GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- A new antenna that will make it easier for more people to watch ABC11 for free has been installed in Garner.
The engineering feat began Friday around 8 a.m. ABC11 Broadcast Engineer Jim Hetherington made the complicated task sound simple enough.
"We're just going to take the old one down and put the new one up."
But even so, it was a huge job that involved an air crane--a helicopter designed to lift heavy objects.
The new antenna and the tower it sits atop weigh approximately 22,000 pounds. Without the air crane, Hetherington said the replacement process would probably take more than a week.
As it was, the process was finished in a few hours.
The new antenna will greatly improve ABC11's signal--especially in the southern part of the viewing area.
"We're on a side mounted antenna now, while we're prepping to do this, and the coverage on that is pretty poor to the south," Hetherington said. "So we want to get back on the top because the top radiates in all directions
So for anyone using a digital antenna who has had trouble receiving ABC11, you will need to soon rescan your television.
"If they can't pick us up now, they're going to need to rescan once this is up and operating," Hetherington said.
Some finishing touches still need to be made to get the new antenna fully operational. Once those are completed, viewers should rescan their televisions.
Why did I rescan on June 30?
Up to and on June 30, you may have heard that you needed to rescan your television in order to keep seeing ABC11. That was true, and related to this.
You see ABC11 was one of nearly 1,000 TV stations across the country forced to move to new frequencies. On that date, ABC11 stopped broadcasting on frequency 11, switching to a different frequency for the first time in 67 years (note: while the frequency has changed numbers, ABC11 still comes through on channel 11).
Viewers had to rescan their televisions or else, they would have stopped receiving ABC11 altogether.