Channel-Selection Trouble-Shooting Guide
Channel-Selection Trouble-Shooting Guide
If you are not getting channels you previously received, especially channels 7 (WJLA - ABC) and 9 (WUSA - CBS), try the following trouble-shooting approach:: 1. Turn on the TV and the converter box. Make sure the TV is on channel 3 (the converter box uses channel 3 to send the digital channels to the TV set). 2. Unplug the antenna wire from the converter box. 3. Press the "Menu" button on the remote control for the converter box. Words should then be displayed on the TV screen. 4. Look for "re-scan" or "auto scan" or "scan channels" in the menu, and select or highlight that option. 5. Press the "OK" if the "re-scan" function does not start immediately. (Because there are no signals coming to the box from an antenna, this re-scan makes the converter box memory blank.) 6. Plug the antenna wire back into the converter box. 7. Re-scan the converter box again. (With the antenna now connected, the converter box will "find" channels 7 and 9 in their new digital locations.) 8. You should now receive channels 7 and 9, as well as other stations.
Still Having A Problem?
If you can't get channels 7 and 9, or get only one of them, it may be that the signals are too weak in your area. Try to reposition the antenna and see if the reception improves. (See the section on antenna issues for more information.)
Another option is to purchase an amplified antenna, which uses electricity to boost the signal. After the new antenna is installed, do the re-scan process over again with the new antenna. Unplug the old antenna wire, re-scan the converter box to erase its memory, plug in the new antenna's wire, and do another re-scan to re-create the memory. Just replacing the antenna without doing the re-scan process over again probably will not work.
Remember that an amplified antenna also needs to be plugged into an electric outlet. If the amplified antenna has a "gain control" dial, make sure that it is not set at the minimum level.
Your Television Must Be on Channel 3
Some older analog TVs have their own autoscan tuner functions. If a viewer pushes the re-scan button on the TV instead of the re-scan button on the converter box, channel 3 will probably be "missing," and the TV will not be able to receive the signal from the converter box.
If you have difficulty tuning the TV to channel 3, consult the manual for the TV set. If that does not solve the problem, call the federal help line (888-225-5322) or the County's DTV Answer Line (703-324-5900) for assistance.
Some digital televisions are also experiencing problems receiving channels 7 and 9. Try unplugging the antenna wire, use the remote control to make the TV do a re-scan, then plug the antenna wire back in and do a second re-scan. If that is unsuccessful, try repositioning the antenna or buy an amplified antenna. For additional help, call the federal help line (888-225-5322) or the County's DTV Answer Line (703-324-5900).
For TV viewers using a rooftop antenna, it is often possible to increase the effectiveness of the antenna in terms of its ability to pull in marginal or weak signals. One way is to install a two-piece "in-line amplifier." One part is installed on the rooftop antenna itself, and the other part is usually connected where the antenna wire exits the wall near the TV, before the wire goes into the converter box or digital TV.
Another option is to connect a "signal booster," which also uses electricity to increase the signal. It is a one-part device, connected where the antenna wire exits the wall near the TV -- again, before the wire goes into the converter box or digital TV.
Remember to Re-Scan in Late June and Mid-July
Some local stations may adjust their signals to higher strength during the period of June 12 through mid-July 2009. The converter box should thus be re-scanned in mid-July. Doing so again in August 2009 might prove helpful as well.
Read the FCC's 6/15/09 press release on the "double re-scanning" technique.
More information about the digital television transition is available on the following topics:
- Are All of the Televisions in the Household DTV-Prepared?
- Applying for $40 DTV Coupons
- Expired or Lost DTV $40 Coupons Can Now Be Replaced
- Purchasing a Converter Box
- Reviewing Converter Box Features
- Antennas and Reception Issues
- Cables or Other Equipment Needed?
- Portable and Large Projection TVs; S-Video and Composite A/V Cables
- Setting Up a Converter Box
- Setting Up a VCR or DVD
- Recycling Older Televisions
- Additional Information and Resources
- Alternative Formats
- Digital Transition Assistance for Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities