WQOW -- We want to make sure you're getting all the channels available in your area after you set up your new converter box on your TV.
Chief Engineer Dave White answers this weeks question: "Dave, what is the search or scan process, and why do I have to do that? And will I have to do it again after February 17th?"
One of the unique things about digital television is that the programs are not necessarily on the channels you think. For instance digital channel 18 is actually transmitted on 15.
Each converter box and tuner is slightly unique but generally you will start with a menu screen after you hook up your new converter box. With the remote control you'll work your way through the menu and let the converter box search for the channels in our area. You will work your way through 2 screens (depending on the model) to get to where you can search for channels. From here, press the enter button and let the search process begin. On our converter box it says searching for channels on others it may say scanning or auto tuning.
With a small indoor antenna our converter box picks up 6 digital channels (as of early December). With an antenna outside or depending on where you live you may be able to find as many as 13 or 14 digital channels in the Eau Claire area. Come February 17th, all stations will either come in really well or not at all. There are rare circumstances that if you get certain channels, but they're are fuzzy; they might not come in at all after the switch. Having a higher quality VHF antenna will increase your chances after February 17th, because all stations will then be broadcast in VHF, and not UHF like certain channels are now. We will cover more on this topic in the weeks to come.
In addition to the initial scan, you'll want to repeat this process every couple of weeks so that you'll pick up any new channels as they become available. Most important of all, you'll need to re-scan on February 18th when some of the existing channels are moved to new digital channels.
For specific questions always consult your users manual, or you can mail them to WQOW by clicking on this link, or mailing it to NEWS 18, ATTN: DTV 5545, Hwy 93, Eau Claire, WI 54701