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Check to make sure your DTV antenna is an "all band" antenna with reception in both the UHF and VHF bands. It sounds like you may be in Philadelphia area. In Philadelphia, all the DTV stations are in the UHF band except Ch 6 and Ch12, which are in the VHF band. Some of the DTV antennas are UHF only. You can tell if yours can receive VHF if it has the "rabbit ears" long wip antennas. If so make sure the whips are extended fully and turn the antenna to try to get a good signal.
Visit the 6ABC and WHYY websites for up to the minute information about the issues with reception issues.
Use an Antenna that Provides Good Reception of All Channels
Most existing antennas used by consumers will provide good reception of DTV signals. (Before making any changes, try your existing antenna first to see of it allows you to receive all the stations you normally watch.)
For watching DTV signals, you will need an antenna that provides good reception of both VHF signals (channels 2-13) and UHF signals (channels 14-51) to reliably receive all of the digital signals broadcast in your area.
Many antennas are designed only for reception of either VHF or UHF signals (but not both). For example, the commonly used “rabbit ears” indoor antenna is only suitable for receiving VHF signals. To receive UHF signals, an indoor antenna should also include a wire loop or other feature for reception in that band.
The reception capabilities of TV antennas also vary considerably, so be sure to talk to retail consultants and look at information on the packaging and/or the Internet to make sure that any new antenna you may choose provides good reception of both VHF and UHF channels. In addition, if you use an indoor antenna and receive signals on VHF channels, you may need to use an antenna with amplification.
Many antennas currently being sold as “HDTV Antennas,” perform best at receiving UHF signals; some of these models state that they provide reception of signals on channels 7-13 but actually perform less well receiving those channels. If you obtain one of these antennas, be sure it provides good reception of all the VHF channels as well as the UHF channels.
Check that your digital-to-analog converter box or digital television is connected properly. Make sure your antenna is connected to the antenna input of your digital-to-analog converter box or digital television. If using a digital-to-analog converter box, also ensure that the antenna output of your converter box is connected to the antenna input of your analog TV. Refer to the owner’s manuals of your components if you are unsure of the proper connections.
Ensure that your components are plugged in and have their power turned on.
If you have a digital-to-analog converter box, tune your analog TV to channel 3. You should see a set-up menu or picture displayed on your TV screen. If you do not see a set-up menu or picture, tune your TV to channel 4. If you still do not see a set-up menu or picture, recheck your connections.
Perform a Channel Scan
Digital-to-analog converter boxes and digital televisions have a button, usually on the remote control, that is labeled “set-up” or “menu” or some similar term. Press that button to access the set-up menu. Using the directional arrow buttons on your remote, scroll to the option that allows you to perform a “channel scan.” The channel scan will automatically search for digital broadcast channels that are available in your area. Consult the owner’s manual of your digital-to-analog converter box or digital television for detailed instructions on how to perform a channel scan for your device.
Once the channel scan is complete, you will be able to tune to the digital channels received by your antenna. You should perform a channel scan periodically to check whether additional digital channels have become available.
Adjust Your Antenna
Small adjustments to your antenna can make a big difference in the number of digital channels you can receive. If you have an indoor antenna, try elevating it and moving it closer to an exterior wall of your home. After adjusting your antenna, perform another channel scan to see if your reception is improved.
While adjusting your antenna, it may be helpful to access the “signal strength meter” on your digital-to-analog converter box or digital television to determine whether your adjustments are improving the signals’ strength. The signal strength meter is usually accessed through the menu feature on your remote control. Refer to the owner’s manual of your device for detailed instructions on how to access its signal strength meter. Remember to do another channel scan after you have adjusted your antenna.
Television stations broadcasting in digital use both the VHF band (channels 2-13) and UHF band (channels 14-51). Many indoor antennas use “rabbit ears” for the VHF band and a “loop” or “bow-tie” antenna for the UHF band. Make sure you are using an antenna that covers both the VHF and UHF bands and have connected it properly.
If You are Still Having Difficulty:
Until June 12, 2009, some stations will be operating at reduced power levels. If you are not receiving certain digital TV stations, this does not necessarily mean there is a problem with your antenna or digital-to-analog converter box or digital television. Check with the TV station to find out whether they are planning changes that will improve reception.
When an analog TV signal is weak or receives interference, static, snow, and distortion will often appear on the screen. Digital broadcasting will provide a clear picture; however, if the signal falls below a certain minimum strength, the picture can disappear. This “cliff effect” means that if you watch analog TV stations that have static and distortion, you may have to adjust or upgrade your antenna system.
Simple indoor antennas provide minimal performance that may not be suitable for your location. If you are unable to obtain satisfactory DTV reception with your current indoor antenna, you may wish to obtain an indoor antenna that includes features for better reception of UHF signals, as well as VHF, and/or an amplifier to boost the received signal (often referred to as an active indoor antenna).
