How to Tune TV Antenna

Wondering how to tune TV antenna? Likely you’re an aspiring cord-cutter or simply want to expand your viewing. 

Whatever the reason for tuning, and whether it’s a first-time or re-tuning, it’s a simple process you can do yourself. 

But how exactly does TV antenna tuning work? Also, why and when should you tune your TV antenna? 

Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more. The article also explains how to troubleshoot various issues you might run into.  

Table of Contents

What Does it Mean to Tune an Antenna?

Simply put, antenna tuning serves as a way to match the impedance of the antenna with that of the transmission. 

When there’s a balance in the impedance between the two ends, you can achieve the best antenna performance. 

Tuning increases performance by reducing the amount of power loss due to the reflection of the signal. 

Also, it increases the bandwidth of a signal, capturing more frequencies. In turn, you get a good signal reception with your TV. 

How Does Antenna Tuning Work?

Typically, a TV has an internal tuner that helps it pick up the signal from an antenna. 

The tuner helps the TV know the frequencies it needs and adjust accordingly. 

So when you scan for channels, you allow the TV to obtain the information regarding respective frequencies. 

Then the TV stores this information for later retrieval during your watching. 

Thus, the TV can all other signals that are not within the frequency band that itsigned for.

Why Do I Need to Tune the TV Antenna?

Antenna tuning is important for your TV to obtain the frequencies your antenna receives from the transmission station. 

Generally, there are several broadcasting transmitters. Thus, it would be best if you tuned your TV to specific frequencies. 

TV Antenna Tuning: A Step-by-Step Guide

The procedure for tuning your TV depends on whether it’s a first-time tuning or re-tuning for better signal reception. 

First-Time Tuning

If you’re tuning your TV for the first time, select your country or region. This is important for the tuner circuit in your TV. 

Interestingly, each signal has a specific LCN (Logical Channel Number) unique to a location or region. 

And your TV can then read this information and store the service information for each signal to the right channels. 

See, you want to avoid a situation where the frequency signals get stored in random TV channels. 

That’s because you want to access the channels in a more convenient and organized manner.

Next, select the scan type that’s compatible with your TV service. You can choose Air, Cable, or Satellite. 

Now scan for any encrypted content on your TV.  


Now, re-tuning is a way of compensating for missing TV channels. And there are two ways you can retune your TV:


For automatic tuning, you’ll follow the same process as for initial or first-time tuning. So, locate the scanning menu and run a quick scan of the channels. 

To do this, first, disconnect the antenna and scan. If there’s no signal, it indicates deleted previous TV service channels. 

Now reconnect the antenna and run the scanning again. 


Now this is a rather advanced tuning process. With manual tuning, you must know the TV channel frequencies available on your antenna. 

Then you’ll need to enter the frequencies of these channels manually into the TV and save the information.  

Why and When to Re-tune TV Antenna

The following are reasons you might need to re-tune your TV antenna:

To update TV channels: From time to time, TV channels change their channel numbers. 

And doing a rescan will help you maintain the TV channels in an orderly manner.

Adjust to the latest frequencies: A change in a channel’s frequency can cause you to lose the channel. 

And a re-tuning allows you to shift from the older frequency to the latest one. 

In fact, having a scheduled re-tuning, such as once a month, is an excellent way of keeping your list up-to-date.

 Also, it will help ensure your TV pictures don’t break up, especially when new transmitters come up within your area.

To address changes to the transmission tower: Occasionally, there’s work going on at the transmitter.

 When that happens, it can result in changes to the service details.

Thus, re-tuning the antenna will help gain the information that would otherwise have gotten lost. 

To add new channels to your list: TV stations launch new broadcasting channels every now and then. 

By re-tuning, you help your TV obtain the frequencies of the new channels and add them to your existing list.   

How to Troubleshoot Tuning Issues

Unfortunately, the reality is that you may encounter various problems when tuning your TV, including: 

Few channels: When you get less than 50 channels, likely there’s a problem with the antenna

And contrary to what you might think, the problem has nothing to do with the TV or channels. You may have to replace the antenna or change its orientation. 

Lost TV channels after re-tuning: Sometimes, immediately after re-tuning, you might find that you’ve lost some channels. 

If that’s the case, it’s possible you have a faulty antenna. Also, you want to check the coaxial cable as it might need replacing. 

Getting a different number of channels: Sometimes, every time you tune your TV, you get a different number of channels. 

Often, this is common when you use a Freeview Lite TV transmitter that’s not compatible. 

Tips for Boosting Signal Strength

The following are some ways you can boost signal strength:

Locate local broadcast transmitters: See, the location of your transmitting tower should be your main focus. 

Because it will help you make the right decision on where to place your antenna for maximum signal reception. 

Use a signal level (strength) meter to find a signal: By employing this device, it will save you time determining where the signal is strongest.

 Also, it eliminates the need for trial and error in searching for the signal. 

Mind you, some antennas come with an inbuilt level meter for this function. 

Signal level meter

(Caption: Signal level meter)

Position the antenna higher on the wall: By using a longer mast, you can ensure your outdoor antenna goes as high as possible. 

Use a rooftop antenna: With a rooftop antenna; it’s surprising how well you can mitigate the high number of interferences.

Such interferences occur due to multiple transmitters akin to an urban setting.

Also, rooftop antennas limit obstructions from buildings. 

 Antenna on the rooftop

(Caption: Antenna on the rooftop)

Mount properly on the wall: To do so, vary the antenna’s position from one wall to another until you obtain a good reception.


What Is the Best Setting for an Antenna? 

The best setting for an antenna is placing it where there’s the least interference. You can place it near a window if it’s an indoor antenna. 

And for an outdoor antenna, mount it on the roof. Also, you can use a longer mast to ensure the antenna is as high as possible.  

Why Is My Digital Antenna Not Picking Up Channels?

There are several reasons for such an issue. Primarily, it could be that the antenna is faulty. 

Or you have not tuned your TV to the available frequencies for the various channels in your region. 

Is a Bigger TV Antenna Better?

Yes, a bigger antenna can be better. The larger reception surface a bigger antenna provides means the antenna can receive more frequencies. 

That said, you must ensure that the antenna is appropriately positioned.


So that’s how to tune a TV antenna. As we’ve learned, TV antenna tuning helps you access TV channels within your location.

Also, it helps balance the impedance between the received and reflected signal. 

And with so many channel frequencies available, it’s important to get the correct one and store it orderly. 

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