ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - It’s been a while since we’ve been able to update the status of our construction of our new frequency. We had a tower crew scheduled for the end of November or early December and once again they postponed. They tell us they are busy working on tower repairs with hurricane damage in the south east. This crew was scheduled to install just the top-mount antenna. The crew now says they won’t get here before the end of the year and they now plan to come to 23 WIFR in this first quarter of 2021.
As we told you in July this top-mount antenna won’t solve the broadcasting issues in the NE viewing area. Our parent company Gray Media, Inc, is trying to secure a frequency so we can construct a translator station for NE. Because of the FCC spectrum repack there aren’t many frequencies, if any, available in the Rockford TV market. The translator station is needed because we have to suppress the signal from our top-mount antenna so we don’t interfere with WISN in Milwaukee.
Last week we also received some good news that the FCC has dropped it’s freeze on new licenses. This will allow us to apply for a another license but we’re at the mercy of Gray Media and the FCC. We’re told it’ll be about a 3 year progress and there aren’t any promises. We hope one of these scenarios works out.
In 2017 WIFR’s full power licenses was sold in the FCC Spectrum Auction. On May 31 of that year, WIFR became WIFR-LD, a low power TV station. On January 15, 2020 we moved to our new frequency on channel 28 or 557mHz. The new signal is not omnidirectional as we suppress to the NE. Even as a low power station we are still very reachable in the Rockford TV market and beyond. We’ve received communications from viewers who receive us in Warren, Ill., Stockton, Ill, , as far north west as Monticello, Wis. We’ve heard from viewers in Marengo and DeKalb.
We will continue to update viewers with our progress with updates on this page.
Here are some notes on the frequency change:
Viewers to the NE may not receive our Antenna TV, COZI and ION channels until the translator station is complete.
Since we will be on two different frequencies at the same time during this phase of our transition, some viewers who can receive both signals viewers may receive a 23.1 and a 23.11 which will be duplicates of our CBS stream.
Most viewers use a simple auto rescan to tune in the new frequency. Viewers who manually tune their TV receivers should tune to digital channel 28 or 557.00 mHz. If they can’t receive the signal they should tune to digital channel 23 or 527.00 mHz where the duplicate CBS stream can be found.
Instructions on how to perform an auto scan can be found below and in the video attached to this article.
We would like to thank Weigel Broadcasting for allowing us to channel share on channel 35, digital 23.
We apologize for all the channel scanning confusion.
Why stations are moving frequencies?
In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission ordered TV stations to move from the 600mhz range and 23 WIFR’s frequency is in that range. The FCC then auctioned the spectrum space to cell phone and other wireless companies to give them more capacity.
Rescanning is very easy and doesn’t require any new equipment. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Find the remote that changes your channels.
2. Press Menu then select “Channel Setup” or Broadcast Setup” on the menu. If you can’t find these options check your owner’s manual or search online for your television’s specific instructions.
3. Select “Scan,” “Auto Scan,” “Channel Search” or “Auto Program.” Then click to start the search.
The TV should then search for available signals and lock in 23 WIFR’s new frequency along with other local stations.
Viewers can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cable, satellite and streaming subscribers do not need to do anything. They will continue to receive the 23 WIFR channels without making any changes.