Don’t Have Cable? TV Stations in NY, NJ, Philly are Changing Channels
TV stations all over the country will be changing over-the-air frequencies this year to make room for expanded wireless services.
The Federal Communications Commission's Jean Kiddoo says about a thousand TV stations will make frequency changes by "compacting the TV stations into a smaller area of the airwaves."
Kiddoo, chairwoman of the Incentive Auction Task Force, said the move will "free up valuable airwaves" to allow mobile broadband services to increase capacity and "bring on new services like 5G service."
Kiddoo says if you view stations by satellite or cable, your provider will take care of this. But if you use antenna reception, you'll have to have your device rescan to find the new frequencies.
This change will not affect what is known as the "virtual channel," which is the channel that a station is identified with — just the "RF channel" or the frequency.
For example, WCBS-TV in New York still goes by Channel 2 (its virtual channel) but is broadcast on Channel 33. Its new frequency will be Channel 36.
If an antenna viewer does not rescan to find the new frequency channels, the TV will not display the station the viewer is looking for.
KYW 3 (CBS) in Philadelphia will move to Channel 30.
WNBC 4 (NBC) in New York will move to Channel 35.
WNYW 5 (Fox) in New York will move to Channel 27.
WWOR 9 in Secaucus will move to Channel 25.
WCAU 10 (NBC) in Philadelphia will move to Channel 28.
WHYY 12 (PBS) in Philadelphia will move to Channel 13.
WNET 13 (PBS) in Newark will move to Channel 12.
WNJS 23 (PBS) in Camden will move to Channel 23.
WTXF 29 (Fox) in Philadelphia will move to Channel 31.
WXTV 41 (Univision) in Newark will move to Channel 26.
WNJU 47 (Telemundo) in Linden will move to Channel 35.
WNJT 52 (PBS) in Camden will move to Channel 23.
WFUT 68 (Unimas) in Newark will move to Channel 26.
TV viewers can go the the FCC website, fcc.gov/tvrescan, to enter a ZIP code and see which TV stations they should be able to pick up by antenna. The FCC also has a call-in center, 1-888-CALL-FCC, to answer questions in both English and Spanish, 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Kidoo says the frequency repositioning should be completed by next July.