Weak or no signal? Broadcast TV requires a rescan

If you watch free TV with an antenna, you’re going to have to take a few steps to keep getting the channels you already have. Fortunately, the Federal Communications Commission says it’s an easy process.

Some TV channels are changing the frequencies they broadcast on, and thus you need to let your TV recalibrate itself to pick up those new frequencies.

The FCC said it’s basically the same process you went through when you first got your TV: On the remote, press the Menu or Setup button, then just follow the instructions on the screen. If that doesn’t work, the owner’s manual will have a section on how to do it.

The FCC said you should do this once in a while anyway; you might pick up channels you didn’t know you had.

The FCC lays it out in the below video. If you need more help, you can go to fcc.gov/TVrescan, or call 888-225-5322 (CALLFCC).

It’s all part of a process that began in 2009, when broadcast TV switched over to full digital, and people had to get new antennas (that’s not necessary anymore). This particular rescanning period began in June; Friday is the last day before a round of changes go into effect. Cable and satellite TV are not affected.

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Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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