How to Add Channels With Converter Boxes


If you have a digital converter box connected to a TV but the converter box is not picking up all of your local TV channels, the problem is likely not with the converter box itself but with either the position of your TV antenna or the quality of your TV antenna. The issue of missing channels is a reception problem, not a technical problem. Sometimes the issue can be resolved with a few adjustments to your TV antenna. In other instances you may be required to purchase a new antenna.

Things You'll Need

  • TV antenna
  • Reposition the TV antenna. Try placing it in a higher position, closer to a window, or turn the antenna to face a different direction. Avoid placing the antenna in the path of objects that could cause the TV signal to be reflected. If the signal is reflected, it causes multipath interference reception problems. Metallic objects (such as refrigerators) or a window obstructed by trees or a building could cause signal reflection.

  • Open the converter box's "Menu" display. Locate and select the "Channel Scan" option. Initiate the automatic channel scan operation. Wait for the operation to complete.

  • Flip through the channels on the converter box to see if any additional channels were picked up in the channel scan. If you're still missing local broadcast TV channels that you know you should be able to receive, try repeating Steps 1 through 3 a few more times. If repositioning your current TV antenna proves to be ineffective after multiple attempts, move on to Step 4.

  • Purchase a higher-quality indoor TV antenna. Or invest in an outdoor TV antenna. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends consumers use the "Choose an Antenna" tool on the website or the reception map tool on the website to select the most appropriate type of TV antenna to suit their needs. Indoor TV antennas generally come with a reception quality rating printed on the package. Be sure to select an antenna capable of receiving both VHF and UHF signals.

  • Disconnect the antenna currently connected to the converter box. Connect the new antenna to the converter box. Initiate an automatic channel scan. Flip through the channels on the converter box to see if any additional channels were picked up in the scan.

Tips & Warnings

  • Because digital TV signals do not take up as much space in the radio frequency spectrum as analog TV signals, the transition to digital TV has allowed television broadcasters to offer viewers more programming choices through a process called "multicasting." With multicasting, a TV broadcaster is able to simultaneously transmit one to four different programs within its allotted channel space of the radio frequency spectrum. To viewers this means more local channel options are available with digital TV. Periodically performing a channel scan on your converter box may reveal a previously unknown multicast channel.

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