Time To Scan
Time To Scan

Rhode Island PBS has successfully completed necessary construction and installation of our new broadcast antenna, and the engineers have conducted preliminary testing of the equipment. It is now time for you to scan!

If you are an over-the-air viewer, you must scan to let your TV tuner find the new location of our signal. Our channel numbers will not change (36.1 and 36.2), but where your TV finds our signal has changed. That is why you must scan.

Cable and satellite viewers do not have to scan, even if you lost our signal during the relocation. The companies are being notified to scan for you, and reception should soon resume normally. If, however, over the next several days you still do not see our channels, please contact your cable or satellite company directly. You should also contact your provider if you experience prolonged disruption of our channel signal.

For help and information, you may call the FCC Consumer Hotline at 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and press 6 after the prompt.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “repacking”?
By law, nearly 1,000 TV stations must move to new frequencies to make room for wireless services. Before repacking, television station frequencies were spread out along a wide range of broadcast spectrum, sometimes leaving unoccupied space between channels. Known as “repacking,” the FCC plan “repacks” broadcast frequencies, combining empty space to create a larger, uninterrupted span for wireless services.

Plan To ScanPlan To Scan

What must I do?
If you rely on an antenna to receive our two channels for free over-the-air, you will need to scan your TV. You so not need to purchase new equipment or services to scan. The actual channel numbers you used before repacking will not change. After scanning, find us Rhode Island PBS at 36.1 and Learn at 36.2.

Please note that unless you scan and let your television find the new location of our signal, you will not be able to watch Rhode Island PBS and Learn on your TV.

If you subscribe to cable or satellite you do not need to scan for our signal, even if you experienced outage. Your providers should take care of relocating the signal for you.

may discover TV channels that you didn't know you were missing.

How to Scan

How do I scan my TV?
You can access the scan command from your television’s remote control.

1. Press MENU
2. Select SETUP or SETTINGS (or similar term)
3. Select ANTENNA, and then press SCAN or AUTOTUNE (or similar term) to start the scanning process.
4. Your TV will do the rest. This process takes a few minutes to complete.

Once your scan is complete, enter channel 36.1 and 36.2 to verify a successful scan. You will still find us and other local stations on the same channel numbers as before the repack.

If you have scanning difficulties, you can usually find instructions by selecting the Set-Up or Menu button on the remote control for your television or converter box.

Still having issues? Consult the TV or converter box owner's manual for detailed instructions on how to run a channel scan, or contact customer service for your TV or converter box manufacturer.

If I need help scanning, whom do I call?
For scanning instructions courtesy of TVAnswers.org, click here. 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 to scan your TV.

For additional assistance, contact the FCC’s consumer hotline at 1-888-225-5322 and press prompt number 6. This is a government call center not affiliated with WSBE Rhode Island PBS or TVAnswers.org.

I scanned my TV as suggested and am still missing channels. What should I do?
If you are missing channels after your initial scan, try to scan your set again. If multiple scans are not solving the problem, you may want to clear the memory of your TV by following these steps:

1. Disconnect the antenna from the TV or converter box.
2. Scan the TV or converter box without the antenna connected. As with any scan, follow the on-screen instructions or owner’s manual for your TV.
3. Unplug the TV or converter box from the electrical outlet for one minute.
4. Reconnect the antenna to the TV or converter box, plug the unit into the electrical outlet.
5. Rescan the TV or converter box again.

Also keep in mind that the location of an indoor antenna is key. Try moving your antenna near a window and position it as high as possible. Keep it away from other electronic equipment, including computers, DVD players, converter boxes, etc. You may want to change the direction the antenna is facing if you are not getting reception.

Do I need to buy a new antenna?
Probably not. Per the FCC, Rhode Island PBS is moving from broadcasting in ultra-high frequency (UHF) to broadcasting in very high frequency (VHF). You may need to adjust your antenna manually or purchase a new antenna in order to receive our signals. The National Association of Broadcasters suggests visiting AntennaWeb.org for more precise information regarding signal strength and what type of antenna may work best for you.

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 scan 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.

Still Need Help?

Still need help?
For additional assistance, contact the FCC’s consumer hotline at 1-888-225-5322 and press prompt number 6. This is a government call center not affiliated with WSBE Rhode Island PBS or TVAnswers.org.

Additional sources:
TVAnswers.org, made possible by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
Federal Communication Commission

Information is accurate and up to date as of June 30, 2019

WSBE Rhode Island PBS

How to Rescan Your TV - FCC

The Federal Communications Commission created this video to explain TV frequency moves and changes, and how to let your TV tuner scan for new locations of over the air channel signals.