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Twin Cities PBS Updating Technology to Better Serve Viewers

September 25, 2023

Antenna & NextGen TV FAQs | Member Services Update

Twin Cities PBS is Upgrading to NEXTGEN TV on October 25

September 25, 2023 (Saint Paul, MN) – Twin Cities PBS (TPT) is committed to better serving our viewers. For this reason, TPT will be upgrading our transmission signal to NEXTGEN TV on October 25. The changes are part of TPT’s digital transformation efforts, with the goal of better serving our community now and into the future.

Some of you may be familiar with NEXTGEN TV because other broadcast stations in our market made the transition to NEXTGEN TV during the summer. TPT makes the transition on October 25, and viewers who use an antenna will need to rescan their television channels to continue to access TPT channels. This resource from the FCC gives clear instructions on how to rescan.

NEXTGEN TV is the next evolution of broadcast technology. NEXTGEN TV improves efficiency of broadcast and will provide a stronger signal to those at the edges of our coverage area. In the future, the technology will allow TPT to provide more personalized viewing experiences to viewers with smart TVs and serve as an essential resource for first responders during community emergencies. With NEXTGEN TV, we can deliver information faster and to more screens than ever before.

Necessary equipment upgrades will occur on October 2. Viewers may experience outages between 10:00 am – 1:00pm on this day. Return here for additional updates as we continue preparing to make the NEXTGEN TV transition. 

On October 16, equipment upgrades will be undertaken in preparation for the transition. Between the hours of 10am and 1pm, viewers may experience brief outages on all channels.

Continue reading for answers to frequently asked questions about what NEXTGEN TV means for TPT.

When will NEXTGEN TV be on air?

TPT will make the transition on October 25, 2023.

How is NEXTGEN TV different from what you see on broadcast TV now?

By merging over-the-air antenna TV with the internet, TPT will be able to enhance our programming with interactive features that give viewers the content that’s most relevant to them. We plan to begin exploring these options in the coming year.

Who will benefit from NEXTGEN TV?

Viewers who rely on over-the-air reception of television signals through an antenna will benefit from this new technology. Additionally, if viewers have a NEXTGEN TV-enabled television that is connected to the Internet, they may uncover a whole new suite of applications to improve their viewing experience.

Can my existing TV receive NEXTGEN TV?

TVs with NEXTGEN TV-enabled technology will be able to take advantage of the new technology. Select newer TVS are automatically equipped with NEXTGEN TV-enabled technology. Check your TV’s owner’s manual to see if yours is NEXTGEN TV compatible. Some companies are also developing “set top boxes” to allow NEXTGEN TV to be used on older TV sets through a simple connection. Explore compatible devices on >

Viewers with TVs that do not have NEXTGEN TV-enabled technology will still receive our broadcast signal. They will simply not have access to interactive features or other NEXTGEN TV capabilities we may employ in the future.

Does this mean I will no longer be able to watch live over-the-air TV?

No, TPT is committed to serving all our viewers and will continue providing current broadcasts to viewers even if your TV is not equipped with NEXTGEN TV-enabled technology. You can continue to watch all Twin Cities PBS channels with an antenna, whether you have a NEXTGEN TV compatible device or not. Learn more about antennas and digital television on >

Do viewers who do not have NEXTGEN TV compatible TVs or other devices need to do anything?

Cable and satellite viewers don’t need to take any action. Antenna viewers without a NEXTGEN TV compatible device might need to rescan their TVs to continue to receive all five TPT channels. Watch the FCC’s rescan instructions.

How much does it cost to watch NEXTGEN TV?

Just like TPT’s current over-the-air TV broadcasts, NEXTGEN TV will be a free service for viewers.

Do I need an antenna? 

Yes, you’ll need an antenna to receive free, local channels that are broadcasting NEXTGEN TV. Learn more about selecting an antenna.

Do I need internet access?

While you can certainly receive NEXTGEN TV without being connected to the internet, most people who bring home a NEXTGEN TV-enabled television will connect it to broadband internet so they can enjoy the most personalized entertainment experience possible. Plus, with an internet connection, NEXTGEN TV will be upgradeable as new features become available.

Is NEXTGEN TV the same as Smart TV?

No, NEXTGEN TV is the newest delivery system for free over the air channels to your home. Think of it as the newest broadcast technology since high-definition television (HDTV). A Smart TV can connect to the internet but is not necessarily NEXTGEN TV compatible. A NEXTGEN-enabled television is capable of receiving both free over the air NEXTGEN TV signals and internet connectivity with a host of interactive features.

Can I get NEXTGEN TV on non-TV devices? If not – when will I be able to get in the future?

As the NEXTGEN TV system evolves, it looks to the future of being able to watch broadcast videos on mobile devices like phones and tablets, as well as in cars. The NEXTGEN TV system will work to add real-time news, information, and broadcast to your mobile experience – for free.

Where can I learn more about NEXTGEN TV?

These partners provide excellent overviews of NEXTGEN TV.

NEXTGEN TV Official Website

National Association of Broadcasters

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

 Twin Cities PBS is Upgrading Viewer Service Technology

Twin Cities PBS (TPT) is committed to better serving our viewers. For this reason, TPT will be updating our customer service tools. The changes are part of TPT’s digital transformation efforts, with the goal of better serving our community now and into the future. 

This technology update is made possible through the support of our members and donors. 

During the period of transition to the new system:  

  • Viewer and Donor Services may need extra time to respond to inquiries and concerns. 
  • Members may receive duplicate mailings. 
  • Sustaining members may notice their monthly donations are charged earlier or later than usual. 
  • Email newsletters will be unavailable.

When will the transition occur? 

The transition is tentatively scheduled to take place from September 7 through October 2.  

Please continue to check back here for updated information on the transition and its impacts.  

Why will the impacts occur? 

As we transition from our old system to the new system, our database will not receive updated information or requests from viewers, members, or donors in real-time. This will lead to delays in the service TPT can provide to viewers and members and prevent our mailing and gift collection systems from drawing on up-to-date data. 

Who will be Affected? 

Sustaining members will be most impacted. These members may receive duplicate mailings and notice their membership gifts are charged earlier or later than normal.  

All viewers and members who reach out with questions or requests may experience delays in responses during the transition. It is possible the Viewer Services team will need to request call-backs to best serve viewer and member needs. 

Why Now? 

TPT is updating our technology in service to the future of the organization and our ability to better serve our community. As part of our efforts toward digital transformation, the new system will give TPT the opportunity to provide a more streamlined and personalized experience for our viewers, members, and donors. Following the transition, our audience will experience more responsive customer service and more personalized relationships with TPT. 

This page will be updated throughout the transition process. Please return for up-to-date information.  

© Twin Cities Public Television - 2023. All rights reserved.


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