Do you need DTV assistance?

June 16, 2009 9:59:15 AM PDT
Some consumers may still be having difficulty receiving certain television channels following the June 12 transition to digital TV. The FCC suggests trying these tips for better reception: "double rescanning", and double-checking and relocating their antennas. Meanwhile, local broadcasters are working to resolve those issues that originate with their signal.

Double Rescanning:

Many consumers already know about the need to run the "scan" function on their digital converter boxes or digital TV sets periodically following the June 12 digital TV transition. Scanning searches for and "remembers" the available digital broadcast channels. But in some cases where stations moved their digital frequencies on June 12, simple scanning may not be enough. There is a procedure - sometimes called "double re-scanning" - that can clear your box's memory of saved channels. These earlier scans may have saved channel information that is now incorrect.

There are five simple steps to a double re-scan for a converter box or digital TV, which are as follows:

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.


First, try "double rescanning."

Double Check & Relocate Your Antenna:

You must have a VHF/UHF antenna. "Rabbit ears," rods, or other elements are needed to pick up channels 2-13 (VHF), and a circle, bow-tie, or other element is needed to pick up channels 14-51 (UHF). Some antennas marketed as HDTV antennas don't perform well on VHF channels; some antennas are VHF or UHF-only.

For the best reception of channels 2-6, extend the rods all the way out. For the best reception of channels 7-13, reduce the length of the rods to12-18 inches. The location of an indoor antenna is key. And one of the most popular spots for indoor antennas - on top of the TV - may not be the best. Consumers having trouble with digital TV reception should try moving their antennas to one of these locations:

  • 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
  • Consumers may need to run the "scan" function again on their converter boxes after moving the antenna.

  • For more information about antennas and rescanning, visit See the "Install a Converter Box" link for scanning tips." See the pages on Fixing Reception Problems and Troubleshooting Guide for antenna questions. Instructions posted on the DTV Reception Maps page show how to use the maps to choose an antenna. Also, see the DTV Made Easy Guide.

    If you need further assistance, please call 1-888-CALL-FCC, which is the FCC's toll-free clearinghouse for information, including instructions of the steps necessary to make the switch and referrals to local vendors who will install consumers' converter boxes free of charge.

    You can also find more DTV information on by clicking here.