DTV Weak? Try Double Rescan

Has your television reception survived the DTV transition not quite fully intact? Here are a few tips from the Federal Communications Commission, including one we haven't heard before.

That's double rescan. According to an FCC News Release (PDF), channels that have changed frequencies may still leave their old frequencies lurking in your TV's channel memory. To get rid of them, perform double rescanning with these five easy steps:

  1. Disconnect the antenna from the box or digital TV.
  2. Re-scan the box or digital TV without the antenna connected. As with any scan follow the on-screen instructions or owner's manual for your device.
  3. Unplug the box or digital TV from the electrical outlet for at least one minute.
  4. Reconnect the antenna to the box or digital TV and plug the unit into the electrical outlet.
  5. Rescan the box or digital TV one more time.

Because some DTV stations operate at different signals than their now-deceased analog counterparts, you may need a different antenna. It should include rods to pick up VHF (2-13) and a circle, bowtie, or something else to pick up UHF (14-51). The FCC warns that some antennas labeled HDTV may lack one or the other. For channels 2-6, pull the rods out; for 7-13, reduce them to 12-18 inches. Finally, here are the FCC's tips on antenna location:

  • Near a window.
  • As high as possible.
  • Away from other electronic equipment, including computers, VCRs, DVD players, converter boxes, and the television itself.
  • Change the direction the antenna is facing.
  • Rooftop antennas may be needed in some instances.
  • And don't forget to run the channel scan again after moving the antenna.

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