In 1987, the Students Association at UT established the Student Media Agency for the purpose of wiring the on-campus residence halls for cable. A student-run television channel immediately became the primary goal of said agency.
Texas Student Television was originally operating under the auspices of the Student Media Association and was housed in the University Services Building. The station subsequently moved to the basement of Hogg Memorial Auditorium in Fall 1990. On December 7, 1990, TSTV was provisionally accepted as its own media unit of Texas Student Publications (TSP), now Texas Student Media, the largest student media operation in the U.S., pending an agreement formally specifying its obligations with regard to an access channel.
Still awaiting City Council approval of its access channel, on June 14, 1991 TSTV began operating for a few hours per week on time allotted by Austin Community Television, now known as Austin Public. When the City Council failed to allocate TSTV’s channel, efforts were redirected toward assuming control of UT’s unused permit to construct a low-power commercial television station.
In April 1994, UT President Robert M. Berdahl granted the station, through Texas Student Publications, permission to construct, manage, and operate the university’s analog broadcast license of K09VR on VHF channel 9. On February 3, 1995, over-the-air broadcasts commenced from a transmitter located atop the UT Tower. TSTV also secured its own channel on the campus-wide dorm cable system, now channel 15.1.
In January 2010, TSTV began broadcasting a stronger, digital signal on UHF channel 29.1 under a new call sign, K29HW-D. The station also has two sub channels: 29.2 simulcasts KVRX’s radio signal and 29.3 airs infomercials. Live programming can also be watched online via watchtstv.com/live.
Currently, the station is located in the Hearst Student Media (HSM) building on campus. TSTV’s programming features long time shows such as Texas News Channel, Sneak Peek, College Crossfire, Good Morning Texas, College Press Box, Local Live, and Video Game Hour Live. Many of these shows have won awards and are nationally recognized as some of the most successful collegiate programs in the country. Long-running show Campus Loop (1999-2001) was nationally syndicated on the College Broadcast network. This, as well as numerous other previous shows, still airs repeats today.
Notable Hollywood personalities that have worked at and/or appeared on several of the station's shows include Pauly Shore, Mark Cuban, Dennis Quaid, Robert Rodriguez, Todd Berger, Burnie Burns, Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson, Sterling Knight, and Jimmy Fallon.