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Digital word of the week: ‘re-scan’

6:23 AM Mon, Jun 08, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko
 E-mail

The week is finally here. Broadcast television goes all digital this Friday, June 12.

The FCC says stations can turn off their analog transmissions any time during the day. WFAA will make the switch at noon.

If you’re already watching Channel 8 via cable or satellite, you’ll need to make no changes, although it is possible there will be a minor interruption at midday.

But if you are receiving WFAA using an antenna, Friday is D-day for you. Traditional analog broadcasting will end, and older TVs will cease to function without an inexpensive digital converter box, widely available at retailers for about $50 to $60.

Even if you have a converter box or are using a TV with a built-in digital tuner, you still have an important function to perform on Friday: Re-scan your channels!

One of the counter-intuitive things about digital TV is that the channel numbers no longer have a direct relationship with the advertised channel.

For instance, Channel 8’s digital signal has been broadcast on Channel 9 for more than a decade because we can’t send analog and digital on the same channel. Other TV stations have also been broadcasting analog and digital programs on two different channels.

But that will end on Friday, and some stations — including WFAA — will be moving their digital transmissions to a permanent channel. In our case, the digital signal will shift from Channel 9 to Channel 8. We’ll be using Channel 8’s superior transmitting antenna, and the FCC has given us permission to broadcast with a 50 percent higher power, which should help our signal punch through to viewers who have had reception problems.

Two other local stations (KFWD 52 and KTVT 11) will also be shifting to new digital channels on Friday.

That’s why viewers who rely on off-air broadcasts must re-scan digital channels on Friday. The procedure is specific to each converter box or digital TV, but it is almost always buried in a menu that may be labeled as “channel setup” or “channel scan.” Refer to your instruction booklet or go to the manufacturer’s Web site for a step-by-step guide.

We have assembled a wide range of helpful information related to the digital switch at the WFAA DTV Countdown site, including a map of the WFAA coverage area, hookup diagrams for converter boxes and VCRs and antenna reception tips.

Please let me know if you have any last minute questions or problems!

E-mail askwalt@wfaa.com



23 Comments

Thank you, I was wondering why I couldn’t get Channel 8 at all on the new digital converter box
and I just manually added channel 9 and ABC did come in…..I hadn’t read ANYTHING online or on the news about it, Thanks again

Do you know if they provide converter boxes for a radio? Granted I had wondered if I would lose signal during the switch over, but was crossing my fingers none the less. So goodbye listening to the TV at my desk during work. Yes I know, there are more important things in life, but had to share.

I have Dish But am now receiving channel 52 on 8. I can’t receive 8 since you made the change.

I have Dish but am receiving channel 52 on 8 just like Ron. Why can’t we receive chanel 8 on 8?

I too am watching channel 52, not channel 8. not exactly the mid-day news I was hoping for.

I have a Sony Wega Digital HiDef TV. I have scanned, re-scanned, factory re-set and scanned again. I have shown all hidden channels but I get no signal for the former ch 8,11,52,33. If I run the scan thru the set up it says it picks up quite a few analog’s and just a few digital’s but if I run the set up only thru the digital choice it says it only finds 1 channel. I do get 4.1, 5.1, 13.1 and some others that I never watch. I had no issues with any signal during the “signal tests.” Maybe it’s time to give up T.V. I don’t know what else to try.

Guess I get it now. My newish HD indoor antenna does not pick up VHF so… I’m guessing that is why no signal for former, 8,11,33,52 . They hyped and hyped the converter box and even a little noise about getting a HD antenna but no one ever said you will need a VHF antenna to get the same channels.

Does anyone know of a forum on the internet to search for answers on problems with getting the digital channels?
Does anyone know of any particular problem getting channel 8 in the Garland,TX area?
Don’t understand why we can scan and get the other former major network channels, but not 8.
Any input at all appreciated.

I get no channels now with my 40 foot antenna and plasma TV. Guess I’m just the lost one. Sunset Texas.

I guess I’m just the lost one. Since the switch I get no channels. My plasma TV doesn’t pick up nothing even with the new antenna at 40 feet on a tower. Sunset Texas.

I still dont see why everyone is giving in to the hype. This is just a nother way to get everyone to buy something thay don’t need. I still dont see why anyone should have to pay for cable. They sell air time for comericals don’t they. So why should we pay for something that should be free. And God forbid you live behind a hill you will not get signal. Like the others that live around me, You need to put up a tower to get any thing. Dose the signal follow the curveatrue of the earth. Most likly not, Now you will have to buy something else to get signal.I just thing that we give up to quick to the ones that think of ways to put the screws to everyone.

