Television stations in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market have mostly completed their moves to new over-the-air frequencies this week, although some viewers who use digital antennas might have trouble picking up some local channels.

The switches were mandated by the Federal Communications Commission as part of its spectrum repacking process, which assigned new digital frequencies to the TV stations.

The FCC paid stations for their old broadcast frequencies, then auctioned bandwith to wireless broadband providers as a way to provide new services and products.

The FCC estimates that it raised about $20 billion from wireless companies and paid about $10 billion of that to television stations across the country.

Viewers who watch Roanoke-Lynchburg stations with an antenna must rescan their TVs in order to pick up the stations at their new frequencies.

In most cases, a viewer can use the TV’s remote control to get to the main menu, then scan for channels or use the channel search function. Viewers with analog TVs that have digital converters can find the same menu with the converter remote.

Some Roanoke stations delayed their moves because of Hurricane Dorian’s threat last week.

Most moves have been completed, but some viewers might not be receiving WDBJ-TV (Channel 7). The station is using an auxiliary transmitter while it awaits approval from Roanoke County to build a new tower to increase its broadcast power to 1,000 kilowatts, about 10 times stronger than the current transmitter.

The station said a public hearing on the new tower is set for the Oct. 22 Roanoke County Board of Supervisors meeting .

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Ralph Berrier Jr. has worked at The Roanoke Times since 1993, was the paper’s music reporter from 2000-2007 and he currently writes the Dadline parenting column and is a general assignment features reporter.

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