How will guide be affected by fcc repack?

Several of my favorite channels will change with the FCC repack on April 12. How will this impact my guide subscription?


You should perform a Tablo channel rescan after the channel repack is completed.
Do you have a specific concern?

I get why/how we will need to do a rescan, but what I don’t understand is the reason behind the change. Why are TV stations being required to change frequencies? Does this benefit or hurt us, the consumer in anyway? Does it make it easier or harder to receive the new frequency? I really didn’t see an answer on that website.

More info here:

Your guide should automatically handle the change once you’ve completed the rescan and hit ‘add to guide’.

If not, just drop us a line and we’ll get it patched up:

Frequently Asked Questions

About FCC Repack

In March of 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started an auction designed to repurpose television airwaves for new uses by wireless companies. At the conclusion of the auction in March of 2017, the FCC announced that nearly 1,000 local television stations must move to new frequencies between 2018-2020. Stations are assigned to a particular timeframe, or phase, to complete their frequency moves (see below for phase schedule). Note - this only impacts viewers who receive their local stations using an antenna. Cable and satellite service customers are not impacted.

About FCC Repack

The repack is because the FCC is continuing to sell bandwidth originally used by high-numbered TV channels – mostly to mobile phone operators.

When I was much younger, we had 82 channels: 2 through 83 (although in practice channel 37 was, and still is, left unused). In 1983, that was cut to 68 channels: 2 through 69. In 2008, with the switch to digital TV, this was cut to 50 channels: 2 through 51. And now it’s being cut back to 35 channels: 2 through 36 - that’s what the repack is all about.

Also, most stations seem to prefer to be in the UHF band: channels 14-36, so that’s only 23 channels after repack. My how things change: it used to be that lower channel numbers were preferred, and UHF (14 and up) was looked upon as a slum. Now UHF is the darling.

Important Those are actual RF channels that the transmitter operates on, not the virtual channel numbers that digital TV stations use to identify themselves, like 3.1 or 7-1. The scan (or rescan) updates your TV or Tablo as to which RF channel each virtual channel number can be found on. And since the guide data uses the virtual channel number, all will be well as long as you do the rescan after the repack and before recording anything.

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I didn’t have any issues with the last repack. I recommend setting a reminder or you might miss some recordings. In my area multiple stations did the repack on the same day to make things easier.

@JackPardee Thank you for the very detailed explanation. Do you think they are reducing the number of available channels to free-up space for other usage (i.e. cell phones, etc.)?

That’s exactly why they are opening up the higher frequencies, so they can be used by wireless companies.

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In March of 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started an auction designed to repurpose television airwaves for new uses by wireless companies.

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So virtual channel numbers are staying the same? And that means the guide will pretty much stay the same?


Yeah likely, if the virtual channel numbers and channel call signs / names stay the same then the guide data should be fine. If it’s not, you open a support ticket with Tablo who will contact the guide data provider to have it fixed.

The virtual channels should stay the same but you have to rescan because the actual frequencies will change. You probably won’t notice anything different after you rescan.