Frequently Asked Questions about PBS Wisconsin
PBS Wisconsin’s four channels – PBS Wisconsin, The Wisconsin Channel, Create and WPT PBS KIDS – are available over the air via antenna and to all cable and satellite providers. Some cable and satellite providers offer all four, while others currently only offer the PBS Wisconsin flagship channel. If you are not getting all four channels available on your TV, read through this troubleshooting guide below for possible solutions.
Across the United States, all full-power TV stations are now broadcasting in digital only — leaving the consumer three options for tuning in to a digital broadcast:
- Use a digital-to-analog converter box to connect to your older analog kit along with your antenna;
- Subscribe to cable, satellite, or another pay TV service;
- Buy a digital TV set (DTV) that comes with an antenna. If you watch PBS Wisconsin over the air with an antenna, you should also be able to also watch The Wisconsin Channel, Create and WPT PBS KIDS. All four will be grouped under the same channel number (xx–1, –2, –3, and –4, respectively).
If you do not see all four PBS Wisconsin channels, try doing a channel scan for these channels.
How Do I Perform a Channel Scan?
To search for new digital channels, installing a converter box or setting up a DTV-ready television is the first step. Next, you will need to scan for new channels to ensure that you are receiving all the digital TV stations available in your local broadcast area. Some converter boxes do this re-scan automatically — however, many require you to do it manually. To do this, run the “scan” function on your converter box or digital TV set, usually on the remote control, labeled “set-up” or “menu” or some similar term. Consult the owner’s manual for more detailed instructions on how to run a channel scan. Once the scan is complete, you should be receiving digital channels through your antenna. Perform a channel scan periodically to check for new digital channels in your area.
Troubleshooting Tips for Rescanning Your Television
Many television manufacturers have different ways of accessing the channel rescan in their menus. Below are a few examples of the menus, along with contact phone numbers for many of the major TV manufacturers (Please note that these could vary slightly by model):
TV Brands – Scanning Terms – Customer Service Numbers
- Insignia: Menu/Input > ANT/CABLE > Menu > Tuner (Antenna Mode) > Auto Channel Scan
- LG: Menu > Setup > Auto Tuning
- Panasonic: Menu > Setup > Program Channel > Antenna > Auto > OK
- Samsung: Source > TV > Menu > Channel > Auto Program
- Sharp: Menu > TV > Channel > Channel Scan or Update Scan
- Sony: Home > Settings > Digital Set-Up > Digital Tuning > Digital Auto Tuning
- TCL: Tuner > Antenna > OK
- Toshiba: Menu > Setup > Installation > Channel Program
- Vizio: Input > TV/Tuner > Tuner Mode > Auto Search or Auto Scan
- Westinghouse: Menu > Cable/Antenna > Antenna > Auto Scan
If reception issues are still not resolved after completing a channel scan, you may need to do a Blind Re-Scan. These steps are outlined below:
- Disconnect Antenna
- Complete Channel Scan
- Reconnect Antenna
- Repeat Channel Scan
If you have a converter box for your TV:
If you use a converter box, you must use the remote for your converter box to do the channel scan.
Cable or Satellite
PBS Wisconsin offers all four channels to all cable and satellite providers, and some cable providers carry all four. If you are not able to find PBS Wisconsin, The Wisconsin Channel, Create or WPT PBS KIDS, please ask your provider whether these channels are provided in your TV line-up. If not, ask them to consider adding all four of the PBS Wisconsin channels to make them available for all customers.
Please note that channel number assignments are determined by your provider. PBS Wisconsin does not have the ability to assign the channel numbers chosen by your cable or satellite service.
If you are able to receive our signals with an antenna, but have a cable plan that does not offer all four channels, consider adding an A-B switch to your TV to allow you to switch easily between using cable and your antenna. Or, have one TV in your home not connected to cable or satellite service.
If you cannot watch PBS Wisconsin programming via your TV, become a regular visitor to PBS Wisconsin online, where we feature shows to watch on-demand.
Please contact PBS Wisconsin Audience Services at 800-422-9707 if you need further assistance.
We remain committed to providing our content to your community via Comcast and all other platforms as part of our mission to serve free of charge. We would love it if Comcast would return us to your local line-up, cost-free, though that isn’t a decision we can make on their behalf. While we hope to resolve this, you can also enjoy our content via pbswisconsin.org/watch-page, with an over-the-air antenna, or video streaming services.
Financial contributions from the community, including gifts from members like you, make up nearly half of PBS Wisconsin’s operating budget. Your support is important– and deeply appreciated. Thank you for considering becoming a member today.
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Find out more in our Corporate Support area
Please direct both broadcast and online captioning complaints to the following:
Attn: Kayleigh Steinback
Audience Services Manager
821 University Avenue
Madison WI 53706
Email: [email protected]
Before sending a formal closed captioning complaint, we recommend that you first contact Audience Services. We may be able to resolve your problem immediately without the need for a formal complaint. We will make every effort to resolve your phone or email inquiry within 24 hours or 1 business day. For written complaints, we will respond within 30 days.
CLOSED CAPTIONING QUALITY CERTIFICATION
All programming provided by the Wisconsin Public Television (“WPT”) complies with the closed captioning requirements established by the Federal Communications Commission as embodied in 47 C.F.R. § 79.1, including regulations concerning closed captioning quality. Programming provided by PBS complies with these regulations by either: (i) satisfying the caption quality standards set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 79.1(j)(2); (ii) adopting and following the “Video Programmer Best Practices” set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 79.1(k)(1); or (iii) being subject to one or more of the captioning exemptions set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 79.1(d), including programming for which the audio is in a language other than English or Spanish and that is not scripted programming that can be captioned using the “electronic news room” technique; interstitial material, promotional announcements, and public service announcements that are 10 minutes or less in duration; and/or programming that consists primarily of non-vocal music.
Public Inspection files for each PBS Wisconsin station are available online:
- WHA-TV – Madison*
- WHLA-TV – LaCrosse+
- WHRM-TV – Wausau+
- WHWC-TV – Menomonie+
- WLEF-TV – Park Falls+
- WPNE-TV – Green Bay+
* Licensed by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Questions? Call 608-265-2302
+ Licensed by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board
In addition, you may view WPR’s Inspection Files at this link:
WPR Public Inspection Files