Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why can’t I watch a particular show online?

A: Any program or piece of television on TPT and PBS is a piece of intellectual property (just like a song or a book). With any piece of intellectual property come certain rights and allowances for the creators, distributors, and consumers. Many of these rights include online video viewing stipulations. If a program is not available for viewing on tpt.org, it is because of the specific intellectual property rights associated with that show, and often, these rights vary from show to show.

If you are interested in watching PBS Kids shows online, visit www.pbskids.org.

 

Q: Why am I seeing this message when I try to watch a video “This video is not available in your area. Find out more by visiting our FAQs page.”

A: Due to licensing agreements, some of the videos on tpt.org are only available to viewers within TPT’s Designated Market Area (DMA). A DMA is a geographic area that represents specific television markets as defined by the Nielsen Company.

Your DMA (zip code) is detected by your computer’s IP address. This method is not always perfect. If you are within TPT’s DMA and are receiving this message, please contact us for assistance.

 

Q: I know that I’m within TPT’s Designated Market Area (DMA), why am I still getting a message saying the video is not available in my area?

A: Due to the nature of cellular data, when accessing tpt.org with a cellular connection, your signal may be transmitting from a location outside of TPT’s DMA. That is because cell towers are sending your data request to data centers before sending it back to tpt.org. This means that the DMA (zip code) that tpt.org sees is the DMA of the data center, and not of your physical location.

For example: When using cellular data at your house, your data request may be sent to a data center in Chicago prior to being sent to tpt.org to view a video. When you access tpt.org from your a cell phone that isn’t connected to wifi, tpt.org would see your connection as coming from Chicago – therefore not within TPT’s DMA.

To avoid this, when you are within TPT’s DMA, connect to a wifi network to view videos on tpt.org whenever possible.

 

Q: What is TPT Passport?

A: TPT Passport is a new TPT membership benefit which allows extended access to TPT and PBS shows online and on-demand. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

 

Q: How do I activate TPT Passport on my computer, tablet or phone?

Below is video that shows you step-by-step how to activate TPT Passport.

Q: How do I activate TPT Passport on my TV?

If you have activated TPT Passport online, you can also watch via the PBS app on your TV using Apple TV. Roku and other OTT devices will be coming soon.

How to activate TPT Passport on Apple TV:

  1. Find the PBS app on Apple TV.
  2. At the top of the app go to the settings menu.
  3. In the settings menu, at the bottom, there is an option to deactivate. Select this option. The screen will not change.
  4. Leave the PBS app and go back to the main screen of the Apple TV. This will give the PBS app time to reset and deactivate itself.
  5. Find the PBS app again. You will see a new screen saying the app needs to be activated.
  6. This new screen will give you activation instructions and an activation code, seven characters in length. Enter this code at http://www.pbs.org/activate
  7. After you hit continue, you will be brought to a new page asking you to sign-in with a Google, Facebook, or PBS account. Choose the account you initially activated TPT Passport with online.
  8. You will see a screen that your Apple TV has been activated. Return to the Apple TV where it will automatically update and you can begin watching TPT Passport videos.

How to activate TPT Passport on Roku:

  1. Enter the PBS channel on Roku.
  2. At the top of the channel go to the Settings menu.
  3. In the settings menu, at the bottom, there is an option to Deactivate Device. Select this option.
  4. Leave the PBS channel and go back to the main screen of the Roku. This will give the PBS channel the time to reset and deactivate itself.
  5. Enter the PBS channel again. You will see a new screen saying the channel needs to be activated.
  6. This new screen will give you activation instructions and an activation code, seven characters in length. Enter this code at http://www.pbs.org/activate
  7. After you hit continue, you will be brought to a new page asking you to sign in with a Google, Facebook, or PBS account. Choose the account you activated Passport with.
  8. You will see a screen that your Roku has been activated. Return to the Roku where it will automatically update and you can begin watching Passport videos.

 

Q: Where can I watch TPT?

A: TPT is available over-the-air and via cable providers throughout the greater Twin Cities area as well as in parts of Iowa and Wisconsin. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Much of TPT’s content is also available online via staging.tpt.org/shows.

 

Q: Why can’t I watch video?

If you are having trouble watching video on tpt.org (e.g. screen is black), try these troubleshooting techniques. If you are still having trouble, please contact us.

  1. Check to see if your ad blocker is turned on within your browser. Having your ad blocker turned on can prevent videos from playing. Below you will see how to check your ad blocker within Firefox, Chrome, IE and Safari.

