How to Find Digital TV Channels in My Area

By Andy Warycka

With more people cutting the cord from cable or satellite TV every year, many are turning to good old-fashioned antennas and over the air signals for local digital TV channels. With literally hundreds of available channel slots, it would be tedious to look through them all individually, but your digital TV or converter box offers a simple solution.

Planning for Scanning

The easiest way to find digital TV channels is by using your TV or digital converter box itself. Both have the ability to scan through the TV channel spectrum and automatically save active stations. Consult the user manual for your specific device for exact procedures, but it can usually be found by pressing the “Menu” or “Set-up” button on your device’s remote control. Once the channel scan is complete, you can use the up and down channel buttons to select the channels saved in memory, or use the number pad to enter them directly. It’s a good idea to perform a channel scan every so often to see whether additional channels are available, or existing ones have changed.

Look It Up

If you’re not sure which channels you should be receiving, or would like to see what digital channels should be available based on your location, the Federal Communications Commission has a helpful tool (link in Resources) that allows you to enter your address, ZIP code or city and tell you what channels in the area you can expect to receive and the relative signal strength of each.