Here’s how to restore reception with your TV antenna when stations change frequencies


Local television viewers who rely antennas to watch TV are suddenly losing reception for their favorite stations. If that’s happening to someone you or someone you know – it’s not the television set.

Congress passed a law a couple of years ago that essentially forces many TV stations across the country to give up their broadcast frequencies, so that wireless companies can use them to meet the growing wireless demand. As each station moves to a new frequency, antenna users who watch that station need to rescan- or adjust their TV settings.

Once the frequency changes you have to use your remote control to instruct your TV to search for and find the new frequencies. It’s called rescanning. The National Association of Broadcasters has a good tutorial video on their website that walks you through the three, relatively simple steps.

First step, grab your remote control and find and press the MENU button. On some remotes it might be the HOME button.

Step number 2, select SET UP up on the menu.

Step number 3, Select ANTENNA or TUNER, and then, CHANNEL SCAN, OR AUTO TUNE.

Your TV will automatically rescan the available signals.

“Every TV has it own way of doing a scan. The main thing is that you should look for something called channel scan or channel tuning. That can be in the main menu.It can be under TV settings.” explained Consumer Reports Tech Editor Jim Willcox.

Consumer Reports tips point out that since stations are constantly adding extra channels on their frequencies, rescanning has always been a good idea. But with the new frequency transition continuing well into next year, CR says if you rely on an antenna to watch over-the-air TV stations, it’s good to rescan your antenna at least once a month to make sure you’re getting every channel available.

If someone you know is having trouble with their rescan, help them follow the instructions in their owners manual. Remember- the owners manuals for most televisions can be found online. Also know that some people in outlying areas, may need to buy a new, stronger antenna to pick up the new signals.

Source: KOMO News