How to re-scan for new channels

What do viewers need to do?

If you are receiving your broadcasting over-the-air (by antenna), you will need to re-scan (ie- reprogram) your converter box or digital TV for available channels on June 12th. You may need to rescan more than once, particularly if you have “lost” a station since the last time you rescanned.

As a precaution, you may also want to do a final channel scan on June 13 to insure you are receiving all of the channels available to you.

If you receive your broadcasting via cable or satellite, you will not have to re-scan your TV or tuner.

How do I rescan/reprogram channels?

All converter boxes and HDTV’s are different in terms of rescanning procedures. The following is a general guide, but the steps or the terminology may be different for your device:

1) Press the “Menu” button on your converter box, converter box remote, HDTV, or HDTV remote
2) Go to “Setup” or “Settings”
3) Go to “Installation” or “System” or “Channels”
4) Go to “Scan channels”, “Program channels”, “Autoscan”, “Autoprogram”, or “Autotuning”
5) Press “Select” or “Enter” or “OK” to start the scan

Note: Typically, you will need to press the right arrow button or “Select”, “Enter”, or “OK” to choose an option. The up/down and left/right arrow buttons or the up/down channel and volume buttons should move you through the menu choices.

One of the easiest ways to make many converter boxes rescan for available channels is to simply unplug the converter’s power cord from the outlet, wait three minutes, and then plug it back in, again. This should cause the converter to automatically rescan for available channels.

Help! I can’t get any stations!

If you have rescanned and can’t receive any stations, repositioning or even just realigning your antenna may solve your reception issues. Sometimes, as little as one foot of horizontal (or even vertical) distance can make all the difference between receiving a poor signal and a good signal. However, this may take some patience and a bit of “trial-and-error”. (On occasion, positioning the antenna near a window helps.)

Reminder: You must rescan for available channels after each time you move your antenna in order to receive any “new” channels.

You may also want to check the wiring and connections going from the antenna to the converter box –

1) Do the wiring and connections appear to be in good condition? If not, you should consider replacement of any questionable components.
2) Are there any connections that seem loose? If so, you may simply need to tighten them with a screwdriver.

Please note: Although they work just fine for many viewers, the digital signal reception capability of “rabbit ears”-style indoor antennas has been shown to be less than ideal in a number of instances.

For more reception troubleshooting, you can try: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/dtvantennas.html.

To double-check your antenna-converter-TV setup, you can go to:
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/setup-converterbox.html or
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/setup-converterbox-balun.html.

For more DTV converter information, try: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/troubleshootguide.html.

What is the “Nightlight”?

After switching, many stations will begin to broadcast a repeating notification on their analog channel for a few weeks informing viewers that the station has fully transitioned to digital. This has been referred to as the “Nightlight” program. However, a station will not have a "Nightlight" program if:

1) the station is remaining on its current channel after switching to digital; or,
2) another station in a nearby/adjacent market will be transitioning to the channel that the current station is vacating.