If you use antennas to watch TV, here’s why local channels might not show on Oct. 19

If you use an antenna to watch TV for free, then Oct. 19 is going to be an important date for you.

That’s when you’ll have to rescan your TV or converter box if you want to be able to continue watching local channels such as KOMO 4, KING 5, KIRO 7, KVOS and Q13 over the air.

You will have to do that because the channels are changing their broadcast frequencies to make room for wireless services, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Exactly how many Whatcom County households will be affected by the change isn’t known.

But 94% of Whatcom households pay a satellite or cable bill, compared with a U.S. average of 82%, according to an analysis by Doxo, a Seattle-based company that allows people to pay bills through one secure account.

And if you watch TV via cable or satellite? Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to do a thing.

So, how do you rescan a TV?

Press the “menu” or “set-up” button on your remote control and follow the on-screen instructions.

Or select “scan” or “autotune” from your TV or converter box control menu.

Go to tvanswers.org/rescan.asp for instruction for specific brands.

Learn more at:


1-888-225-5322 (press prompt number 6)


Kie Relyea has been a reporter at The Bellingham Herald since 1997 and currently writes about social services and recreation in Whatcom County. She started her career in 1991 as a reporter and editor in Northern California.