The ongoing transition of local TV channels thanks to the post-FCC Incentive Auction repacking process, coupled with the rise of “cord cutting” and over-the-air broadcast TV consumption, has led the FCC to open a dedicated consumer help center expressly created to assist them with any queries and associated needs.
The FCC on Monday opened a special call center specifically for those who need help re-scanning their TVs.
Among those who watch TV delivered the old-fashioned way, without any MVPD involved, is FCC Incentive Auction Task Force Chair Jean Kiddoo.
She said, “As an over-the-air TV viewer myself, I know that consumers sometimes need extra help rescanning televisions when broadcast stations add channels or change frequencies. That’s why it’s so important to make both online information and telephone assistance like the consumer help line available to viewers during the ongoing broadcast transition.”
Viewers may reach the call center toll-free by dialing 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and pressing “6” to speak to a help desk representative.
The call center is staffed from 8am-1am Eastern, seven days a week.
Thanks to the repack, may over-the-air TV channels will retain their “PSIP”, but will be changing their digital channel placement as spectrum is given to wireless communications companies for the rollout of 5G technologies — something, ironically, that could make the next-gen broadcast TV standard the next HD Radio, or bring added challenges to MVPDs rendered obsolete by ATSC 3.0’s addressable advertising promises.
TV stations making a change in digital channel will make on-air announcements at least 30 days in advance of making the change.
This impacts only over-the-air TV viewers; those who subscribe to cable or satellite services do not need to take any action to continue receiving local channels.
For more information on the broadcast TV transition and rescanning, visit www.fcc.gov/TVrescan, which also includes a link to an interactive map that allows viewers to insert an address to see the frequency change timeframe for most local channels.