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Expanded reach: New Mexico PBS adds ‘World’ and ‘Create’ programming

New Mexico PBS is always looking for ways to reach the biggest audience.

The station has expanded to offer “World” and “Create” programming to Channels 5.4 and 5.5.

The move began on Feb. 15, and the new channels will join the NMPBS lineup of Channel 5.1 (PBS), Channel 5.2 (NMPBS Kids 24/7), and Channel 5.3 (FNX – First Nations Experience: Native and Indigenous programs from communities and filmmakers around the world.)

“It’s always been part of the plan,” says Franz Joachim, New Mexico PBS general manager & CEO. “I’m actually watching the impeachment hearings on Channel 5.4. We’ve been testing the quality and setting the parameters for the new channel. I’ve been watching and giving my feedback.”

Joachim says the station has been working on the move for a few years.

“At some point, we would need to replace the encoders,” he says. “We knew the equipment was old. We also have people in Taos and Farmington that wanted to see World and Create channels. Now we have the capacity to do so.”

Joachim says the addition of the two new channels is one more way NMPBS is fulfilling its mission of bringing enlightening, entertaining programs to viewers.

He says the following areas can watch the channels on the 5.1 channel: Santa Fe, Taos, Española, Gallup, Socorro, Farmington, and many other communities.

Viewers with older televisions and/or converter boxes, may need to rescan/search for channels to begin receiving Channel 5.4 (World) and Channel 5.5 (Create). Using the television remote, go to “Menu,” and then “Scan” for all channels.

“The way it breaks down is that Channel 5 and 9 transmitters are on Sandia Crest,” he says. “Channel 5 goes to Oklahoma, West Texas, Navajo Nation and southern Colorado. We’re up to 36 translators.”

Moving the new channels to Channel 5 gives viewers more content.

“Our viewers wanted it, and we tried to make it happen as quickly as we could,” he says.

Joachim says the cost of providing the new channels is part of its normal capital renewal.

“It does cost money, but it wasn’t out of the way,” he says. “When people donate to us, some of that money is being put aside for equipment upgrades. The technology changes rapidly. Luckily, the new technology is often cheaper.”

The World channel presents a variety of PBS and public television programs from midnight to 4 p.m. From 4 p.m. to midnight, the programming is scheduled by NMPBS for New Mexico audiences, as an alternative to what is appearing on Channel 5.1 at that time, including encores of “Masterpiece,” “Nova,” “Nature” and “American Experience.”

Create presents cooking, travel, crafts, how-to and self-improvement programs 24/7, such as “Rick Steves’ Europe,” “A Chef’s Life,” “Pati’s Mexican Kitchen,” “Martha Stewart,” and “Jacques Pepin.”

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