Firefox

  1. Click the menu in the top right
  2. Choose “Add-ons”
  3. Choose “Extensions”
  4. Check to see if you have an add-on installed called “AdBlock”
  5. Remove by selecting “AdBlock” then click “Disable” or “Remove” to delete

Chrome

  1. If ad blocker is turned on you will see an icon of a red stop sign with a hand in it located near the Chrome menu (top right corner)
  2. If you see this icon, right click on the icon and choose “Pause AdBlock”
  3. Reload the page and the icon should fade
  4. Alternatively, you can remove the extension within your extensions (access via the Chrome menu)

IE

  1. Click on the menu in the top right (looks like a gear)
  2. Choose “Manage add-ons”
  3. Look for an ad-blocking ad on and “disable”

Safari

  1. Click on “Safari” located in the menu bar
  2. Choose “Preferences”
  3. Choose “Extensions”
  4. Look for an extension called “AdBlock”
  5. In the preference window, make sure the it is turned to “OFF”
  1. Check to see if your cookie tracking is turned off within your browser. Not allowing cookies could prevent videos from playing. Below is how to check your cookie settings within Firefox, Chrome, IE and Safari.

Firefox

  1. Click the menu in the top right
  2. Choose “Privacy”
  3. Under “History” choose “Firefox will use custom settings for history”
  4. The checkbox “Accept cookies from sites” should be checked

Chrome

  1. Click the menu in the top right
  2. Choose “Settings”
  3. Near the bottom of the page, choose “Show advanced settings”
  4. Under “Privacy”, choose “Content settings”
  5. The radio button “Allow local data to be set” should be selected

IE

  1. Click the menu in the top right (looks like a gear)
  2. Choose “Internet Options”
  3. Click on the “Privacy” tab
  4. Click on the “Advanced” button
  5. Check to make sure “Override automatic cookie handling” is NOT checked

Safari

  1. Click on “Safari” located in the menu bar
  2. Choose “Preferences”
  3. Under “Cookies and website data” make sure “allow for websites I visit” is checked

 

Q: How do I update my credit card information and/or sustaining membership payment online?

A: To update your membership payment amount or information, visit staging.tpt.org/update or call 651-229-1300.

 

Q: How do I submit a program or produce content for TPT?

A: TPT produces and airs many programs that are not from PBS and is open to submissions for work. Submissions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be proposed via TPT’s “contact us” form: staging.tpt.org/about/contact

 

Q: How do I donate my vehicle to TPT?

A: Donating your vehicle to TPT is free, easy, tax-deductible, and makes you a member. Visit staging.tpt.org/support/car-donation for more information.

 

Q: How do I volunteer for TPT?

A: TPT is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers! To inquire about volunteer opportunities, please contact Jennifer O’Byrne at (651) 229-1531 or jobyrne@tpt.org

 

Q: How much does a TPT membership cost?

A: There are a variety of membership levels and types at TPT. Sustaining gifts start as low as $5 per month and annual gifts at $60; but we encourage you to support TPT in whatever way works best for you. Please visit staging.tpt.org/support/membership for more information.

 

Q: What is a TPT Family Membership?

A: A Family Membership is a special sustaining membership option at $10 per month. TPT Family Members receive a variety of family-friendly benefits. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

 

Q: How is TPT funded?

A: TPT is over 50% member-supported! In addition to member support, TPT receives funding from a variety of public and private organizations as well as through grants and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Full public filing records can be found at staging.tpt.org/public-filings

 

Q: Does paying my cable subscriber support TPT or make me a member of TPT?

A: No. TPT does not receive any funding from cable television providers. You can only become a member of TPT directly through TPT.

 

Q: How is TPT different from PBS?

A: TPT is the Twin Cities PBS member station – the critical link that brings PBS (and other) content to our local community. TPT is an independently funded and run 501C3 non-profit that is part of a membership network of public television stations who make up the PBS system.

PBS is a private, nonprofit national corporation whose members are America’s public TV stations (like TPT) — noncommercial, educational licensees that operate 350 PBS member stations and serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

 

Q: Are Twin Cities PBS (TPT) and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) the same organization?

A: No. TPT and MPR are colleagues in public media, but are not, and never have been, affiliated in any way. In some cities, public radio and public television are in the same organization, but that is not the case with TPT and MPR.

 

Q: What is TPT Program Club?

A: An opportunity to watch stimulating programming on TPT with others at an off-site location and to join others to discuss the program. With a format similar to a book club, you can meet new and interesting people, develop new friendships, and enjoy thought-provoking discussions. For more information, contact Mantha Petrovich at 651.229.1417 or mpetrovich@tpt.org

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