Your TV channels may be moving frequencies.
We're here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is happening?
By law, nearly 1,000 TV stations must move to new frequencies to make room for wireless services.

Why is 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. The auction has concluded and now nearly 1,000 TV stations are required by the FCC to move frequencies to make room for wireless companies that purchased the broadcast airwaves.

When is this happening?
TV stations arerequired to move frequencies at different times starting in 2018 through 2020. Click here to see which stations in your hometown may be moving and when.

How does it impact me?
Click here to see which stations in your hometown are moving frequencies and when. If you rely on an antenna to receive free, over-the-air TV, rescan your TV anytime after your local stations move. You do not need to purchase new equipment or services to rescan. If you pay to subscribe to a television service – such as cable or satellite – you do not need to take action.

How will I know when my local stations are moving?
Stay tuned to your local TV stations for the latest information about their move date and click here to see which stations in your area may be moving and when.

What does a station move entail?
Stations will be moving frequencies, which in most cases means only moving their antenna which sits on top of their current tower. However, some stations will need new, heavier antennas and may need to reinforce their current tower or build a new one that can hold the weight. To learn more, click here. These changes are happening behind the scenes. You will still find your favorite stations on the same channel numbers as before.

Will this affect my local affiliates or just public access channels?
Depending on your area, potentially both. Click here to see which stations in your hometown are moving and when.

Will my TV stations get new numbers?
After you rescan your TV set, your local TV stations will still be found at their usual channel numbers.

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.

What do I do?
If you rely on an antenna to receive free, over-the-air TV, rescan your TV or converter box anytime after when your station moves frequencies to continue watching free, broadcast television. The actual channel number that you see will not change. TV stations have been assigned different timeframes to move frequencies, so you may need to rescan your TV more than once. You do not need to purchase new equipment or services to rescan your TV. Click here to learn how to rescan. If you subscribe to a pay-TV service – such as cable or satellite – you do not need to do anything, your service provider will do it for you.

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.

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:

  1. Disconnect the antenna from the TV or converter box.
  2. Rescan the TV or converter box without the antenna connected. As with any scan follow the on-screen instructions or owner’s manual for your TV.
  3. Unplug the TV or converter box from the electrical outlet for one minute.
  4. Reconnect the antenna to the TV or converter box and plug the unit into the electrical outlet.
  5. Rescan the TV or converter box again.

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.

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.

When are Your TV Channels Moving?

Use our tool to learn when stations in your area are moving channels.

Look Up Your Station Moves