TV Viewers Using Antennas Will Need to Rescan in January

November 27, 2019

Nearly 1,000 television stations nationwide  have or will be transitioning to new frequencies in phases through July 2020. The current transition phase includes some local TV stations in the Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News area. Viewers in the Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News area who watch over-the-air television with an antenna will need to rescan their TV to continue receiving these local channels. You may have already seen announcements aired by local TV stations about the rescan.

The reason why television stations are changing frequencies is to make room for new 5G and other mobile broadband services. Nationwide, millions of U.S. households watch national network and local TV programming using an over-the-air antenna. Cable and satellite subscribers aren’t affected by these changes.

The FCC has provided a variety of online materials to help inform consumers and the press about the rescan process. By visiting, you will find an instructional video by the FCC showing viewers how to rescan their TV, press resourcesconsumer toolkittransition scheduleFAQs, and an interactive map where you can enter your address to see which TV stations are changing frequencies in your area. Upon request, the FCC has also made available a publish-ready article about the rescan for small community newspapers that do not have the staff to conduct an interview.

 Viewers who watch television with an antenna may have noticed that some of their local TV stations have announced that they will be moving – and in some cases have already moved – to new frequencies. While the channel numbers on the TV are not changing, viewers who use a rooftop or indoor antenna will need to rescan their televisions to continue receiving those channels,” “The rescan process is the same as when viewers first connected their TV to the antenna, and the FCC has resources to help viewers who may need assistance.

Eastern Shore Custom Carts

In the Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News area, these are the six TV stations that are scheduled to change frequencies by January 17, 2020.


  • WAVY-TV (NBC 10)
  • WNLO-TV (CW 23)
  • WUND-TV (PBS 2)
  • WVBT-TV (FOX 43)
  • WYSJ-TV (CH 19)
  • WJGN-TV (CH 38)


  • Most viewers don’t need any new devices, equipment, or services to rescan their TV.
  • The FCC has posted an instructional video showing viewers how to rescan their TV and information for consumers and the press about the rescan process.
  • To rescan, viewers will need their TV remote control or analog TV converter box, then choose “Channel Scan,” “Channel Tuning,” or “Auto Search” in the “Setup” or “Channel” menu (the precise labels change among manufacturers). Once you find either the “Channel Scan” or “Channel Tuning” buttons, choose the automatic option to rescan.
  • By rescanning, viewers who watch TV using an antenna will keep their existing channels, and may even discover new channels in their broadcast area.
  • TV stations are changing frequencies on a rolling basis, so consumers will likely need to rescan their television more than once.

For further assistance, TV viewers can visit or call the consumer help line at 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and press “6” to speak with a dedicated help desk representative, seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. (EST).  The call center is available in English and Spanish and the information on the website is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Tagalog.


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