Important News About Your Over-The-Air WVIZ/PBS ideastream Signal

ideastream plan to scan repack transmitter wviz pbs

Project Update

As FCC-mandated frequency changes are implemented, WVIZ/PBS ideastream will be broadcasting at lower power than usual. This may result in poor or no reception for some viewers. As of August 19, we have completed an antenna replacement. Tower crews are now working to replace the transmission line in order to restore WVIZ/PBS ideastream to full power. Once WVIZ/PBS ideastream is restored to full power, the signal should become accessible to over-the-air viewers after a final television scan. Viewers who are unable to receive the signal can email plantoscan@ideastream.org to sign up to receive a notification about the final date to scan.

Have questions or need help with your viewing issues? Call the FCC National Rescan Hotline at 1-888-CALLFCC. Hours are 8 a.m.–1 a.m.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is requiring several television stations in Northeast Ohio, including WVIZ/PBS ideastream, to change television frequencies. The new frequency configuration is needed because the FCC held a nationwide spectrum auction of television station bandwidths to expand wireless services in order to meet the increasing needs for faster and higher capacity mobile broadband services. WVIZ/PBS ideastream participated in the broadcast spectrum auction.

We made the transition to the new frequency in the early morning of August 2, 2019. Now that the transition is complete, if you watch WVIZ/PBS ideastream using an over-the-air antenna, you will need to scan your TV. If you watch the stations on cable, a satellite service or the internet, you don’t need to do a thing! If you have Cable or Satellite, and are having trouble finding WVIZ/PBS ideastream, call your provider.

If you have already scanned your television, but are having reception issues, here are some troubleshooting techniques:

  • For the best reception, have your antenna as high as possible in your house, close to a window.

  • Your antenna should be aimed at our tower in southern Cleveland.

  • Using your television remote, perform a channel scan. Your television remote may use a different term if you cannot locate this function, contact your television manufacturer customer support.

  • Each time you make an adjustment to your antenna placement you will need to scan and verify the correct channels were recognized by your television.

If you have NOT already scanned your television, please follow the instructions below:

First, if you watch television over cable or satellite, you do not have to scan.

If you watch television over the air using an antenna, you WILL need to SCAN. Typically, you use your remote to perform the scan. You can follow the steps in your owner’s manual or look online. Since the process is a little different for each brand of TV, we have provided some of the top television manufacturers’ information on how to perform a scan. The process will vary depending on the model you have. The information below is intended to get you headed in the right direction if you are using the original remote that came with your TV. You can refine your research from there.

Popular TVs:

  1. Samsung

  2. LG

  3. Sony

  4. Vizio

  5. TCL

Additional Resources:

What is happening?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is requiring several television stations in Northeast Ohio, including WVIZ/PBS ideastream, to change television frequencies.

Who will this impact?
This change affects only those who use an antenna to watch over-the-air television. Households using cable, a satellite service or the internet will not be impacted.

What is the timing?
The project began on December 27, 2018 and is expected to be completed in August 2019. On August 2, WVIZ/PBS ideastream will have a new frequency, but will be temporarily broadcasting on lower power than usual. The entire project, including a return to full power, should be completed by mid-to-late August.

Why is this happening?
The frequency reassignments are part of a project undertaken by the FCC to improve and expand wireless and broadband services. By law, as many as 1,000 TV stations nationwide, both commercial and non-commercial, must change broadcast frequencies by July 3, 2020. The FCC provides funding for the reassignment.

