FCC Issues Advisory On Channel Re-Scanning

Having said that most of the recent calls it had gotten to its DTV hotline were from people who didn't know they had to re-scan for DTV channels, the FCC Wednesday released a consumer advisory on the subject.

That came in the wake of the switchover of 421 stations to all-digitail broadcasting Feb. 17.

"Because it is a common problem, we have put this advisory out to help people," said FCC spokesman David Fiske.

The advisory explains the need to rescan local channels into converter boxes and digital TV sets.

But not only that, the FCC points out in bold red letters in the advisory, but viewers must keep re-scanning.

"Since digital stations are becoming available regularly," says the advisory, "and existing digital stations may be changing channels or adding subchannels over time, you should rescan on a periodic basis to get all of the digital programming available."

And while some boxes scan automatically, some viewers may need to do it manually.

The FCC included a link to its online tool that helps viewers identify what digital stations they should be getting. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.