Generally, an outdoor antenna will get better reception than an indoor antenna. However, the performance of outdoor antennas can degrade over time due to exposure to the weather. If you are having problems, check for loose or corroded wiring, broken antenna elements and that the antenna is pointed in the right direction.
Try to keep the length of wire between your antenna and digital-to-analog converter box or digital television as short as possible for best reception.
“Splitters” that are used to connect a single antenna to multiple digital-to-analog converter boxes or digital televisions reduce the amount of signal available to each device. If you are having problems, check whether reception is improved without the splitter. In some cases an “active” splitter that includes an amplifier can solve the problem.
If you are near a station’s broadcast tower, reception of that station, as well as other stations, can be impeded by strong signal “overload.” Consider using an “attenuator” or removing amplifiers to improve your reception.
If you decide to replace or upgrade your indoor or outdoor antenna, many types are available from electronics retail stores at a variety of prices. Websites such as www.antennaweb.org provide information on the locations of broadcast towers and the types of outdoor antennas appropriate for the stations you wish to receive. If you need assistance with upgrading your antenna system, check with a local antenna retailer or antenna installer.
Here is how you should have it connected. 1- Antenna (rabbit ears or whatever) 2- Converter box 3- Television
When you turn on the TV and the converter box, go to channel 3 on the TV. You should see the converter box signal there. If you do not see it try channel 4. Bring up the convert box menu and go through the AUTO SEARCH, not manual search. Now your box will search all the frequencies and add any stations that are in your area. Make sure you change channels with the converter box, not the tv. An antenna on the roof will still provide somewhat better range, but even rabbit ears will likely pick up something. If you still get no channels you could be too far away, digital signals have a shorter range than analog signals. You can check your local TV stations website or call to see if they are broadcasting digital yet.
When the Government decided to make all stations go digital, most places we're telling about the change over. But what they forgot to mention to the ones like you that you may have to change your outside antenna. They make antenna just for picking up digital signal. So you may have to change that also. be Sure and check the cable going from the ant. to back of the converter box is in good condition or may have a break somewhere that could cause more trouble. If you see any bad places on the cable you may want to replace it now when you do the antenna. biigg53566
Welcome to the world of digital broadcasting. Chances are the antenna isn't positioned quite right for the station that's giving you trouble. It's not a TV issue or problem with the converter since other channels are fine, so it comes down to signal strength. Most of the time it's okay, but sometimes when band conditions change it gets weak enough that the converter box can't tune it. You might try shifting the antenna slightly while noting signal strength on the different channels. You'll likely find a few degrees change may give you a reliable signal on the problem channel without noticeable reduction in the others.
Ok first I can save you some money. Take your "HDTV" antenna back. There is nothing different about the antennas needed receive analog and digital signals. If you got reception without your converter box, use the same antenna with your converter box.
Next let's see if there is a problem with the box. Hook up a television with the antenna. How many stations do you get? Now hook up the same television & antenna, but this time put the converter box between the antenna & the TV. Do not turn on the box. Now how many stations do you get? If the number is different, the box is not allowing the antenna signal to pass through. That is bad. You want your signal to pass through the box so you can still pick up stations that don't broadcast digitally. Some areas of the country will not be covered by digital stations from all major broadcasters when the changeover happens in Feb.
My suspicion is either you did not have the antenna hooked up to the converter box when you searched for channels OR you are in an area that is not yet broadcasting digitally.
I hope this helps you solve your problem. Thank you for using FixYa and feel free to add more questions here by using comments.
You'll need one of the new converter boxes and possibly a new antenna. The US Gov't has been issuing $40 coupons toward the purchase of basic converter boxes, and some places have set prices so that you basically get them free. You can get up to 2 coupons from www.dtv2009.gov.
Once you have the converter box, you leave your TV on channel 3 (or 4, depending on how you set it) and do your channel changing with the box.
With the new digital broadcasts, signal strength is more important than with analog. You might need to upgrade your antenna if all you have is a small pair of rabbit-ears. The only way to know for sure is to see what channels the box finds with your current antenna. There are a bunch of different indoor antennas to choose from if you need one, and outside antennas as well if you really need the pull.
The downside to all this is that you may wind up with fewer channels to watch, depending on your area. If you were able to get a fuzzy but watchable picture on analog, the station may not be strong enough for digital. You don't know 'til you try it. The picture quality of the DTV signal is much better, though.
Hope this is helpful...please feel free to rate my answer as you see fit.
I just purchased a Magnovox converter at Wal-Mart with the coupon I ordered from the government program. Our TV is about 2 years old too and not HD. It has worked great. The reception and color is truly the best we've had in years. We live in the country about 50 miles from all the local stations and were told we would need a new antenna, so far the only channel we have problems with is the PBS. Not sure if it is antenna related or their signal strength. We don't have the problem until the sun comes up good. It has been great to get the additional channels that some stations have added. Hope this helps.