Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
WGBH are call-letters for Boston, Massachusetts' longtime public television and public radio stations (PBS, and NPR & PRI affiliates, respectively). WGBH produces many shows for these networks, including nearly a third of PBS's national prime-time TV, incuding Nova, Frontline, American Experience, and This Old House. WGBH is highly recognized for its contributions toward fulfilling the "educational" role of non-commercial educational TV. The license-holder is the WGBH Educational Foundation.
For more than 30 years, WGBH's on-air TV signature has been the synth-and-animation logo that now appears at the close of each PBS program it produces. The original seven-second piece began appearing at the beginning of WGBH's national shows in the 1970s, accompanied by different visuals -- including the "outline" design that is the WGBH emblem. The audio "sounder" now appears as a three or four-second stinger.
WGBH received its first broadcasting license in 1951 under the auspices of the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council , a consortium of local universities and cultural institutions, whose collaboration stems from an 1836 bequest by textile manufacturer John Lowell, Jr. calling for free public lectures for the citizens of Boston.
WGBH is also a leader in services for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH invented television closed captioning and the Descriptive Video Service (DVS), and they provide those access services to commercial TV programs as well as public TV, and to home video, web sites, and movie theaters nationwide.
WGBH-TV Channel 2 went on the air on May 2nd, 1955 at 5:20pm with studios located at 84 Massachusetts Avenue until a fire destroyed the studios in the early morning hours of October 14th, 1961. After going to so many studios, and on August 29th, 1964- WGBH-TV Channel 2 and WGBH 89.7 FM signed-on from new studios at 125 Western Avenue in Allston
The "GBH" stands for Great Blue Hill , the location of WGBH's FM transmitter, and the original location of WGBH-TV's transmitter as well. Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts has an elevation of 635 feet and is the highest point in the Boston area. Today, WGBH-TV's and WGBX-TV's transmitters are located at the Viacom digital television facility in Needham, Massachusetts, where channel 44 originally signed on September 25, 1967; channel 2 moved there on June 18, 1966. WGBX-TV's digital service on channel 43 shares the master antenna at the very top of the tower with the commercial stations; analog channel 44 has a separate antenna lower down shared with digital WGBH-TV on channel 19.
WGBH operates a CANCOM satellite uplink facility which provides Boston broadcast television stations to Canadian cable and satellite TV distributors. (As a Canadian company, CANCOM is not legally entitled to operate an uplink facility in the United States and so pays WGBH to perform this service on its behalf.) This facility is also located at the Viacom tower in Needham.
WGBH's original studios were located in building W20 (presently Stratton Student Center) on the campus of MIT until the building burned down in a 1963 fire. The building was rebuilt, but the by the time of completion, the station had moved to its present location on Harvard University property in the Allston neighborhood of Boston. The ZIP code of the station and its post-office box -- 02134 -- was made famous in a recurring jingle on its 1970s (and late 1990s) children's program, "Zoom." In 2006, WGBH will move to new studios in Boston's Brighton neighborhood.
Channels and digital services
- WGBH-TV 2 Boston (DT 19)
- WGBX-TV 44 Boston (DT 43)
- WGBH World (WGBX-DT and digital cable)
- WGBH Create (WGBX-DT and digital cable)
- 'GBH Kids (WGBX-DT and digital cable)
- WGBH On Demand (digital cable)
- WGBH High Definition (WGBH-DT and digital cable)
- Boston Kids & Family TV (Boston cable)
- WGBY-TV 57 Springfield
- WGBH 89.7 Boston
- WCAI 90.1 Woods Hole
- WNAN 91.1 Nantucket
Major WGBH Productions
- American Experience
- Antiques Roadshow
- Antiques Roadshow FYI
- Between the Lions
- Evening at Pops
- French in Action
- Masterpiece Theatre
- Nova Science Now
- Postcards from Buster
- Simply Ming
- This Old House
- The Victory Garden
- Celtic Sojourn
- Says You
- Sound & Spirit
- The World (co-produced with the BBC)
- The WGBH Forum Network
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