PBS to DBS: Carry Our HDTV Signals!


SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 11, 2004
Tigard, Oregon
I am a very recent convert to PBS, primarily because of their nightly HD block.

Most of PBS's nightly block is stretched upconverts. At least that's what's shown on the local affiliate here in Portland.

Titan TV shows maybe 4 to 5 shows a week on PBS HD that are truly HD. The schedule on OPB's site also shows a small amount of HDTV on the PBS HD channel.


SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 6, 2004

Would that be in "HD" on subchannel -1, with SD on -2, -3, -4, ......?

Actually, one national feed in REAL HD would be nice. But their claim of "no commercials" is a farce. Their promos used to be less offensive than commercials- now they're just as bad.

I would just want subchannel -1. I get KCETand KOCE OTA and '-1' looks great to me. I do agree with the whole promo thing.


SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 20, 2006
"...Why dont they just have ONE national PBS feed on Direct and Dish avl for ALL...."

Because they want their local stations to survive with local fund drives and locally sold commercials- err, not "commercials" - promos? :rolleyes:

This has come about because of decreased funding. If they didn't have their 'sponsor promo's' the people who enjoy PBS, such as myself and many others, would not be able to see what we do see.


Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Oct 16, 2003
I would pay a buck for a national PBS feed, as I used to when they had a national PBS SD feed.

We watch PBS a fair amount, although the PQ has suffered now that they multicast (KCET Los Angeles).

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
Mankato, MN
is not most of the HD on Pbs taken from the national feed anyhow??

Out TPT station here Runs PBS national feed 24/7 KTCA

not anymore...changed recently. I posted it on 2/3

2-1 is now KTCA SD
2-2 is PBS HD

it use to be 2-1 was PBS HD channel and that was it
17-1 was a SD version of KTCA 2 (we have 2 PBS stations in Minneapolis)
17-2 is the MN channel
17-3 is TPT kids
17-4 is create
17-5 is weather radar 24/7


SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
In OKC, PBS sends a fiber to Cox with a 24 hour HD feed, undiluted. See here. That's extending preferable treatment to a commercial provider, to the exclusion of competitors. OTA HD has to squeeze into the airwaves with the stupid subchannels.

PBS has a separate encoder just for Cox? I doubt it. Most local networks simply feed the local cable service a fiber feed off of their mux before it is sent to the STL. The local cable co then takes what they want out of the mux.


Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Jan 10, 2005
I enjoy PBS HD, well I use to enjoy it until Dish pulled the guide data for it last week. The picture quality is excellent but I don't have a clue what is ever on.


Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Aug 26, 2004
Mustang, OK
PBS has a separate encoder just for Cox? I doubt it. Most local networks simply feed the local cable service a fiber feed off of their mux before it is sent to the STL. The local cable co then takes what they want out of the mux.
Doubt it if you want. I don't know what the mechanism is, but they send a 24/7 HD feed to Cox, and their OTA isn't HD 24/7. Far from it.


Hardly Normal
Supporting Founder
Apr 14, 2006
Normal, IL
Sadly, it strikes me that with the revival of the "lets pull all public funding from PBS/NPR" threat in the President's budget, that the issue of forcing cable and DBS to provide HD PBS channels in their service is probably a bit lower on the priorities list.


Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Dec 5, 2003
Central NC


SatelliteGuys Pro
May 19, 2005
I'm surprised to see all of the negative comments about PBS on here. I've always thought that PBS HD was one of the best HD channels available. Sure, it's all kids stuff before 9AM, but the rest of the day it's grown-up programming.

It's looks like your mileage may vary depending on your local market, but here in Indianapolis PBS HD has great visuals in a wide array of formats, including historical and scientific documentaries, nature shows, investigative reporting, the arts, travels, and musical performances.

A quick look at my local channel (WFYI) shows the following produced-for-PBS series playing this week in HD:

American Experience
History Detectives
Smart Travels

Interspersed between all these great series is a wide variety of compelling HD programming. Maybe I just happen to have a great affiliate, but I would place my PBS HD channel near the top of my list.

Edgar in Indy
Former Dish HD customer, now happy with Insight Cable until Dish offer HD locals
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Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 24, 2005
Frostbite Falls
Seattle's KCTS HD quality looks good OTA. Sure do miss the guide that we had for 2 days. Without the guide its a waste for anyone with a DVR.

From what I've seen of local PBS HD broadcasts it looks like rebroadcating a national feed. I doubt they do pledge drives on the HD channel. I'd be very happy to pay an extra couple of bucks to have access to the national HD feed. I'd think it would be a great addition. But it should be optional.


SatelliteGuys Pro
May 19, 2005
Yeah, I don't ever recall seeing a pledge drive on the PBS HD channel, but I'm sure that will change at some point in the future.

Edgar in Indy


SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
I'm sure a few folks on this thread will remember when WETA-DT used to have some spankingly good HD quality; the best in the DC area. However, it has turned into such an unwatchable macrofest after standing up four (4) SD channels, that I deleted the lot of them from my OTA lineup long ago.

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