Skip to main content
Over-The-Air TV is Changing: Plan to Scan
Email share

UPDATE October 18: Recent heavy rains and high winds have caused unsafe conditions on the tower. PLAN TO SCAN on the new date of October 31.*

Rhode Island PBS is moving our broadcast frequency 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?

Image - #7REPACKING_Explained.pngCalled “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.

Plan to Scan

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. As of September 20, our transmitter was powered down so work can be completed on the tower for our upgrade, as well as that of WJAR NBC10 and WLNE ABC6; our equipment is all on the same tower.  At the end of this transition period, over-the-air antenna viewers must use your TV remote control and the menu function to let your TV tuner find the new location of our signals. The best information we have at this time is to please Plan to Scan on or after OCTOBER 19OCTOBER 31.

Image - #7stepbystep_1280x720.pngIf you have Internet, you may watch Local Live Streaming (LLC) of our main channel schedule on your smart TV or other Internet-connected device (computer, iPad, phone, etc.) at

You may also watch select PBS programs for free at your convenience at

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.

Cable and Satellite Viewers

If you watch Rhode Island PBS and Learn on cable or satellite, our move should not affect you and your cable or satellite company will scan TV signals for you. If you are a cable subscriber and you are not seeing our channel, chances are your provider receives our signal over the air instead of by direct feed. In that case, we appear to have "gone dark" or have "no signal." This is not a cable problem and unless other arrangements can be made, your provider will scan for you when we begin transmitting over the air again (on or after October 31).

WSBE Rhode Island PBS is scheduled to begin broadcast on our new frequency after October 31, 2019. Please visit for latest news and updates.

If you have family members, neighbors, or friends who watch TV over the air in Rhode Island and Southeastern Image - #7stepfcc_help.pngMassachusetts, 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.

We do regret any inconvenience this outage may cause. Thank you for your kind messages of support, and for your patience as we look forward to coming back over the air on or after October 31*!

*subject to change

Posted August 24, 2019
Updated September 28, 2019
Updated October 4, 2019
Updated October 18, 2019