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Phoenix's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Phoenix, Arizona | 12NEWS.com

How to rescan your antenna TV to watch 12 News, your local NBC affiliate

Starting on July 8th, you’ll need to rescan your TV so you can keep watching 12 News and all your favorite NBC programs.
Credit: 12 News

PHOENIX — Do I need to rescan my TV?

If you watch TV with an over-the-air antenna or use a digital converter box, this may affect you.

Starting on July 8th, you’ll need to rescan your TV so you can keep watching 12 News and all your favorite NBC programs.

It sounds complicated, but it’s just a few quick and easy steps to rescan your TV.

If you’re having trouble watching 12 News and other NBC programs before July 8, you’re not alone. It’s nothing on your end.

12 News is upgrading its transmitter that sends our television signal across the entire Phoenix area.

Most construction will happen Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but the signal may still be weak before or afterward until the upgrade is complete.

RELATED: Can’t watch 12 News right now? It’ll be fixed soon, but here’s what’s happening

For instructions in Spanish, go here.

RELATED: Cómo escanear su televisor para seguir viendo 12 News, su afiliado local de NBC

Why do I have to rescan my TV to receive 12 News and NBC?

Starting on July 8th, we are punching up the power of our over-the-air signal which means this may change how your tuner finds our channels. 

We are switching from a VFH to a UHF antenna to improve the quality of your picture and how we deliver our award-winning local and national news, sports and all the great shows you enjoy here on NBC.  

Additionally, you might even find a few more free channels. 

Watch this to learn how to rescan your TV

Related: FCC: How to rescan your TV
Related: FCC information on antennas and digital television

What do I need to do?

Don’t worry. It is easy to rescan your TV. Just follow these simple steps.

General guide

  1. Press the MENU button on your television or converter box remote.
  2. Go to SETUP or SETTINGS.
  3. Go to INSTALLATION or SYSTEM or CHANNELS.
  4. Go to AUTOPROGRAM, AUTOSCAN, AUTOTUNING, PROGRAM CHANNELS, or SCAN CHANNELS.
  5. Press ENTER, OK, or SELECT to start the scan.
  6. Some televisions may warn you that starting a scan will reprogram your channels. That's OK! Reprogramming your tuner is exactly what you want to do to access the upgrades and new channels.
  7. Once the scan starts, it can take just a few minutes or 15 to 30 minutes to complete. DON’T stop the process once it starts.
  8. At this point, your scan should be done. Many televisions quit the process on their own, with others, you may need to select OK or EXIT on your remote.

NOTE: Some manufacturers have you use the LEFT/RIGHT arrow to access menu functions.

Sometimes they throw you a curveball and make the CHANNEL UP/DOWN and VOLUME UP/DOWN double as menu navigation.

It can be a bit tricky, but if you're familiar with your television remote, you already know this stuff.

What if I lose my 12 News signal?

Viewers may lose their signal for a little bit during installation because we have to go to a low power mode. This is temporary and you should see the improved signal very shortly. In the meantime, you can stream us on 12news.com and the app.

What if I see two channels for 12 News when I rescan?

There will be a short period where you might see two signals when you rescan.

The old signal 12.12 could appear because of a small crossover window.

The new signal 12.1 may also show up during the same time.

The old signal will eventually drop off and your TV will swap to the new signal.

Can you explain the different types of antennas and their effectiveness?

Yes, the type of antenna makes a big difference.

An old-fashioned, large pole-mounted antenna usually works best outdoors. They can also be mounted in the attic, but the reception is not as strong.

The smaller, square antennas -- often advertised as “digital” -- are not necessarily designed for VHF HD signals and have been known to cause intermittent viewing issues.

Unfortunately, “rabbit ear” antennas are probably the least effective way to receive a digital signal, however, in some situations, they may be a viewer’s only option.

If a rabbit ear antenna is the only option, those with a built-in RF amplifier to boost the DTV signal would be preferable.

Which direction should my antenna face?

The direction your antenna points will impact your signal quality.

Antennas should be pointed toward our transmitter on South Mountain, south of Phoenix.

Does the condition of my equipment matter?

Yes! There are a few things to check if you think your equipment might be in poor condition.

If the coax is in bad shape, moisture may have created a weak spot in the cable from the antenna into the house, lowering the signal strength.

The connectors at the end of the coax can be problematic as well.

If you have an outside antenna, it is a good idea to check and make certain the coax cable from the antenna is in good shape and protected from the elements (extreme sun, rain, etc.).

Is your wiring “split”?

That is important because how many times the signal is split before reaching the TV/receiver may also result in low signal strength.

Multiple splitters or anything more than a two-way split may cause issues.

We recommend installing a signal amplifier splitter from the antenna before branching to other splitters, receivers, or a TV.

This should boost the signal evenly to the devices.

What now?

If all has gone according to plan, then it’s time to relax and enjoy all your favorite shows including the summer Olympics!

To help solve any issues you are having viewing our station, please email us at: antenna@12news.com

For another guide to rescan your TV, click here.