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Clearfield/State College/Johnstown/Altoona, Pennsylvania
Channels Digital: 15 (UHF)
Affiliations PBS
Owner The Pennsylvania State University
First air date March 1, 1965
Call letters’ meaning Pennsylvania
Former callsigns WPSX-TV (1965-2005)
Former channel number(s) 3 (VHF analog, 1965-2009)
Former affiliations NET (1965-1970)
Transmitter Power 810 kW
Height 412.8 m
Facility ID 66219
Transmitter Coordinates 41°7′20″N 78°26′29″W / 41.12222°N 78.44139°W / 41.12222; -78.44139

WPSU-TV is a PBS member station owned by Pennsylvania State University, as a part of Penn State Public Broadcasting. It reaches some 500,000 households in central Pennsylvania and southern New York, as well as a few households in western Pennsylvania. Many rural Pennsylvanians rely on cable television in order to get any signal other than WPSU-TV. The station's signal is very strong; it is easily viewable over-the-air as far away as Warren, Williamsport, and Bradford.

The station's city of license is Clearfield, with its transmitter facility seven miles north of Clearfield on McGeorge Road in Lawrence Township. However, its production facilities are located along Innovation Park Boulevard outside of State College.

The station is a typical PBS station, airing a large amount of PBS shows as well as some of its own original programming.

WPSU-FM is PSU's NPR and classical music radio station. Additionally, WKPS FM "The Lion 90.7FM" is Penn State's student radio station, while WPSE AM is its commercial radio station.


Digital television

The station's signal is multiplexed.

Virtual channel Physical channel Programming
3.1 15.3 main WPSU programming
3.2 15.4 WPSU Create programming
3.3 15.5 WPSU World programming


The station signed on for the first time on March 1, 1965 as WPSX-TV. It received its full license on June 17 as the 101st public television station in the United States. Within two years, it went from broadcasting only a few hours a day during the week to being on the air from 8:30 am to 11:30 pm seven days a week.

Even though it was one of the smallest public television stations in the country, WPSX was an innovator. In 1978, it partnered with several Pennsylvania cable systems to create PENNARAMA, forerunner of Pennsylvania Cable Network. In 1980, it worked with the state Department of Education to experiment with the use of videodisc in the classroom.

In 1994, WPSX merged its operations with WPSU-FM, Penn State's NPR station, to form Penn State Public Broadcasting. In the summer of 2005, it changed its call letters to WPSU-TV to match its radio sister, and moved to a new studio in the Outreach Building at Innovation Park. The WPSX callsign has been reassigned to the radio station's Kane station.

List of WPSU-TV's original programs



  • The WPSU-TV Alphabet Cooking Show
  • Center Court with Rene Portland
  • Centre County Report
  • Children and Autism: Time is Brain
  • The Grange Fair: An American Tradition
  • Great Teachers - Making a Difference
  • Houses of Worship
  • Huddle Up Nittany Lion Fans
  • Our Town
  • PA Energy
  • The Pennsylvania Game
  • Pennsylvania Inside Out
  • Raise the Song: The History of Penn State
  • Scholastic Scrimmage
  • Small Ball: A Little League Story
  • Swift: Eyes Through Time
  • To the Best of My Knowledge
  • Tracks Across the Sky
  • What Matters
  • Your Health


  • What's in the News (1965?-2004)

Distributed transmission

WPSU-TV is one of the leading innovators of distributed transmission of digital television signals. They have been heavily involved with testing of new ways to distribute these signals to "difficult" reception areas and received an experimental permit from the FCC in 2003. Initial tests demonstrated that while a large UHF 15 transmitter at the location of WPSU's original low-VHF broadcast tower would encounter localised problems with terrain shielding which interfere with UHF reception in State College (and relocation of the main transmitter would have interfered with the station's ability to serve the other two communities), addition of a small (50 kW) precisely-synchronised digital TV transmitter operating in State College itself on the same frequency as the main UHF 15 signal could provide a viable improvement to digital reception. [1]

This work was to serve as the basis for a pair of ATSC standards issued in 2004 to provide design guidance for the implementation of distributed transmission systems:

  • A/110A, "Synchronization Standard for Distributed Transmission, Revision A"
  • A/111, "Design of Synchronized Multiple Transmitter Networks" [2]

These standards were later employed by other broadcasters, such as New York City's Metropolitan Television Alliance, as a starting point from which to conduct tests in 2007. This testing will be crucial to other stations throughout the country, as well as the FCC for guidelines pertaining to this type of broadcasting.


External links


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