Help Guide to Accessing PBS Wisconsin’s Four TV Channels

PBS Wisconsin’s four channels – PBS Wisconsin, The Wisconsin Channel, Create and PBS Wisconsin/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.

Over-the-Air Broadcast

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:

  1. Use a digital-to-analog converter box to connect to your older analog kit along with your antenna;
  2. Subscribe to cable, satellite, or another pay TV service;
  3. 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 PBS Wisconsin/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  (1-800-243-0000)
  • Panasonic: Menu > Setup > Program Channel > Antenna > Auto > OK  (1-800-211-7262)
  • Samsung: Source > TV > Menu > Channel > Auto Program  (1-800-726-7864)
  • Sharp: Menu > TV > Channel > Channel Scan or Update Scan  (1-800-237-4277)
  • Sony: Home > Settings > Digital Set-Up > Digital Tuning > Digital Auto Tuning  (1-800-222-7669)
  • TCL: Tuner > Antenna > OK  (1-877-300-8837)
  • Toshiba: Menu > Setup > Installation > Channel Program  (1-800-457-7777)
  • Vizio: Input > TV/Tuner > Tuner Mode > Auto Search or Auto Scan  (1-855-833-3221)
  • Westinghouse: Menu > Cable/Antenna > Antenna > Auto Scan  (1-866-442-7873)

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 PBS Wisconsin/PBS KIDS, please ask your provider whether these channels are provided in your TV lineup. 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. Wisconsin Public Television 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.


Three of the four PBS Wisconsin channels are available to livestream at PBS WisconsinThe Wisconsin Channel, and PBS Wisconsin/PBS KIDS.

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 Audience Services at 800-422-9707 if you need further assistance.