KUED Spectrum Repack and Transmitter Maintenance | KUED.org
KUED Spectrum Repack and Transmitter Maintenance
(Updated: August 10, 2018)

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Spectrum Repack Explained by Phil Titus, KUED Engineer

Salt Lake City television stations are building a new transmission facility that will cover the Wasatch Front. In order to make the federally-mandated deadline, most stations, including KUED, will have to run at just over half power for most of the summer.

If you have an outdoor antenna, you shouldn't notice any change. If you have an indoor antenna, you may already receive a weak signal. The added signal reduction may cause blocky pictures, or worst-case scenario, may cause your signal to disappear.  Simply move the antenna around the room to see if you get a better signal. You may want to consider placing a more powerful antenna in your attic or on your roof.

When our full signal returns on September 9, it will be at twice the strength of what we now have, making it easier than ever to receive KUED.

Repack Overview

KUED-7 and other local broadcasters are being required by the FCC to change our broadcast equipment in some communities, which may affect your television viewing if you use an antenna. Satellite and cable subscribers should not be affected.

Different communities could be affected at different times throughout the summer and into the fall. If you lose your signal while we change equipment, wait for a day and scan the TV channels on your television sets to continue getting reception. If you subscribe to cable and have problems, contact your cable provider.

If you experience any outages, many of the programs broadcast on KUED may be watched online at video.kued.org.

Once the equipment is replaced in the fall, you will need to scan each of your television sets for channels (typically you can do this in the setup menu of your device) to be able to view KUED and other affected channels. We apologize for this inconvenience. If you have any questions, please call KUED Viewer Services at 801-581-3064 or email at info@kued.org.

Here are a few short guides on how to re-scan for channels on many popular TV models:

Samsung

LG 

Vizio 

Here are other links that may be helpful:

Remember to Rescan (FCC)

Sometimes digital TV channels change. Some stations may stop broadcasting or change frequencies, while new stations on different channels may become available.

If you receive digital TV over-the-air with an antenna, you should periodically rescan to update the channels you receive. While some boxes do this automatically, you may need to select "scan" or "auto-tune" from the TV or converter box control menu to start the scanning process.  You can usually find instructions to do so by pressing the "set-up" or "menu" buttons on your remote control. If you have difficulty, consult the owner's manual for more detailed instructions on how to run a channel scan, or contact customer service for your TV or converter box manufacturer. You may find contact information in your instruction manual or on the internet.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Spectrum Repack?

To help fulfill our country’s increasing demand for wireless broadband access, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reallocated a portion of the broadcast spectrum used by television stations to make it available for use by wireless cell phone carriers.

Broadcast television and cell phone carriers operate on adjacent sections of the electromagnetic spectrum; in order to make room for more cell phone coverage, broadcast television needs to give up a portion of the spectrum. In many parts of the country, as is the case in Utah, spectrum can be freed up by reorganizing, or repacking, the channels to which television broadcasters are currently assigned. 

Over the next few years, the great majority of U.S. television stations which will be remaining on air will be repacked into a smaller portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, with approximately half of these stations moving to a different broadcast channel.  We expect that Utah's participation in this move will be accomplished before the end of 2018.

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Why Do Television Stations Have to Move to a Different Channel?

As a result of the repackaging, any broadcast TV station operating above channel 36 must move its frequency to channel 36 or lower; frequencies above channel 36 are now licensed to the wireless phone industry. When KUED moved to a digital signal in 2006, the FCC ordered us to change the channel we operate on from channel 7 to channel 42.

Since you already know us as "Channel 7", we insert a code in the TV signal to have your TV display "7" when you watch us. Since we are really operating on channel 42, the FCC has issued us a new channel (27) and ordered us to move our frequency by the end of 2018. This order has also been given to 5 other stations in the Salt Lake City area and over 500 TV translators that serve the state of Utah outside of the Wasatch Front.

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How Does the Spectrum Repack Affect Me as a Viewer?

If you live along the Wasatch Front (Tremonton to Santaquin) and watch us over the air with an antenna, you will notice a few things. Starting June 4th, all of the Utah broadcasters will be running at a reduced power while engineers work on the main transmitter on Farnsworth Peak. You may notice a “blocky” picture when this happens.

This will continue until approximately September 9th when we will move to our new channels. At that time, all Utah broadcasters will go off the air for one day or less as they move their signals to the new antenna. When they come back, they will have about twice the amount of power that they had before, and this time on their new channels.

If you live outside of the Wasatch Front there will be rolling TV signal outages as we change the translators to their new channels. We expect that the outages at each site will last for a few hours as we make those changes, however it will not be uncommon for some sites to be down for 2 days or more.

If you watch over cable or satellite, those companies will take care of the changes for you.

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What Other Utah TV Stations Are Affected?

All of the regular broadcast stations in Salt Lake City will be operating at reduced power over the summer, however only six will be moving to new channels. KTVX (4), KSL (5), KUED (7), BYUTV (11), KJZZ (14), and KUCW (30).

If you live outside the Wasatch Front, over 2/3 of the translators in Utah will be affected.

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What Is the Timeline for This Transition?

Nationwide, the transition is expected to last for almost 4 years – perhaps even longer. Utah has been given until November 2018 to complete the transition.

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If I Lose Signal, What Can I Do?

Wasatch Front: During the summer, all Utah TV stations will be running at reduced power. Please do not rescan your TV at this time. We will not be moving channels until September, so if your TV has been receiving us before, it will know how to find us if it has enough signal.

If you are using an indoor antenna, you may need to move the antenna around the room until you find a better signal.

If you have an attic or roof antenna, make sure your antenna is pointing toward the group of antennas on the mountains just west of Salt Lake City (Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains).  If you live north of Salt Lake, you can use the tall smokestack along I–80 at the south end of the Great Salt Lake to point your antenna toward. If you still have problems, check your connections at the antenna and through any wall plate, VCR, or other appliance you have connected. As a last resort, you can also connect your antenna directly to your TV to see if that boosts the signal enough to make a difference.

Currently, the plan is to change all TV stations to their new channels on September 8th and 9th, 3 stations at a time. When the day comes, you will lose multiple TV stations at a time. This is where you will have to rescan your TV for new channels. As each TV is slightly different, please consult your TV’s manual on how to do this, or search for directions on the internet. See the resources below for more information.

Rural Utah: During the summer we will be moving through different communities and changing the channels. Your county offices should have the schedule. When you see multiple TV channels disappear, it could be the power has gone down at the remote site, or it could be that the engineers are changing the channels. If the weather is bad or you notice fires burning near the TV site in your area, give your county a call to find out if the power is out or call us if you want to find out if the engineers are changing the TV signal in your area. If it’s just the power, please do not rescan your TV. If your TV has been receiving us before, it will know how to find us if it has enough signal. If you are using an indoor antenna, you may need to move the antenna around the room until you find a better signal.

If the engineers are changing the channels at your site, you will lose multiple TV stations at a time. This is where you will have to rescan your TV for new channels. As each TV is slightly different, please consult your TV’s manual on how to do this, or search for directions on the internet. See the resources below for more information.

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