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) to auction off broadcast TV frequencies – or airwaves – to make more airwaves available for wireless services. The auction has concluded and now TV stations that did not participate in the auction will be required to move frequencies to make room for wireless companies that purchased the broadcast airwaves.
When is this happening?
TV stations will be required to move frequencies at different times starting in 2018 through at least the spring of 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 you will need to rescan your TV when your local stations move. You do not need to purchase new equipment or services. If you pay to subscribe to a television service – such as cable or satellite – you do not need to take action.
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.
Are any stations going off the air permanently?
Stations that participated in the auction are currently assessing their ability to continue broadcasting by sharing a channel with another station, but some may go off the air entirely. Each decision is being made based on the stations' unique situation. Click here to see if any stations in your hometown may possibly go off the air. Stay tuned to these local stations for more information.
What do I do?
If you rely on an antenna to receive free, over-the-air TV, simply rescan your TV or converter box when your stations move channels 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 or hire someone to complete the rescanning for you. It is a relatively simple process. 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.
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 learn when your stations may be moving.
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. 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.
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 or hire someone to complete the rescanning for you. It is a relatively simple process.
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.
I rescanned my set as suggested and am still missing channels even after multiple attempts at rescanning. Does this mean I need to buy a new antenna?
While most channels can be recovered by attempting an additional rescan, 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 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.
Use our tool to learn when stations in your area are moving channels.Look Up Your Station Moves