Over the air TV channels across the country and here in the Alexandria lakes area are in for a shake up.This is a result of the Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction. What the heck is that? Not being a technical writer, and having limited technical expertise I will try to explain this as simply as I can, for your sake, and for mine. Most of us don’t think about “wireless” just like we don’t think about electricity unless the power goes out. Before radio was called radio it was called wireless or a wireless set. Those were simpler times. Today we use wireless transmissions for radio, television, cellphones, computers, garage door openers, medical equipment, wireless microphones, law enforcement, and the list goes on and on. These wireless transmissions are broadcast over what is called “the spectrum”, which is a word that describes the entirety of frequencies available for wireless transmissions. The spectrum is finite, it is limited, there are only so many frequencies. The growth of smartphones, tablets, and other wireless gadgets has driven a need more of the spectrum to meet the demand for these date transmissions. The Federal Communications Commission is the federal agency charged with deciding how the frequencies in the spectrum will be used, by whom, and for what purposes. Back in 2010 the FCC sited the growing spectrum crunch and proposed a reallocation of frequencies through a spectrum auction. In 2012 Congress agreed and that set the wheels in motion. The end result is that less of the spectrum is available for radio and television and more of the spectrum is available for what we call wireless providers, cellphone companies, etc… What this means for a UHF translator like Selective TV, and television broadcasters like KSTP is that we will have to re-pack all of the stations we broadcast into channels 36 and below. This is a complicated process with lots of steps along the way, steps that Selective TV has been and continues to work through. The first deadline we face is coming up on August 14th and involves broadcast channels 38, 47, 48, and 50. On your television set that would translate into virtual channels 9.4-9.9, secondary 4.1 & 4.2, primary 4.1 & 4.2 will not be affected, channel 48, and channels 50.1-50.5. We wish we could tell you now what this re-packing will end up looking like but because this is a complicated and potentially costly process which is still in progress we don’t have all the information yet. Rest assured that our goal at Selective TV is to keep every station we currently carry available to you over the air, and the board of directors is working hard to that end. The federal government is working on steps to provide financial assistance to help cover the costs of this re-packing like they did when we had to make the switch from analog to digital but we have not received final word on what that will look like either. The intent of this posting is not to alarm anyone but to make you aware of what is going on and why it’s happening. As the details get worked out and channel assignments change we will share that information with you. As those channel assignments change we will all have to re-scan or run an auto program to accommodate those channel changes. This may and probably will happen more than once. Kind of a pain in the kester, but Uncle Sam says it must be so, and now you know. We will do our best to keep you up to date on this website, on our face book page, and through local media. If you have questions you can post them here, or on our face book page, or by calling the Selective TV office at 320-763-5924 between 9am and 1pm Monday thru Friday. This is actually the 3rd re-packing Selective has been through, we got through the other 2 and we’ll get thru this one as well. Thanks Everyone, and stay tuned.