What do I need to do to receive programming?
Cable & Satellite – Nothing, the provider will take care of it. If you watch with an over-the-air antenna, then you will need to scan to receive WVIZ/PBS ideastream and its digital channels (WVIZ/PBS-HD, WVIZ/PBS OHIO, WVIZ/PBS WORLD, WVIZ/PBS CREATE and WVIZ/PBS KIDS) on a new frequency. Some systems will do this automatically. A guide on how to rescan a television to locate the reassigned channels can be found at tvanswers.org/rescan.asp

What do you mean, scan?
You will need your television remote to scan. There should be a button titled "Menu” or something similar. Once you find that menu, you may need to select “Antenna.” Then you will need to choose the option that will start a process where the television 'scans' the airwaves and stores the channel for each signal it is able to receive. Once started, the television will seem to run through each channel, and will create and store an updated list. Your television screen will not show channel schedules or any other show while it is performing the scan. You will not be able to change or select a channel while the scan is being performed. If this is happening, then you are on the right track. Once complete, the television will default to the first channel that it found and will return full control of the television. Your scan will be complete. A guide on how to rescan a television to locate the reassigned channels can be found at tvanswers.org/rescan.asp

I’ve scanned and I’m missing channels. What should I do?
You might need to go through the scanning process again. If you have trouble, check your owner’s manual. Many of those manuals can be found at tv.manualsonline.com. If you try rescanning several times and still are missing channels, you may want to clear the memory of your TV.

I’ve scanned and I still have some of the old channels. What should I do?
The old channels won’t hurt anything, but if you don’t want them there you can do a manual delete. Check your owner’s manual for how to do that. Many owner’s manuals can be found online at tv.manualsonline.com.

Do I need a new antenna?
No, however, the placement of your indoor antenna may need to change. You can try moving your antenna near a window, preferably one toward the WVIZ/PBS ideastream tower located in Parma, Ohio, and positioning it as high as possible. Keep it away from other electronic equipment, including computers and DVD players. You may also want to change the direction the antenna is facing.

How do I aim an antenna for digital television?
Times have changed. The days of just moving an antenna and watching the screen for best picture are gone! All new flat screen TVs have a built-in signal meter which is used for antenna aiming. The onscreen signal meter is accessed through the menu system of your TV. Tune in the channel you are having problems with, then press the menu button on the TV remote control and follow the instructions in your TV owner’s manual to use the signal strength meter in your TV. Move the antenna for maximum reading on the signal meter.

Why don’t I have service after scanning my TV?
For two to three weeks after the frequency change, WVIZ/PBS ideastream will be broadcasting at lower power than usual. This may result in poor or no reception for some viewers. In the weeks following the frequency change on August 2, the station will be restored to full power, and the signal should become accessible to you after a final television scan. If you’d like to sign up to receive updates on the status of the project and a notification about the final date to scan, please email plantoscan@ideastream.org. 

If you receive your signal from the Thompson repeater:
The Thompson repeater, which serves several counties east of Cleveland, including Ashtabula, eastern Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties, is now operating at full power. If you have experienced service outages and receive WVIZ/PBS ideastream over-the-air from the Thompson repeater, you will need to scan your TV at this time. Find out how to scan your TV. If you watch us on cable, a satellite service or the internet, you don’t need to do a thing.

While the signal is back at the Thompson repeater, work is still taking place on our main transmitter. For the safety of our tower-climbing crews, we will periodically be off the air. You can expect intermittent outages until this work is complete. We are well on our way to improving our full over-the-air signal across Northeast Ohio! Thanks for your patience as we make these important, FCC-mandated changes.

Where can I find more information?
For assistance, please call the FCC National Rescan hotline at 1-888-CALLFCC from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m

Early morning hours of August 2: We will make the transition to our new frequency in the early morning of August 2, 2019.

When you tune to WVIZ/PBS ideastream for the first time on August 2, 2019 or thereafter: If you watch WVIZ/PBS ideastream using an over-the-air antenna and no longer have service, you will need to scan your TV to receive WVIZ/PBS ideastream and its digital channels (WVIZ/PBS-HD, WVIZ/PBS OHIO, WVIZ/PBS WORLD, WVIZ/PBS CREATE and WVIZ/PBS KIDS). If you watch us on cable, a satellite service or the internet, you don’t need to do a thing! If you have Cable or Satellite, and are having trouble finding WVIZ/PBS ideastream, call your provider.

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