Preparing for unexpected glitches: Rescanning your TV is critical

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We've been talking about it for months now. Friday is the big day, for television, nationwide.

Starting at 4 a.m., NBC12 will turn off its analog signal and complete our digital transition. If you're watching us, right now, on cable, fios or satellite, you don't have to do anything. But, if you're getting us over the air, there's one more step, you need to take, Friday morning.

Are you ready for the switch to digital TV? The latest numbers show - 3 million homes, nationwide, could be left in the dark. Procrastinators are hurrying out, for last-minute solutions. The key to getting 12, and all your favorite, channels, is "re-scanning" if you're not hooked up to cable or a satellite service.

It's not too late to buy a DTV converter box, if you need one. Go to any store that sells electronics. If you already have a convertor box, and it's connected to your TV, you must perform, one crucial step - re-scan.

Every converter box and every digital TV, not connected to satellite or cable, needs an "initial" scan for channels.

"There's a little thing in your set-up menu, right? So, go get the manual like you bought the TV. again and say channel scan. There will be some fairly easy to follow instructions," said Ray Lepper.

Re-scanning for new channels ensures you will receive all the digital channels available in your area.     It's important, after June 12, because some TV channels will change position. Also, Ray Lepper, of Richmond based Homemedia says most reception problems will be cured with a channel re-scan.

"That's just to get them so that things go from channel to channel to channel. If you just punch in 12 tomorrow afternoon on your off air antenna with UHF, it will be there," said Lepper.

Here's more info, to calm your nerves about Friday's switch. The FCC has hired local, vendors, to help you. Best Buy stores, on west Koger Center Drive in Chesterfield and on south Laburnum Avenue, in Henrico, have "walk-in" helps centers.

There you can order coupons, get help with basic installation, and also find out how to tell if your TV is digital-ready. You can also go online to:  DTV dot gov, for a list of local contractors, who will perform basic DTV installations for free. But, don't be afraid to try the installation, yourself.

"It's pretty easy to really is. And you're gonna connect it between your antenna and your TV, and it's gonna do that conversion," Lepper said.

The walk-in help center at the Henrico Best Buy on Laburnum will be open until July 20. The one in Chesterfield at Koger Center Drive is mobile and will be at that location until June 20.  After, it will move to the Glen Allen Best Buy location on Brook Road. You can check their website for more information.

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