WTIU, virtual channel 30 (UHF digital channel 14), is a PBS member television station located in Bloomington, Indiana, United States. The station is owned by Indiana University, and is a sister station to NPR member radio station WFIU (103.7 FM). WTIU maintains studio facilities located on the Indiana University campus on East 7th Street in Bloomington, and its transmitter is located on Sare Road on the city's southeast side.
On cable, WTIU is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 5 in Bloomington in AT&T U-verse channel 30 in Indianapolis in standard definition, and in high definition on Xfinity digital channel 1022 in Bloomington and AT&T U-verse channel 1030 in Indianapolis.
The station is also the default PBS member for the Terre Haute market, despite having WVUT 22 in Vincennes, Ind. from Vincennes University. It is carried by most cable providers in west-central Indiana, including the area's primary provider, Time Warner Cable.
In late 1968, after receiving support from the university's president Herman B. Wells, Indiana University applied for a license from the Federal Communications Commission to operate a educational television station. The station first signed on the air on March 3, 1969 as a member station of National Educational Television; the first program ever broadcast on WTIU was The Friendly Giant. WTIU became a member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) when NET was reorganized on October 6, 1970.
Channel 30 originally maintained a skeletal staff of only three employees, and initially broadcast on Monday through Saturdays for five hours a day during the afternoon hours. As the station was unable to afford equipment to allow programming to be transmitted in color, much of the programming broadcast by WTIU was aired in black and white. Through PBS's Program Differentiation Plan, the network's programming was eventually divided between it and three other PBS members in the Indianapolis market – WFYI (channel 20), Muncie-based WIPB (channel 49) and by 1992, WTBU (channel 69, now Daystar owned-and-operated station WDTI).
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|30.1||1080i||16:9||WTIU-HD||Main WTIU programming / PBS|
|30.2||480i||4:3||WTIU-D2||World ("TIU World")|
|30.3||WTIU-D3||Create ("TIU Create")|
|30.5||WTIU-D5||PBSKids ("TIU Kids")|
In 2009, WTIU upgraded the station's primary digital channel to allow the transmission of programming in high definition, originally maintaining a schedule separate from that of WTIU's main channel. The station also launched a secondary service on digital subchannel 30.2, branded as "TIU-2," which primarily aired educational programming and college telecourses; the subchannel was converted into "TIU World," serving as an affiliate of PBS World in 2010. At the same time, WTIU added two additional subchannels, respectively carrying programming from the lifestyle and how-to service Create (branded as "TIU Create"), safety and emergency network Echo (branded as "TIU Echo") and the respectively carrying programming from the children's service PBS Kids (branded as "TIU Kids").
WTIU began operating its digital signal in 2007, broadcasting on UHF channel 14. WTIU shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 30, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 14. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 30.
WTIU's flagship original production is the public and cultural affairs program The Weekly Special, in production since 2005. The Friday Zone, in production since 1999, is an award-winning children's program syndicated on seven PBS stations across Indiana. WTIU also regularly produces documentaries, typically focusing on local or regional topics. Documentary series produced by the station have included Our Town (which focus on a single community's culture and history) and The Spirit of Monroe County (which focuses on the people and places of interest in Monroe County). WTIU also produces daily news updates in the form of twice-daily 5-minute NewsBreak segments as well as the half-hour weekly newsmagazine Indiana Newsdesk. In 1973, WTIU collaborated with the IU Opera Theater to produce a telecast of the opera Myshkin, which earned the station a Peabody Award.