely in digital. Most viewers did not lose access to WNIT programming due to the high penetration of cable and satellite television in the area.

On January 11, 2009, a fire severely damaged WNIT's administrative offices in Elkhart; there were no injuries resulting from the fire and the station's broadcast facilities and programming were unaffected. Local program production continued at the Elkhart Area Career Center and the station's administrative offices moved to a temporary location in the Tower Building on West Franklin Street in downtown Elkhart.

This arrangement continued until May 11, 2010, when WNIT moved to CBS affiliate WSBT-TV (channel 22)'s former studio on Lafayette and Jefferson streets in downtown South Bend.[3] On December 17, 2008, WNIT had acquired and taken possession of the 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) facility with the assistance of an in-kind donation by WSBT's owner, Schurz Communications; that station had moved to new facilities in Mishawaka in September 2008.[4]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:[5]

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[6]
34.11080i16:9WNIT-HDMain WNIT programming / PBS
34.2480i4:3WNIT-SDIndiana Channel ("WNIT InFocus")

Analog-to-digital conversion

WNIT's analog signal, over UHF channel 34, shut down on March 25, 2008, due to the problems with its analog transmitter. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 35,[7] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 34.