WGBX-TV (branding on-air as GBH 44) , virtual channel 44 (UHF digital channel 43), is a non-commercial educational PBS member television station located in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The station is owned by the WGBH Educational Foundation, and is a sister station to fellow Boston area PBS member station and company flagship WGBH-TV, Springfield, Massachusetts-based PBS station WGBY-TV and Boston area public radio stations WGBH, WCRB and WCAI radio (and satellites WZAI and WNAN) on Cape Cod. WGBX's studios are located on Guest Street in Boston, and its transmitter is located in Needham, Massachusetts.
The X in its callsign stands for "Experimental", as WGBX (more primarily in the 1970s) was home to programming that was given a trial run on the lower-rated UHF signal before possibly moving onto the more-established WGBH-TV. Such Eastern Educational Network imports from the United Kingdom as Doctor Who were seen first or more frequently on WGBX, and one late 1970s local "nightclub"-style variety show, Club 44, proved popular enough to be moved over to WGBH and retitled The Club. The station airs PBS programs that are not aired by WGBH-TV as well as additional supplemental programming. Reruns of the previous night's programming either from WGBH-TV or from WGBX-TV itself also makes up part of channel 44's programming schedule.
WGBX also carries most of the national digital subchannel networks (except for World) which are managed by the WGBH Educational Foundation (along with an additional station, as described below); this enables WGBH to maintain a high-bitrate 1080i high definition picture resolution on its main channel 2 signal, with little loss in visual quality.
The station initially existed as a construction permit for WJDW-TV, a commercial station co-owned by television producer Jack Wrather and his business partner, Maria Helen Alvarez. In 1965, Wrather and Alvarez donated the license to WGBH Educational Foundation, in which WGBH used to launch its secondary educational station. WGBX-TV first signed on the air on September 25, 1967; its transmitter has been located in Needham (on a broadcast tower that is owned operated by CBS Corporation, and is used by some of the Boston markets' commercial television stations, including CBS-owned WBZ-TV), WGBX's current digital transmitter shares the master antenna at the very top of the tower with the commercial stations. The now defunct analog signal maintained a separate antenna on a lower portion of the tower that was shared with WGBH's digital transmitter.
WGBX shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 44, on April 23, 2009. The station's digital signal continued to be broadcast on its pre-transition UHF channel 43. Through the use of PSIP digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 44.
World moved from digital subchannel 44.2 to 2.2 in the spring of 2012, replacing WGBH's standard definition simulcast; the 44.2 subchannel is not currently mapped.
On January 16, 2017, WGBX switched its .4 subchannel from a locally programmed loop of children's programming (which looped twice a day) to the national resurrection of the national PBS Kids channel.
One year later on January 18, 2018, WGBX began a channel share with Nashua, New Hampshire-licensed WYCN-CD (channel 15), which was acquired by the NBC Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal. Despite WYCN's low-power status, WGBX's transmitter will act as a full-market relay of NBC O&O station WBTS-LD (channel 8) through WYCN-CD, along with its Cozi TV subchannel; WGBX's multiplexer was upgraded to handle WGBX's existing HD channel and two SD channels, along with WYCN-CD's HD channel and one subchannel as a result of the channel share.
|TV stations in New England|
|WEDH, Bridgeport/Hartford/New Haven/Norwich|
|TV Stations in Greater Boston and southern New Hampshire|
|English stations||Spanish stations||New Hampshire|
|WGBH 2 (PBS)||WUTF 27 (UMas)||WMUR 9 (ABC)|
|WHDT-LD 3 (Ind)||WCEA-LD 58 (Ind)||WENH 11 (PBS)|
|WBZ 4 (CBS)||WUNI 66 (UNI)||WYCN-CD 15 (NBC)|
|WCVB 5 (ABC)||WPXG 21 (Court TV)|
|WHDH 7 (Ind)||WLEK-LD 22 (DrTV)|
|WBTS-LD 8 (NBC)||WWJE 50 (Justice)|
|WFXZ-CD 24 (Biz TV)||WEKW 52 (PBS)|
|WFXT 25 (Fox)||WNEU 60 (TLM)|
|WSBK 38 (MNTV)|
|WGBX 44 (PBS)|
|WWDP 46 (Evine Live)|
|WYDN 48 (Daystar)|
|WLVI 56 (CW)|
|WDPX 58 (Bounce TV)|
|WMFP 62 (SBN)|
|WBPX 68 (Ion)|
|WHDH 5 (ABC/CBS)|
|WNAC 7 (CBS/ABC)|
|WJZB 14 (Ind)|
|WNHT 21 (Ind/CBS)|
|WXPO 50 (Ind)|
|WTAO 56 (ABC/DuMont)|