Wednesday, September 7, 2022

When stations disappear

While my focus is usually streaming -- when I'm not off on a Linux computer or security phone tangent -- I occasionally talk about over the air antenna TV. I feel there is not enough emphasis on over the air TV.

That used to be the only way to pick up TV stations. Then cable happened, and the local stations got in on that. Today, some live streaming services -- to include YouTube TV, Hulu+Live TV, Fubo TV, DirecTV Stream, and others -- have local channels as part of the lineup.

However, that's not the only way to pick up these stations. An antenna, if you are able to put one up, or live close enough to the TV towers that a small indoor antenna will work, is a great way to watch local channels.

The thing is, there sometimes the channels disappear. They don't really, they just move. Not physically; the tower doesn't crawl away or anything. The stations will sometimes change frequency.

You see, there are two channels that today's digital signals use. One is the channel you call it, and the other is the channel it actually is.

For example, in Savannah, my local market, WSAV TV Channel 3 is actually broadcasting on channel 16. WTOC Channel 11 is actually broadcasting on channel 23. WTGS Fox 28 is on channel 26. WJCL TV 22 is on channel 22. Weirdos.

Seriously, of the four major network stations, three are on frequencies that do not match their actual frequencies.

Even then, they could still change to a different frequency, even if they changed before. There are reasons, and that could take all day. I'll just end with the fact that there are reasons.

So, what do you do? You have to scan the channels again. And that brings me to a post that Tablo posted recently.

When your local TV station makes a change like this, adds a new OTA subchannel, or re-arranges their current ATSC 1.0 broadcasts to enable new ATSC 3.0 channels, you'll need to run and save a new channel scan on your television and/or DVR to continue watching.

Even if you haven't had this happen to you, it's worth a read. It could happen in the future. And you don't want to lose any channels and experience frustrations in your Streaming Life, now do you?

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