UNC-TV is a statewide public television network in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is operated by the University of North Carolina, with studios located at the UNC Center for Public Television at Research Triangle Park.

UNC-TV operates eleven transmitters that broadcast across the entire state as well as into parts of Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina. The network includes all PBS member stations licensed within North Carolina except for WTVI in Charlotte, which is licensed to local interests in Charlotte.

It also formerly operated four digital channels: UNC-KD (children's programs), UNC-HD (high-definition programming), UNC-NC (North Carolina public affairs and original local productions) and UNC-ED (educational television). Consumers with Time Warner Cable are the only ones capable of receiving all of these digital subchannels, as the company has a direct-fiber optic connection to the broadcast facilities of UNC-TV.

On September 25th, 2008, UNC-TV commenced a revised lineup of three digital subchannels via over-the-air broadcast television: UNC-TV (the main channel now operating as a full-time HD service), UNC-KD in SD, and UNC-NC in SD.


WUNC-TV in Chapel Hill, the network's flagship station, signed on January 8, 1955 as the first educational television station south of Washington, D.C.. In the next 12 years, three more stations signed on and a system of translators in the mountains allowed the network to reach across the entire state. The network's youngest station, WUNU in Lumberton, signed on in 1996.

The network creates many programs of local interest, including the newsmagazine North Carolina Now, the interview series North Carolina People (hosted by former UNC president William Friday), Carolina Outdoor Journal, Exploring North Carolina, North Carolina Bookwatch with D.G. Martin, and special programs about the state's history and culture (often seen during the network's annual pledge drive). It also creates two programs for national distribution (The Woodwright's Shop and Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel). In addition to PBS programs, the station also runs British comedies on Saturday nights and EastEnders on Sunday nights.


As of 2008, the UNC-TV stations are:
Station City of license/
(other cities served)
First air date ERP
Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
WUNC-TV Chapel Hill
4 (VHF)
59 (UHF)
January 8, 1955 100 kW
893.2 kW
469 m
448 m
WUND-TV1 Edenton2
(Elizabeth City)
2 (VHF)
20 (UHF)
September 10, 1965 100 kW
543 kW
470 m
489 m
WUNE-TV Linville
17 (UHF)
54 (UHF)
September 11, 1967 1550 kW
137.8 kW
546 m
531 m
WUNF-TV Asheville 33 (UHF)
25 (UHF)
September 11, 1967 2690 kW
185 kW
816 m
797 m
WUNG-TV Concord
58 (UHF)
44 (UHF)
September 11, 1967 5000 kW
150 kW
422 m
404 m
WUNJ-TV Wilmington 39 (UHF)
29 (UHF) 3
June 4, 1971 4470 kW
700 kW
553 m
297 m
69332 (analog)
WUNK-TV Greenville 25 (UHF)
23 (UHF)
May 7, 1972 1260 kW
71 kW
351 m
331 m
69149 (analog)
WUNL-TV Winston-Salem
26 (UHF)
32 (UHF)
February 22, 1973 5000 kW
197.5 kW
504 m
479 m
WUNM-TV Jacksonville
(New Bern)
19 (UHF)
18 (UHF)
November 16, 1982 2400 kW
65 kW
561 m
561 m
WUNP-TV Roanoke Rapids 36 (UHF)
39 (UHF)
October 16, 1986 1550 kW
57.6 kW
368 m
338 m
WUNU Lumberton
31 (UHF)
25 (UHF)
September 23, 1996 3160 kW
113 kW
319 m
294 m
WUNW4 Canton none
27 (UHF)
not yet on air 10.7 kW 474 m 83822

  • 1. WUND-TV used the callsign WUNB-TV from its 1965 sign-on until 1967.
  • 2. WUND-TV was originally licensed to Columbia; the license was moved to Edenton in 2005. ()
  • 3. Five stations in the Wilmington DMA began transmitting solely in digital starting September 8, 2008. WUNJ-TV opted to continue analog broadcasts until the national switchover on February 17, 2009.
  • 4. WUNW will operate as a digital-only station, with a target date for commencement of operations tenatively scheduled for February 2010.

Digital television

The network's multiplexed digital signals before September 25, 2008 were:

Sub-channel Programming
xx.1 main UNC-TV/PBS programming
xx.2 UNC-HD (PBS programs in HD)
xx.3 UNC-KD (children's programming)
xx.4 UNC-ED (educational programming)
xx.5 UNC-NC (North Carolina-centric programming)

Due to bandwidth limitations, the over-the-air version of UNC-HD was only availably between 8-11pm, during which UNC-ED and UNC-NC were off the air. Cable systems with a direct digital link to UNC-TV facilities broadcast all five channels on a 24 hour schedule.

On September 25th, 2008, the over-the-air channel configuration became:

Sub-channel Programming
xx.3 main UNC-TV/PBS programming in HD
xx.4 UNC-KD (children's programming)
xx.5 UNC-NC (North Carolina-centric programming)

UNC-HD and UNC-ED are currently available only through cable providers with a direct fiber optic link to UNC-TV. Systems dependent on over-the-air reception now carry the three channel lineup.

Analog-to-digital conversion

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17, 2009:

  • WUNC-TV will move its digital broadcasts to channel 25;
  • WUNE-TV, WUNM-TV, WUNP-TV, and WUNU will move their digital broadcasts back to their respective analog channel numbers (17, 19, 36, and 31);
  • WUND-TV, WUNF-TV, WUNG-TV, WUNJ-TV, WUNK-TV, and WUNL-TV will remain on their respective, pre-transition channel numbers (20, 25, 44, 29, 23, and 32).

In addition, UNC-TV opted not to join other broadcasters in the Wilmington market in the decision to switch to digital-only broadcasts on September 8, 2008, five months ahead of the national deadline. Following that date, WUNJ-TV became Wilmington's only full-power analog signal until the national digital switchover on February 17, 2009.

Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display virtual channels for each UNC-TV station corresponding to their present analog channel numbers.


UNC-TV operates a number of translators across the mountains of western North Carolina. These translators serve as low-power, limited-area repeaters for WUNF and WUNE, mainly targeting towns in deep mountain valleys where the parent signal is blocked by the surrounding terrain.

Directly repeating WUNF:

Directly repeating WUNE:

Cable and satellite

UNC TV is available on cable television services throughout the state. It is also available in the South Hampton Roads area of Virginia through Cox Communications and in the Greenville, South Carolina area through Charter Communications.

On DirecTV and Dish Network, WUNC-TV, WUND-TV, WUNF-TV, WUNG-TV, WUNJ-TV, WUNL-TV, and WUNK-TV are available on the Triangle, Hampton Roads, Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, Charlotte, Triad, Wilmington and New Bern/Greenville/Washington local feeds, respectively.

The station carried on cable systems is not always the closest station. For example, Time Warner Cable (formerly Adelphia) in Laurinburg carries WUNJ of Wilmington, despite WUNU being closer in Lumberton.

See also


External links

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