How to Get a Better Digital TV Signal for Free

By Ben Joseph

The FCC requires all television stations to broadcast in a digital format instead of the older analog format. To watch digital broadcasts on an old TV, you need a digital converter box. Fortunately, you can continue using the same antenna as long as it picks up both VHF and UHF channels. Depending on your location, your antenna may not perform as well with digital broadcasts as it did with analog broadcasts. Before spending money replacing the antenna with a more powerful one, you can try making minor adjustments to improve your digital TV signal for free.

Step 1

Check which digital television stations are available in your area through the FCC website, to see whether your antenna is not receiving some channels.

Step 2

With your TV on, slowly move the antenna to different locations in your room. Watch the television as you move the antenna to see if the reception improves. Try moving the antenna to different heights.

Step 3

Point your antenna in different directions. If the antenna is facing a broadcast location, it will be more likely to receive the digital signal. Visit the websites of your local television stations to find the locations of their broadcast antennas.

Step 4

Press the menu button on your digital converter's remote control and select "signal strength." This displays the current strength of your antenna, and can aid you while adjusting the location and direction of your antenna.

Step 5

Once your antenna is receiving a maximum signal, press the menu button on your digital converter's remote control, and select "channel scan." This updates your television to recognize new channels that the antenna did not previously pick up.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are still unable to receive all the available channels in your area after reorienting your antenna for maximum signal strength, you will need to purchase a stronger antenna.