Header: "Plan to Scan: If you watch WTVP with an over the air antenna, changes are coming.

12/11/2019:

WTVP is scheduled to have work done on our broadcast tower to prepare for our Transmitter & Antenna replacement. The work is scheduled to begin on Thursday, December 12th, 2019, weather permitting. To do this work safely, we will have to lower our broadcast power which means some viewers may not be able to receive our signal. Comcast and I3 Broadband customers should be unaffected. We hope to have this work done quickly. Check our 'Repack' page for updated information.

11/26/2019:

We have been informed by our tower crew company that are new target date for our transmitter switch over will be January 17th, 2020. This dependent on weather conditions and tower crew availability. We will post updates as we are notified.

WTVP's new Transmitter
WTVP's new transmitter arrives

WTVP will be Changing Broadcast Frequency

Many local TV stations in cities across the U.S. will be changing their over-the-air broadcast frequencies between now and July 2020. WTVP is one of the Peoria television stations required to make the change.

Congress authorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – the agency that governs the public airwaves – to hold an auction to provide more channels for wireless broadband services. Now that the auction is complete, the FCC is requiring many TV stations to change frequencies.

People who watch free over-the-air television with an antenna will need to rescan their TV set each time a station moves to continue receiving the local channel. It's the same scan that you did to find your local channels when you set up your TV or converter box for the first time.

How does this effect WTVP?

In order for WTVP to change its frequency we must install a new transmitter and replace the antenna located atop of our tower in East Peoria.

  • Installation of our new transmitter and equipment may begin as early at November 4th, 2019.
  • As early as December 1st, 2019, our old transmitter will be powered down to accommodate this construction project.
  • Over-the-air viewers in our broadcast area may experience broadcast interruptions December 1st thru December 12th.
  • On or after January 17th, 2020, over-the-air viewers will need to re-scan the channels on their television or converter box.
  • NOTE: This timeline is dependent on weather conditions. If central Illinois experiences winter weather during this time our timeline will be adjusted and announced on this page.

Please see the Frequently Ask Questions below for more information.

Page updated on 11/26/2019

ower crew preforming maintenance on the WTVP broadcast tower.
Tower crew preforming maintenance on the WTVP broadcast tower.
Frequently Asked Questions | Repack

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.

Channel Repack explained, shows broadcast channels being packed to one end of the spectrum to open up frequencies for wireless

Why is this happening?

Congress authorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – the agency that governs the public airwaves – to auction off broadcast TV frequencies (or airwaves) to make more channels available for wireless services. Now, nearly 1,000 TV stations are required by the FCC to move frequencies to make room for wireless companies that purchased the broadcast airwaves.

When is this happening?

WTVP begins broadcast on our new frequency on or after January 17th, 2020*. We were advised that construction and installation of our new transmitter and equipment is scheduled to begin as early as November 4th, and we will begin our public notification over the air on November 1st, 30 days before the expected disruption.

*Dependent on weather conditions.

How will this move affect me?

To comply with the FCC mandates, WTVP must move our broadcast signal to a new location. For our new frequency, we must install a new transmitter and antenna. As early as December 1st, 2019, our old transmitter will be powered down to accommodate this construction project.

Over-the-air viewers in our broadcast area may experience broadcast interruptions December 1st thru December 9th.

Some cable, DISH Network and DirecTV subscribers in Central Illinois will also experiencing outages.

Subscribers of Comcast and I3 Broadband should not experience disruptions or outages.

What must I do?

If you rely on an antenna to receive our three channels for free over-the-air, you will need to scan your TV on or after December 9th*. You do not need to purchase new equipment or services to scan. The actual channel numbers you used before repacking will not change. After scanning, find WTVP at 47.1, 47.2, and 47.32.

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.

*This date is dependent on weather conditions.

What are my viewing alternatives?

During this transition if you cannot watch us on television, you will have free access to a selection of programs online on demand at your convenience at video.wtvp.org and the PBS Video App. You can also sign up for WTVP | Passport, a member benefit offering expanded access to 1,500 favorite – and new – PBS episodes, series, and documentaries.

Will my TV stations get new numbers?

No. After you scan your TV set, your will find our channels on 47.1, 47.2, and 47.3 still at their usual channel numbers.

Just what is scanning?

Scanning is when your TV or converter box searches the airwaves and locates the signals of available channels in your area. If you haven't scanned your TV recently, you may discover TV channels that you didn't know you were missing.

How do I scan my TV?

Scanning is when your TV or converter box searches the airwaves and locates the signals of available channels in your area. If you haven't scanned your TV recently, you may discover TV channels that you didn't know you were missing.

How to Scan

  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 47.1. 47.2, and 47.3 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 WTVP 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. 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 a 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?

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 WTVP or tvanswers.org,.

Additional sources used in compiling these FAQs:

tvanswers.org, made possible by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)

Federal Communication Commission