TV FAQs

TV Schedules

  • How do I find the daily and weekly schedules for OPB TV and OPB's digital channels?

    The OPB Television home page contains links to upcoming and recent TV schedules viewable by the day or week for all OPB channels.

  • Why are some programs repeated?

    In order to offer multiple viewing options to our audience, OPB usually repeats programs one to three times within the week following an original broadcast. Some programs repeat after midnight to give viewers a chance to tape a show they may have seen earlier, missed or learned about too late to watch. Some programs are repeated on weekends or at alternate times so they can reach a different audience. Other shows may repeat due to audience requests or because a series is between seasons and new episodes are not yet available. (Few programs have enough original episodes to go without some repeats during the year). As part of our membership drives, some programs may repeat due to their fund-raising effectiveness.

  • Why is OPB airing a program at a different time from another PBS station?

    Some of the PBS programs that OPB broadcasts come with requirements that they be aired on a certain day and within a certain time frame. These shows are often anchor programs of the PBS schedule - Masterpiece Theatre, NOVA, FRONTLINE, Washington Week, etc. Other programs may have no fixed schedule requirements, but do have a limited rights window during which OPB can broadcast the shows. OPB programmers take into account these and other factors as they build the TV schedule, grouping programs together in ways that serve as many segments of our audience as possible. Though most PBS stations use similar criteria, each one responds in different ways to the interests of its community, and so no two stations come up with identical schedules.

  • Why isn't OPB airing a program I heard about or that another PBS station carries?

    All public broadcasting stations have the flexibility to make their own programming choices, and so no two stations broadcast the same schedule of shows.

TV Channels

Watch Online

Program Content & Information

  • How do I find the guest name, transcript, book title, etc. from a TV program I saw on OPB?

    Details about individual programs - NewsHour, Charlie Rose, FRONTLINE, etc. - can be found on the Web sites for specific series. Your first step is to determine which program you're looking for and then find its Web address:

    • You may need to consult the TV schedule to find out which show OPB aired at the time in question. Many of the programs link to the OPB TV page for that program.
    • Web sites for programs can be found on our "Find a Program" page. Select the program you're interested in and click on the link listed after "Program website." If you do not find your program listed there, try a Google search for the "program name" and "Web site" (using the quotes). Note: Not every program has its own Web site, but many do.
    • Once you've logged on to a program's Web site, look for an "archive" or "past shows" link to find the exact date you need. If you don't know when the episode aired, use the site's search engine and any known keywords to narrow down the date. Put quotes around any phrases or full names you're searching for -- this will make the responses more relevant to your needs.
    • At the discretion of the show's producers, transcripts may be available for download, printing or sale. Some TV shows will have video clips, and some - like FRONTLINE - offer entire shows viewable on demand.
  • How do I find a specific program's broadcast schedule or Web site?

    OPB provides a Web page with upcoming broadcast information for many of the TV programs we air. To locate this page for a particular show, visit our "Find a Program" page and select your program from the alphabetical list of shows. You can also find Web sites for many programs on this page. If you do not find your program listed here, try a Google search for the "program name" and "Web site" (using the quotes). Note: Not every program has its own Web site, but many do.

  • How do I find a recipe from a cooking program?

    The producers of each cooking series decide if they will make recipes available to viewers. When offered, you can find recipes on the program's Web site. Web sites for programs can be found on our "Find a Program" page. Select the program you're interested in and click on the link listed after "Program website." If you do not find your program listed there, try a Google search for the "program name" and "Web site" (using the quotes). Note: Not every program has its own Web site, but many do.

    Many cookbooks can also be purchased online at Shop OPB or by phone at 800.531.4727. OPB members receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases.

  • Why does OPB have "ads" on the air?

    Sixteen percent of OPB's operating budget comes from business underwriters who receive on-air acknowledgements of their contributions to public broadcasting. Both the Federal Communications Commission and OPB limit the form these acknowledgements can take. For example, underwriting recognition credits cannot include inducements to buy, the use of superlatives, calls to action or references to price.

