LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville is scheduled to adopt new digital television technology for over-the-air broadcasts in September.

The NextGen TV service will improve viewing with ultra high-definition video, sharper pictures and theater-quality sound. The service is free, but viewers will need to re-scan their compatible televisions to ensure they'll continue to see programming from Block Communications stations and networks including WDRB (Fox), WBKI (CW), Antenna, ION, Newsy, True Real, Defy and MyNetwork.

About half of the U.S. currently has the NextGen TV technology, which is sometimes called ATSC 3.0, being rolled out in Louisville on Sept. 12 at 8 a.m. The change means viewers that watch over-the-air must rescan on that Monday afternoon.

As the technology is adopted, there will be more features added to the digital TV programming including a personalized navigation guide, more informative emergency alerts and access to bonus content including sporting events. Plans are even in the works to allow viewers the ability to select multiple camera angles, as they watch!

Viewers will need an antenna to receive free, local channels like WDRB that are broadcasting NextGen TV.

This change is not a downgrade. The current HD signal (known as ATSC 1.0) will continue to broadcast NFL games, WDRB News and all the rest of the WDRB/FOX programming. We are adding a new broadcast signal, known as ATSC 3.0 or NextGen TV. Both signals will be broadcast for a while. Sometime in the future, likely to be several years, WDRB and WBKI will stop broadcasting the current ATSC 1.0 HD signal.

Viewers will be notified well in advance on when the ATSC 1.0 transmitters will  be turned off.  Options at that time will be to buy an ATSC 3.0 turner or a new NextGen TV that has an ATSC 3.0 tuner. Look for the NextGen TV logo.

If viewers in the Louisville area don't have an ATSC 3.0 compatible television by Sept. 12, it's okay. They will still see high-definition (HD) and be able to watch  programming for free, but they will need to plan to rescan their televisions. 

How to Rescan

If you rely on an antenna to watch free, over-the-air television, you must rescan your TV set after Sept. 12 at 8 a.m. to continue to receive WDRB, WBKI and other stations in Louisville. Re-scanning should be done Monday afternoon to ensure the upgrades are finalized. 

Rescanning is when your TV finds all of the available channels in your area. You do not need to purchase new equipment or services to rescan. If you are a cable or satellite subscriber, a rescan is not required.

How to Rescan Your Antenna TV

  • Select Scan or Autotune from your TV or converter box control menu to start the scanning process.
  • Your TV will do the rest. This process usually takes a few minutes to complete.

Once your rescan is complete you will still find WDRB and WBKI (plus their associated side channels) on the same channel number(s) as before. 58.1- 58.6. 

If you have rescanning difficulties, you can usually find instructions by selecting the “Set-Up” or “Menu” button on your television or converter box remote control. You can also consult the TV or converter box owner's manual for detailed instructions on how to run a channel scan, or contact customer service for your TV or converter box manufacturer.

For step by step instructions on using your antenna to scan for channels, this video from the FCC is a step-by-step guide: 

The Federal Communications Commission created this video to explain TV frequency moves and changes, and how to let your TV tuner scan for new locations of over the air channel signals.

While you can certainly receive NextGen TV without being connected to the internet, there are benefits to getting connected. NextGen TV plus an internet connection will enhance viewing of sports, news and live events -- in real time.

Viewers should make sure the TVs purchased in the future are set up with for NextGen TV. Those televisions are designed to be upgradable with advancements for data broadcasts. Many new television sets from LG Electronics, Samsung, and Sony already come equipped to receive NextGen TV. Hisense TVs will be available later this summer with more TV brands expected to jump aboard the bandwagon.

Just like current TV broadcasts, NextGen TV will primarily be a free service for viewers. In the future, there may be major events that are available only on a pay-per-view basis.

To learn more about NextGen TV, click here

Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.