Never Miss A Moment Of The Action. Use code GAMES at checkout for $20 off.

The latest Tablo news along with tips to maximize your free TV experience. 

Three Reasons Why You Should Regularly Rescan for OTA Channels


We hope you enjoy the following guest post from Michael Heiss, technology strategist, consultant, CEDIA FELLOW, contributing editor to Residential Systems Magazine, cord cutting enthusiast and Tablo’s subchannel observer. As Tablo’s Over-the-Air digital subchannel expert, it’s my duty to make sure that you not only know about these hidden gems, but that your Tablo DVR continues to find them. That’s why I want to talk to you about the three reasons you should regularly rescan for OTA TV channels.

three reasons rescan

Why should you regularly rescan your OTA channels?

Reason #1 – Your Local Channels May be Moving

Over the past few years, the FCC conducted an auction where TV stations were able to sell the broadcast ‘space’ (AKA spectrum) their channel occupied, back to the government.

Frequencies that were freed up were resold to cellular carriers and public service agencies. The results of this channel repack auction are now starting to take effect.

In most cases, programming from the channels that were sold will reappear as a digital subchannel under another station. That means during this transition some of the stations you watch may switch to a new ‘physical channel’ over which the signal is transmitted, even though the channel number that shows on your screen may stay the same.

If one of your local stations is making a switch, you’ll typically see announcements advising you to rescan, as well as links and ’how to‘ videos on the station’s web sites.

Reason #2 – Your Local Broadcaster May Be Changing Equipment:

Sometimes broadcasters make equipment or other technical changes that can impact your ability to receive your local channels.

For example, next week the broadcast location for NBC New York’s main channel (NBC 4.1) as well as its subchannel (Cozi TV 4.2) will move from the Empire State Building to a new transmission tower on the new One World Trade Center.

This move should result in increased transmission coverage which will reach fringe area viewers, as well those in the caverns of Manhattan who might not have been able to get these channels in recent years.

Reason #3 – Brand New OTA Subchannels:

Here in Los Angeles the number of subchannels is constantly growing and you may find that where you live, as well. Over the past few months, many TV markets have added sports network Stadium as well as Quest TV which features lots of great shows that first aired on the Discovery Channel.

Taking the time to do a channel rescan might mean finding new main channels or cool subchannels you didn’t previously know about!

How To Do a Channel Rescan?

So if a station you watch regularly suddenly disappears, or you hear about a new station coming to your area, here’s what you need to do…

If you use a Tablo, you can run a fresh channel can anytime via the settings screen on the web app at Check out full instructions here.

Scared about losing your recording schedules? Don’t worry, your Tablo will keep these for you in most cases, even if your channel is moving.

If your antenna is connected directly to your TV take the following steps:

  • Press ‘menu’ on your television remote
  • Find either “channel” or “antenna”, depending your TV’s menu
  • Select either “auto-tune” or “rescan”, depending your TV’s menu
  • Let the TV automatically adjust (this will take between 5 and 15 minutes)

The bottom line is that a periodic rescan keeps your OTA TV viewing up to date.

I recommend that you do a rescan once every three or four months just to make certain that you don’t miss out on your favorite shows!



Michael Heiss is a technology strategist, consultant, CEDIA Fellow. a contributing editor to Residential Systems Magazine and proud wearer of test pattern suits. Follow him on Twitter @captnvid

Related Blogs

Get the latest from Tablo.

Signup to get the latest product and over-the-air TV  news delivered right to your inbox. 

How to restart your phone/tablet

Sometimes, just restarting your smartphone or tablet can clear up issues with apps. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone

Android smartphones 

Most Android smartphones and tablets can be restarted by holding the POWER button and then selecting RESTART or POWER OFF and RESTART from the POWER OPTIONS menu.

NOTE: Newer Samsung devices require you to hold the POWER/SIDE button and VOLUME DOWN to make the POWER OPTIONS menu appear. On the Google Pixel 6, hold the POWER and VOLUME UP buttons.

How to force close your Tablo app?

Sometimes, just restarting the app can fix things. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone/iPad

Android smartphones/tablets 

Need help with the final steps?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Follow the steps in the video below for a full walkthrough of the remaining parts of the Tablo setup process.

Tablo Logo White

Please enter a valid address. 

We recommend entering your full address for the most accurate results. 

Sorry, no results. Please check your zip code.

Getting your channels...

You can get channels for free!
( over-the-air channels and streaming channels )

This is an estimate only. Actual broadcast TV channels received may vary based on TV antenna location, reception, topography, and other obstructions. Streaming channels require an internet connection. View the Channel Details Report for specifics of each channel and to help determine what antenna is needed. 

Reception alert:  Based upon the location you entered, you may not get many of the major networks.  As a result, Tablo may not be the best fit for you.  Please enter your full address above for best accuracy. 

Major Local Broadcast Channels

Major networks you know that have live sports, major events, local news and more. 

Entertainment and Lifestyle Channels

Sports Channels

News Channels

Movie Channels

Family and Kid Channels

En Español

Additional TV Broadcast Networks

Internet Streaming TV Channels

Internet-based free streaming channels .

Alien Nation Black logo
All Reality
Buzzfeed Unsolved
court TV logo
Fawsome logo
Gusto Espanol
Anime HiDive logo
iFood logo
laff more! TV logo
Snowboarder Television logo
Surfer logo