I have Tivo and cannot get 8, 11, 52 and 33
I finally called Tivo and the frequency strength of 8 is only 80 and Tivo has turned this over to their technical department and said I should be getting a message in 5 to 7 days. Strange thing is I on my other tv’s with converter box, I get all the channels. But Tivo is on top of this, he had me scan rescan etc. So not sure if Channel 8 can do anything to speed this up or not.

I was doing fine with digital channels then the switch and a rescan. I had to redirect the antenna and rescan now i get channel 8 too, my 50 inch isn’t getting channel 11 I guess I’ll have to unplug the tv and retry ( resets don’t work) because i get all the digital channels on my bedroom TV through usb WinTV-950Q(Which I built a HD computer for)but I can’t seem to get channel 8 and 11 through Windows Media Center and rescans don’t help. I’ll figure it out though. I do know you need to point your antenna towards Desoto.One other thing I discovered with another digital antenna I have, a few months ago I couldn’t get a decent signal so I turned it in the opposite direction and picked up all channels but 8 so I bought a better digital antenna since then.The other antenna still works though.


I live in Dorchester, TX and I have a tall outside antenna. I hooked a Sanasonic converter and was getting over 46 channels. A favorite of mine, Channel 52, (which I before watched fairly clear with rabbit ears) was always at 100% strength and quality all day and night no matter what. 52’s day and night lineup is similar to Channel 39 I watched as a kid 25 years ago. I assumed that in June I would still be able to get it. On June 12th I rescanned and am not getting my favorite channel. However channel 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3 are much clearer than befor as those would come ocassionally on a clear night.
Any help would be very appreciated but I’m afraid that since Dorchester is some 78 miles from Cedar Hill I may be out of luck. I guess it was fun for awhile.

This is becoming a very intersting exercise. Just fot grins I connected my TVs to the antenna, which I have only been using for NTSC reception. My TV with an ATSC tuner built in gets a good picture on lots of channels, including WFAA. none of them have any audio (all static). The converter I installed picks uo lots of channels, including audio, but not channel 8 or 11. I have done lots of rescans and channel 8 shows 90% signal strength but no “programing”. This is two recievers off the same antenna with different results.

We were receiving digital channels up until we had to rescan. Now we get ZERO channels. We have tried everything we can think of… Our antenna is new. Our tv is digital. The converter was working. WHAT IS GOING ON?

We bought converter boxes months ago, hooked everything up and have enjoyed the extra channels. After the change, we have basically lost our tv. For instance, this morning channels 4, 5, 8 and 11 were a no go. But I can tell you about the weather in Waco/College Station area. They were all fine last night before going to bed. Channel 7 can only be viewed before 9 am and after 9 pm. I have rescanned multiple times. It brings in channels, but they are not viewable.

it seems like the goverment should have left analog tv alone you still got all your tv stations digital tv is too tricky and too complex.

Some viewers may be confused by the difference between the “Rescan” & “Update” options offered on some converter boxes & digital TV’s. Often, both are listed under the “Auto Scan” or a similar menu item & can appear to do the same thing but they do not.

Unlike “Rescan,” “Update” does not remove previously detected channels while scanning for new ones to add. This means that viewers that previously were viewing WFAA detected on RF channel 9 will see *two* sets of channels for WFAA if they use the “Update” option — the old channel 9 set that now has no signals & the new channel 8 set that does.

I rescanned but, cannot receive channel
52 anymore. It used to come in clear as
a bell. Is there anyway I can now, or is it
gone forever?

I see I have something in common with other folks who are not getting channel 52. I live in Nevada, Texas, use to get channel 52 clear as a bell when on analog and now that this wonderful digital transmission has arrived, I will no longer get my favorite channel. I think someone has sprused the goose and don’t try to lay the egg on those who can no longer receive the channel. I have a suggestion: Bello strengthen your signal and don’t expect us to spend a ton of money trying to strengthen a limp single.

I see I have something in common with other folks who are not getting channel 52. I live in Nevada, Texas, use to get channel 52 clear as a bell when on analog and now that this wonderful digital transmission has arrived, I will no longer get my favorite channel. I think someone has sprused the goose and don’t try to lay the egg on those who can no longer receive the channel. I have a suggestion: Bello strengthen your signal and don’t expect us to spend a ton of money trying to strengthen a limp single.

I see I have something in common with other folks who are not getting channel 52. I live in Nevada, Texas, use to get channel 52 clear as a bell when on analog and now that this wonderful digital transmission has arrived, I will no longer get my favorite channel. I think someone has sprused the goose and don’t try to lay the egg on those who can no longer receive the channel. I have a suggestion: Bello strengthen your signal and don’t expect us to spend a ton of money trying to strengthen a limp single.


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