In April of 2017 The Federal Communications Commission auctioned off what is called spectrum. Spectrum is basically a certain frequency range that different entities use to transmit signals. The two big entities that use spectrum are cell phone carriers and Over the Air TV stations.
The Spectrum was sold to cell phone carriers so that they can increase the amount of data that they can transmit. So many over the air broadcast channels that you receive through an HD Antenna will be moving to another frequency.
When will the channels in my area be moving?
Unfortunately it is not being done by geographic location. It is being done in phases and different channels in your area may be moving during different phases. Below is a list of the phases and when they will be happening.
So the only real way to see if any channels are moving or have moved is to use a website like www.antennaweb.com and enter your address. Antenna Web will show you which channels are moving and in what phase they will be moved. Below is an example of how they list it out.
What do I do if my channels have moved?
Luckily for you it is a very easy process. Do you remember when you first connected your HD Antenna to your TV and ran a channel scan? To retrieve access to any channels that may have moved you just simply run a new channel scan and your TV will see that there are new channels on new frequencies and will now show those channels.
What happens if I don't do a channel scan?
TV's have gotten much smarter over the past 10 years. TV's can now read the signal strength of a channel and some TV's will hide any channels that have low to no signal. This means that if a channel you normally watch moves to a different frequency, your TV will think the channel is gone and it will disappear from your guide.
Unfortunately your TV does not actively scan for new channels on it's own. Your TV's only way of seeing if there are new channels available is for you to manually run a channel scan.
Another great upside of running a channel scan is that you may discover that new channels have sprung up in your area and now you have more channels to watch. Nothing wrong with more free for life channels to choose from! That is one of the reasons that we feel so strongly that every household should have an Over the Air Antenna. It is a one time purchase and gets you free channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS in HD for FREE!
Do I only need to do one channel scan?
If you are reading this article after July 3rd in 2020, then yes you can do one channel scan and you are good to go. But since different channels will be moving in different phases you may have to run a channel scan every few months to ensure that you are getting the maximum amount of channels.
We would reccomend running a channel scan every 3 months or so to see if any new channels are available. But would run one immediately if one of the channels you watch is no longer available. You will most likely find that you now have the channel back, but it may be a numbered differently.
Should I get an HD Antenna if I don't have one?
It's a personal decision, but if getting the four major networks in crystal clear HD with no monthly bill sound go to you, then it's a big yes. Did you know that 96% of the most popular shows on TV air on those four channels alone? Don't forget about the Superbowl, World Series, The Masters, Olympics plus many other great events and shows.
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