If you watch your favorite television shows over the air with an antenna in the Coachella Valley, some big changes are coming for you.
Early morning on Friday, June 21, all of the main TV stations serving our region will turn off their old transmitters and begin broadcasting on new frequencies. That means that you will need to rescan your television receivers in order to continue to receive programming if you watch with an antenna.
Stations impacted include NBC Palm Springs, KPSE, KVER, KESQ, CBS2, and KDFX.
The change was necessitated by the Federal Communications Commission which in 2017 auctioned off the broadcast frequencies used by many TV stations across the country to cell phone companies. In anticipation of the conversion to 5G cellular service, companies such as TMobile, AT&T, and Verizon purchased the TV broadcast spectrum to expand their wireless network.
The cellular industry is paying for the conversion costs for broadcasters. The new transmitter and antenna for NBC Palm Springs will eventually lead to an expansion our coverage area. A temporary transmitter will be used with Friday’s change, but by the end of July, a new permanent transmitter should be function, sending out a signal eight times more powerful than our existing signal.
About ten percent of television viewers in the Coachella Valley receive our broadcasts over the air, and they are the ones impacted by this change. Viewers who watch on cable, satellite, or streaming should not be affected.
Rescanning your television depends on your make and model. On most TVs, you will want to go to the menu option on the remote then chose auto program or scan channels.