Why did stations change frequencies?
By law, nearly 1,000 TV stations were required to move to new frequencies to make room for wireless services between Sept. 2018 and July 2020.
Why did this happening?
Congress authorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the agency that governs the public airwaves to auction off broadcast TV frequencies (or airwaves) to make more channels available for wireless services. As a result, nearly 1,000 TV stations were required by the FCC to move frequencies to make room for wireless companies that purchased the broadcast airwaves.
When did this happening?
TV stations were assigned to different phases to move frequencies starting in the fall of 2018 through July 3, 2020.
How does it impact viewers?
Viewers who rely on an antenna to receive free, over-the-air TV had to rescan their TVs after local stations moved. Viewers who subscribe to a television service such as cable or satellite did not need to take action.
How will I know if my local stations moved?
If you rely on an antenna to watch your local stations and you have lost a channel, it may be due to a frequency move. You can rescan your TV to ensure you are receiving all available channels.
If a station in your area is not quite finished with their technical work, your ability to access the station may be impacted. Click here for a list of local stations that are still working to transition to their final facilities.
How do stations move frequencies?
In most cases, a frequency move means moving the TV stations’ antenna which sits on top of their current tower. However, some stations needed new, heavier antennas and to reinforce their current tower or build a new one that can hold the weight. To learn more, click here. These changes happen behind the scenes. You will still find your favorite stations on the same channel numbers as before.
What is rescanning?
Rescanning is when your TV or converter box finds all of the available channels in your area. If you haven't rescanned your TV recently, you may discover TV channels that you didn't know you were missing.
If I need help rescanning, who do I call?
Click here for rescanning instructions. If you have difficulty, consult the owner's manual for your television or converter box for more detailed instructions on how to run a channel scan, or contact customer service for your TV or converter box manufacturer. You do not need to purchase new equipment or services to rescan your TV. For additional assistance, contact the FCC’s consumer hotline at 1-888-225-5322 and press prompt number 6.This is a government call center not affiliated with TVAnswers.org.
I rescanned my TV as suggested and am still missing channels. What should I do?
If you are missing channels after your initial rescan, try to rescan your set again. If multiple rescans are not solving the problem, you may want to clear the memory of your TV by following these steps:
Also keep in mind that the location of an indoor antenna is key. Try moving your antenna near a window and position it as high as possible. Keep it away from other electronic equipment, including computers, DVD players, converter boxes, etc. You may want to change the direction the antenna is facing if you are not getting reception.
Lost channels may also be due to stations that are still working to complete their transitions. Click here for a list of local stations that are still working to move to their final facilities.
Do I need to buy a new antenna?
Probably not, but in a few cases, your local station may have moved from broadcasting in ultra-high frequency (UHF) to broadcasting in very high frequency (VHF). In these few instances, you may need to either adjust your antenna manually or purchase a new antenna in order to receive the signal. Our partners at AntennaWeb.org may be able to provide you with more precise information regarding signal strength and what type of antenna may work for you.
I lost my original TV remote, what do I do?
If you cannot find the remote control for your television or converter box, try using your universal remote to rescan or check the TV for controls located on the side or back of the unit. If you do not see controls on the TV, contact your set manufacturer for assistance.
Click the button below to find out if a local station in your area is still working to complete its transition.