    Financial support from our underwriters does not influence program content or programming decisions. OPB maintains strictly enforced barriers between program content and all funding.

  • Why does OPB need to have membership drives and pledge breaks?

    Almost two-thirds of OPB's operating budget comes from individual membership contributions from viewers and listeners. While a significant portion of member donations come through mail solicitation and automatic renewals, on-air drives allow OPB to attract the largest number of new and renewing members in the most efficient and effective way possible. Though new members are an essential part of OPB's long-term financial health, the length of membership drives is kept to the minimum that will allow us to reach our goals. OPB's membership drive format is based on own experiences, as well as the shared experiences of public broadcasters throughout the country.

  • Why does OPB air different programming during TV membership drives?

    In contrast to radio, most of our regular television programming does not have built-in breaks appropriate for fund-raising segments. Therefore, OPB supplements its regular programming with shows produced especially for membership drives. Since we strive to have as efficient a fund-raising period possible, we air specials that attract large audiences, including many who are not regular viewers of OPB, and keep the length of our drives to the minimum that will allow us to reach our financial goals. OPB's experience, as well as that of other public broadcasting stations, has shown that a mix of specials and regular programming results in the most effective membership drive schedule. Once a drive has ended, we evaluate results and viewer response, and make changes as needed.

  • Why are certain programs no longer on the air?

    Programs may no longer air for various reasons. Rights for some programs have expired (this is true of many of the best-loved programs from Masterpiece Theatre, for instance) and OPB is no longer able to air them. Other programs may be replaced by newer shows or series. The Programming Department works very hard to serve as many audience segments as possible, to balance their competing and diverse interests and to provide a variety of programs that educate, entertain and enlighten.

Purchasing Programs

  • How do I buy a copy of a program I saw on OPB?

    Many TV programs aired on OPB can be purchased online at Shop OPB or by phone at 800.531.4727. OPB members receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases.

    To order copies of OPB-produced programs like Oregon Field Guide and Oregon Art Beat, call Stacy Coonfield at OPB at 503.293.1904. It's helpful if you can provide the program's episode number when ordering. You can find the episode number by browsing the season schedules or searching the story archives on each program's home page: Oregon Field Guide or Oregon Art Beat.

    Most episodes of Oregon Experience are available online at Shop OPB. To order copies of Oregon Experience episodes not available at Shop OPB, as well as some other OPB productions like The Oregon Story, call Kayo Lackey at OPB at 503.977.7792.

  • Why aren't copies and transcripts of some programs available for sale?

    Each program's producers determine whether or not a show is available for purchase. Some programs include footage which involves negotiating complicated royalty and licensing issues or artist releases that make sales prohibitive. Other shows may once have been available, but because of lapsed rights can no longer be offered for sale.

    Program producers also decide whether transcripts are available. Many news programs -- NewsHour and Nightly Business Report, for instance -- offer transcripts of individual stories and complete shows. To find out if a transcript is available, visit the program's Web site. Web sites for programs can be found on our "Find a Program" page. Select the program you're interested in and click on the link listed after "Program website." If you do not find your program listed there, try a Google search for the "program name" and "Web site" (using the quotes). Note: Not every program has its own Web site, but many do.

Giving Feedback

Technical Issues/Reception

  • How do I report a TV reception problem?

    Please use our Reception Report Form or call the OPB Member Center at 800.241.8123.

  • How do I report an issue with closed captioning?

    Closed captioning is designed to assist deaf or hearing-impaired people, English Language Learners, young children learning to read and many others by displaying the dialogue or transcript of the audio portion of the program as printed words on the television screen.

    To report an issue with closed captioning, such as closed captioning suddenly stopping or becoming garbled during a captioned program or general questions about closed-captioning requirements for TV programming, please contact Matt O'Dell, director of TV Operations. He can be reached by phone at 503.293.4872; by e-mail at modell@opb.org; by fax at 503.293.4875; or by mail at Oregon Public Broadcasting, 7140 SW Macadam Avenue, Portland, OR 97219.

