View­ers who watch by an­tenna: Time to res­can

Orlando Sentinel - - PEOPLE & ARTS - BY HAL BOEDEKER Email me at [email protected]­lan­dosen­ Want more TV and movie news? Go to or­lan­dosen­

It’s a big week for Cen­tral Florid­i­ans who watch tele­vi­sion by an­tenna.

They will have to res­can their tele­vi­sions this week to re­ceive th­ese sta­tions: WFTV (ABC 9), WOFL (Fox 35), WUCF (PBS 24), WVEN (Univi­sion 43), WOTF (UniMás 26), WHDO (Chan­nel 38), WRCF (Chan­nel 29), WHLV (Chan­nel 52), WKCF (CW 18), WRBW (Chan­nel 65) and WZXZ (Chan­nel 36). WKME (Chan­nel 31) and WDSC (Chan­nel 15) have al­ready moved to new fre­quen­cies.

This does not af­fect ca­ble or satel­lite users. Not ev­ery TV sta­tion will be mov­ing at the same time. WFTV and WKCF says its view­ers need to res­can af­ter 10 a.m. Thurs­day. View­ers also need to res­can WOFL and WRBW af­ter 10 a.m. Thurs­day.

WUCF says its res­can day will be Satur­day and warns view­ers who watch by an­tenna that it will be off the air all day Thurs­day and Fri­day. The Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion re­minds view­ers that they will need to res­can their TV mul­ti­ple times to make sure they con­tinue to get those chan­nels. View­ers don’t need any new de­vices, equip­ment or ser­vices to res­can their TV.

Here’s an in­ter­view with Jean Kid­doo, chair of the FCC In­cen­tive Auc­tion Task Force, who over­sees the res­can cam­paign. Ques­tion. What’s go­ing on? An­swer. As part of the FCC’s ef­fort to make more air­waves avail­able for new, high-speed wire­less ser­vices, some TV sta­tions in cities across the United States are chang­ing their over-the-air broad­cast fre­quen­cies. The ac­tual chan­nel num­ber on the TV will not change. Nearly 1,000 tele­vi­sion sta­tions na­tion­wide have al­ready or will be tran­si­tion­ing to new fre­quen­cies in phases through July 2020. Q. What do view­ers need to do? A. Be­cause fre­quen­cies are chang­ing, view­ers who watch free, over-the-air tele­vi­sion with an an­tenna will need to res­can their TV set each time a sta­tion they re­ceive moves to a new fre­quency to en­sure that their TV rec­og­nizes the new fre­quency when they tune to that chan­nel. This is the same scan that is done to find lo­cal chan­nels dur­ing an ini­tial TV or con­verter box set up. Ca­ble and satel­lite cus­tomers do not need to take any ac­tion.

View­ers will know when to res­can based on re­quired an­nounce­ments that TV sta­tions chang­ing fre­quen­cies make on the air. If a chan­nel the viewer is used to get­ting is sud­denly miss­ing, the viewer should res­can. View­ers who res­can will keep their other ex­ist­ing chan­nels, and may even dis­cover they pick up new chan­nels af­ter the res­can. The FCC has pro­vided a va­ri­ety of on­line re­sources to help con­sumers res­can their tele­vi­sions. By vis­it­ing­can, con­sumers will find an in­struc­tional video by the FCC show­ing view­ers how to res­can their TV, FAQs, and an in­ter­ac­tive map where you can en­ter your ad­dress to see which TV sta­tions are chang­ing fre­quen­cies in your area. TV view­ers also can call the FCC’s con­sumer help line at 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and press “6” to speak with a help desk rep­re­sen­ta­tive, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. (EST).

Q. Can you ex­plain what view­ers need to do?

A. To res­can, look in the “setup” or “chan­nel” menu of your tele­vi­sion re­mote con­trol or con­verter box for “auto tune” or “auto search,” “chan­nel scan,” “pro­gram,” or “res­can.” Be­cause some chan­nels in the same area are chang­ing fre­quen­cies at dif­fer­ent times, con­sumers may need to res­can their tele­vi­sion more than once. This means that view­ers who res­canned to re­ceive a chan­nel that they were miss­ing at an ear­lier phase may have to res­can again when a dif­fer­ent sta­tion changes fre­quency. It is a good habit to pe­ri­od­i­cally res­can your TV.

Q. This af­fects over-the-air view­ers. Do you have a clue of how many view­ers in the Or­lando-Day­tona BeachMel­bourne mar­ket get TV that way?

A. Ac­cord­ing to Nielsen, around 16 mil­lion house­holds, or about 14 per­cent of Amer­i­cans, watch tele­vi­sion over the air with an an­tenna.

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