Over-The-Air TV is Changing: Plan to Scan

Last Updated by Lucie Raposo on

Rhode Island PBS is moving our broadcast frequencies and upgrading our transmission equipment. The channel numbers you use to find us will not change, but if you watch TV over the air with an antenna, where your television finds our signal will change. 

Why is this happening?


Example of Spectrum before and after Called “repacking,” our move – and the moves of about 1,000 television stations nationwide – is mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as authorized by Congress, to make room on the broadcast spectrum for more wireless services.


What must I do?

If you watch our channels over the air with an antenna, you may experience periodic signal disruptions and outages during the transmitter upgrade and frequency relocation. At the end of this transition period, over-the-air antenna viewers must rescan to let your TV tuner find the new location of our signals. Please check our Website periodically for information about your Plan to Scan date.

How to Scan If you have internet access, you may watch select PBS programs for free at your convenience at watch.ripbs.org.

If you are an existing Rhode Island PBS member, you may prefer to use your RIPBS | Passport benefit for expanded access to PBS episodes, series, and documentaries.

If you have not “activated” your Passport account, or if you are not yet a member or your membership has lapsed, please email membership services at Rhode Island PBS.

If you watch Rhode Island PBS and Learn on cable or satellite, our move should not affect you and your cable and satellite companies will scan TV signals for you.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS is scheduled to begin broadcast on our new frequency by October 19, 2019. We have been advised that construction and installation of our new transmitter and equipment could begin as early as August 15. The most current information indicates changes begin Monday, September 2.

WJAR NBC 10 and WLNE ABC 6 also move onOctober 19. The move by WPRI CBS 12 started June 22, 2019; Telemundo moved in July 2018.

If you have family members, neighbors, or friends who watch TV over the air in Rhode Island and Southeastern FCC help Massachusetts, please check in with them to be sure they Plan to Scan.

If you have questions about Plan to Scan, we have a page of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on our website. You may also call the FCC Consumer Hotline at 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and press 6 at the prompt.