    Note: Phone assistance is available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Contacts by e-mail (include "Closed Captioning" in the subject line of your e-mail), fax or mail will be responded to 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

  • How do I improve the OPB TV signal I get via an antenna?

    AntennaWeb, a Web site run by the Consumer Electronics Association, can help you locate the precise distance and direction from your house to the nearest broadcast tower used by OPB. With the site's help, you should be able to set up your antenna to receive the best possible signal from OPB. If this optimum orientation doesn't produce an adequate signal, you may need to upgrade your antenna.

  • Why has my TV reception recently changed or become worse?

    TV and radio reception can be affected by many things: weather, trees, placement of objects (like cars, people or furniture), a building's materials and components, sunspots and local terrain, among others.

    Your antenna quality and its placement are also important. AntennaWeb, a Web site run by the Consumer Electronics Association, can help you locate the precise distance and direction from your house to the nearest broadcast tower used by OPB. With the site's help, you should be able to set up your antenna to receive the best possible signal from OPB.

    OPB constantly monitors the quality of our outgoing radio and TV signals. Our engineering staff works throughout Oregon, maintaining, upgrading and repairing equipment in the more than 75 sites from which an OPB TV or Radio signal originates. When weather conditions are bad or when access to equipment is made difficult or even impossible, repairs may take longer than any of us would like. At such times we ask for your patience and understanding while our engineers diagnose the problems and repair equipment. If a problem does persist, please use our Reception Report Form or call the Member Center at 800.241.8123.

  • Why doesn't the soundtrack on my TV match the program? Or why don't I hear any sound?

    You've probably inadvertently changed an audio setting somewhere. Here's where to check:

    • The SAP (Secondary Audio Program) on your TV set may be turned on. To deactivate the SAP, look for a button on your TV remote that says "SAP," "MTS" or "Audio Mode." Turn it to the "off" position or follow any on-screen displays which tell you how to deactivate SAP. You may need to change the setting from SAP to "mono" or "stereo." Consult your TV owner's manual or contact the place where you bought your TV if you have difficulty turning off the SAP channel. Once the SAP channel has been turned off, the proper audio track should return.
    • If you have a digital-to-analog converter box connected to your TV, you may have changed the default setting in the box. You want to have the "Primary" or "First" audio service selected. Some boxes have an "Audio" button that allows the setting to be easily changed. Other boxes require you to make the change by finding the audio settings section within the on-screen menu. Restoring the Primary service should restore the correct audio.

    Households with young children are more prone to these problems. We've even had reports of dogs and cats changing settings by sitting or rolling on the remote control.

  • Why is the music so loud in relation to the voices on my TV?

    Many home TVs have relatively low fidelity speakers which accentuate upper mid-range and high frequencies, while the human voice tends to be in the mid-audio range. The rest of the sound spectrum, which would ideally help keep music and voices distinct, is often deficient on home televisions. In contrast, most program producers and editors work in studios outfitted with the best sound systems, and determine the balance of voices and music in programs based on their acoustically superior technology. A further complication is the gradual loss of frequency range in the human ear over time.

    TV sets with better audio systems offer controls that may improve the listening experience. Stereo and digital sets with "surround (or enhanced) sound" tend to enhance the low and high ranges (which is where the music is), while ignoring or dampening the mid-range (which is where the voice usually is). When there is a music/voice balance problem, try switching from "stereo to mono" or switching off the "surround sound."

    The relative positions of the set and the viewer may also improve or degrade the sound balance. If moving one or the other is an option, try to find a position which reduces echoes from walls or furniture.

Other Questions

Contact Us

Let us know if you have questions or comments about OPB television, radio, online services or membership.

Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to many common questions are available here.

By Phone
In the Portland area: 503.244.9900
Elsewhere: 1.800.241.8123
9am – 5pm weekdays

By Email
opb.org/contactus

By Mail
OPB
7140 SW Macadam Avenue
Portland, OR 97219

Map & Directions


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