Plan to Scan

January 8, 2018 Milwaukee PBS Realigns its Channels

On January 8 at 9 am Milwaukee PBS will realign its channels. If you watch television on cable or satellite you don’t have to do anything. Your provider will take care of it.

However, if you watch television over-the-air using an antenna you will need to rescan, auto-tune or reprogram your television, by using your remote, so you can receive all of our channels.

The new channel configuration is needed because the FCC held a nationwide spectrum auction of television station bandwidths, to expand wireless services in order to meet the increasing needs for faster and higher capacity mobile broadband services. Milwaukee PBS, a licensee of Milwaukee Area Technical College, participated in the broadcast spectrum auction.

Realignment FAQ

What are we going to call this activity?
Channel realignment
Why is it happening?
As a result of the FCC spectrum auction the MATC board sold our analog bandwidth. The FCC wanted more bandwidth for cellular companies and they came up with the idea of a reverse spectrum auction that would accomplish that goal.
What is changing?
The Jazz and Classical channels are no longer broadcasting. The Traffic channel will no longer broadcast as of January 8. 
The other channels will be re-aligned. (See list on the front of this document.)
What do we need to do to receive programming?
Cable & Satellite --- Nothing, the provider will take care of it. If you watch with an over-the-air antenna then you will need to rescan, auto-tune or run the channel set-up. This is known by a variety of names. You need to perform this process only on January 8 or after. 
Do we need a different antenna? 
If you receive our channels now you likely won't have to get a new antenna. If you use an antenna in Milwaukee you should just be able to rescan and receive the realigned channels. If you are in an outlying area and watching with an antenna, you should rescan your television. If you don't see the realigned channels then you may need a stronger antenna. Visit for more details. 
Can I rescan early?
No, there is no point in rescanning prior to January 8th. The channel realignment will not be recognized until the switch has been made at the station. 
I've rescanned and I still have some of the old channels. What should I do? The old channels won't hurt anything but if you don't want them there you can do a manual delete. Check your owner's manner for how to do that. 

New Channel Lineup

Here is the new line-up:

10.1 – WMVS HD
10.2 -- Milwaukee PBS Create
10.3 – Milwaukee PBS KIDS 

36.1 – WMVT HD
36.2 – Milwaukee PBS World
36.3 – Milwaukee Weather

When to Scan

This is important, do not rescan, auto-tune or reprogram until January 8.

It won’t work if you do this ahead of time. What you can do ahead of time is brush up on the channel rescan process on your television. The process is slightly different for every brand of television and they may call the process several different names including – rescan, auto-tune, or reprogram. The process will allow your television to recognize the channel realignment. So pull out your owner’s manual or check online to find out exactly how to set up your television but don’t rescan until January 8.

Rescanning Your Television

First, remember if you watch television over cable or satellite you don’t have to rescan.

If you watch television over the air using an antenna you WILL need to RESCAN. Typically you use your remote to perform the rescan. You can follow the steps in your owner’s manual or look online. Since the process is a little different for each brand of TV we have provided some of the top television manufacturers’ information on how to perform a rescan. The process will vary depending on the model you have. The information below is intended to get you headed in the right direction. You can refine your research from there.

  1. Samsung
  2. LG
  3. Sony
    - Instructions for the Sony Bravia 
  4. Toshiba
    - From Toshiba's verified YouTube account
  5. Vizio
    - From Vizio's YouTube account 
  6. Panasonic
    - Instructions for the Panasonic Viera 
  7. Videocon
    - The third FAQ talks about auto-tuning for channels that are not coming up. 
  8. Philips

Additional Resources

Troubleshooting – Use Our Phone Bank on January 8

Note: The phone bank opens at 9 am and ends at 8 pm on January 8.

On January 8, Milwaukee PBS will have a phone bank open to help viewers who have trouble performing the scan. Viewers can call 414-297-6081 if they need help. 



Problems Receiving Our Programs

If you receive our channels over the air now it’s likely that you will not have any issues receiving our signal after you scan for the new channels. If on January 8 after you perform the scan you experience an intermittent signal you may wish to consider evaluating a different antenna.

If you are in the Milwaukee metro area an indoor antenna is likely all you will need to receive our signal. Place the antenna in a window facing the television towers located in Estabrook Park on Milwaukee’s northeast side.

If you live farther away from Milwaukee, you may need to consider an outdoor antenna that is installed above your roof line.

It’s important to note that there is no one size fits all antenna.

For more information about antennas please visit our FAQ page.

Schedule Your Scan

Put a note in your calendar so you will remember to scan your televisions you watch over the air. Remember, if you watch via satellite or cable you won’t have to do anything. Your provider will do it for you. If you have any questions please email us at or call 414-297-7520.

Make a date, plan to scan on January Eight!