Thinking Inside the Box

New Digital Channels = More Viewing Options

by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV


Hi again, Ellis Bromberg with another "Thinking Inside the Box" video column, this month in front of the new set for ADELANTE! our award-winning public affairs program for and about our vibrant Hispanic community. Patricia Gomez hosts the program which airs Tuesday evenings at 6:30 on MPTV-10-HD, repeats twice during the week on MPTV-36-Digital, and can also be accessed on MPTV On Demand on Time Warner Cable channel 1111. Milwaukee Public Television's commitment to serving the Hispanic community is a strong one which goes back 35 years to the premiere of our very first local series for Latino viewers, PANORAMA HISPANO. And even if you don't speak Spanish, you can still enjoy ADELANTE! by reading the English-language captions. So I hope you'll tune in!

More and more of you are beginning to watch MPTV on our new digital channels. We made several important changes in our digital channel lineup September 1 which should make your viewing more enjoyable.

First of all, up until this point, the regular lineups of Channels 10 and 36 were not available as digital channels. Now they are. Channel 10, which we now call MPTV-10-HD, is available on-the-air or through a digital converter box on digital channel 10.1 24-hours a day. Every program available to us that's been produced in high definition will be seen in HD, and it's also available on Time Warner Cable channel 510, AT&T U-verse channel 1010, and on Charter Cable, too.

Channel 36, which we now call MPTV-36-Digital, is now available on channel 36.1 as well as Time Warner Cable channel 516.

And those of you who still watch our original analog stations, good ol' Channels 10 and 36 -- well, you can still watch them on channels 10 and 36 for now.

Our family of 24-hour multicasts -- the Spanish language MPTV V-ME, non-fiction stories and public affairs on MPTV WORLD, and how-to-do-it programming on MPTV CREATE -- they all continue too, but they've moved to channels 36.2, 36.3, and 36.4, although they will staying in the same channel positions on Time Warner Cable.

And we're now going to introduce four new multicast channels.

When southeastern Wisconsin lost its only classical music and mainstream jazz radio stations last year, we wanted to see what we could do to serve those listeners. We don't operate a radio station, but we will use our new digital television capacity to bring you MPTV CLASSICAL with Peter Van de Graaff on channel 36.5 and MPTV JAZZ with Bob Parlocha on channel 36.6. They'll also be available on Time Warner Cable, channel 554 for CLASSICAL and 552 for JAZZ. So, if you're working at home, turn the digital TV on and listen, or outside you'll be able to pick them up with portable digital TV sets. Yes, classical music and mainstream jazz are back on the free airwaves in southeastern Wisconsin, on digital TV.

Two more 24-hour multicast channels round out the MPTV family of stations: MPTV WEATHER, straight from the regional national weather service, on channel 36.7, and MPTV TRAFFIC, the freeway traffic cams and road information, on channel 36.8. Both are also available on Time Warner Cable channels 555 and 556.

Finally, you may have noticed that one of our popular multicasts is no more; MPTV KIDS, sadly, is no more. PBS is no longer distributing a 24-hour children's channel to us, so we had no choice but to end MPTV KIDS.

But what we will do is expand our kids lineup on MPTV-10-HD to 13 hours of children's programming each weekday, straight from 5 a.m., with DRAGON TALES, through 6 p.m. -- that's SADDLE CLUB -- and all your children's and grandchildren's favorite public TV series in-between, SESAME STREET, MISTER ROGERS, CURIOUS GEORGE, ARTHUR, CYBERCHASE, and so on. Plus two brand new and delightful series, MARTHA SPEAKS and SID THE SCIENCE KID; they both premiered September 1.

We've tried to answer questions about the new line-up right here on mptv.org. Or you can call our Viewer Services line at 414-297-7520.

So, a big month with lots of changes. And I'll be back in a few weeks with a brand new "Thinking Inside the Box" video. But for now, take care.