If you have a new TV, you may need to rescan it to get all of the available channels. Instructions for how to rescan your TV will vary depending on the make and model. In general, you will need to access the settings menu and look for an option related to scanning or auto-tuning. Some TVs also have a manual tuning option that you can use to scan for channels. After completing the scan, be sure to save your settings so that they are automatically applied the next time you turn on your TV.
TVs are becoming smarter and more complex, but one thing has stayed the same: the need for a good, old-fashioned channel scan. TVs use this scan to find all of the available over-the-air broadcasts in your area. This is an important step, especially now that so many people are "cutting the cord" and relying exclusively on streaming services. Thankfully, it's a process that's easy to do and doesn't require any tools other than your TV remote. All new TVs need an initial scan to access over the air channels, so don't forget to do it!
Why Do I Have to Scan for Channels?
If you just picked up a new TV and plan to watch over-the-air channels, the TV will need to scan the frequencies in your area. The frequencies that carry the broadcast signals can be stronger or weaker depending on where you live, but those frequencies can change over time. So, it’s good to rescan your TV every once in a while. A TV rescan ensures that your TV receives all of the possible broadcasts in your area.
When Should I Scan for Channels?
TVs and other devices that receive over-the-air broadcasts should be rescanned regularly to ensure they're picking up the latest channels and frequencies. Experts advise performing a TV scan any time a person buys a new television. That said, if you have a cable or satellite box, the scanning process is done automatically. Another reason to rescan a television is if you notice a channel with a spotty signal that was once clear. Maybe you just found out how to mount a tv on wall and you have moved the position of your TV. If you live in an area with frequent severe weather, scanning for channels on a cloudy day can result in better reception. While channel frequencies don't change often, most experts recommend performing a TV rescan every six months.
STEP 1 Verify Your TV Antenna is Connected
If you're not getting the channels that you expect to be getting or if your reception is poor, you may need to rescan your TV. The first step is to verify that your TV antenna is actually connected. Some TVs don't have antennas built in, so if you don't see one on the back of your TV, make sure your antenna is plugged in and that it's in a good spot. The next step is to scan for channels. How you do this varies depending on your TV and its settings, but it's usually pretty easy to find. Once you've scanned for channels, check to see which ones are coming in clearly and which ones are giving you problems. If there are a lot of channels that are fuzzy or aren't coming in at all, try moving your antenna around until you find a spot where the reception is better.
STEP 2 Press Menu or Settings Button On Remote Control
After pressing the “Power” button on your remote, you will next want to press the “Menu” or “Settings” button. This should bring up your TV’s menu. From there, you can navigate to the appropriate setting to rescan for channels. Different TVs have different menus and different ways of rescanning, so it’s best to consult your TV’s manual if you need more specific instructions. Generally speaking, though, you will want to look for a menu option that says something like “Channel Scan” or “Auto Tune.”
STEP 3 Find “Channel Scan” in TV Settings
If “Channel Scan” isn’t immediately visible, it may be under the “Tools,” “Channels,” or “Options” menu. If it still isn’t showing, try finding “Antenna” by pressing the “Input” button on your remote control.
Once you locate the Channel Scan setting, press the right arrow button to select it. Then press the enter button on your remote to start the scan.
STEP 4 Select and Wait for Scan to Complete
Now it's time to start the channel scan. This can be done in a few different ways, depending on your TV. For most TVs, you'll want to go to Menu > Channels > Auto Tuning or Channel Scan. Once you start the channel scan, the process will complete automatically. While a channel scan is usually pretty quick, it can take as long as 10 minutes to complete. So, go ahead and grab yourself a snack or a drink and relax until it's finished.
No one wants to spend their time rescanning their TVs for channels, but sometimes it's necessary. By following these simple steps, you can make the process quick and easy. And, most importantly, you'll be able to get back to watching your favorite shows as soon as possible.