Does Retuning Your Digital TV Annoy You?

Does Retuning Your Digital TV Annoy You?

Digital TV has plenty of advantages — a wider range of channels in better quality — but one hidden annoyance is how often you have to retune your gear whenever a new service launches, or a channel readjusts its lineup.

Picture by restlessglobetrotter

The Australian notes that the recent launch of community TV in Sydney resulted in many people having to rescan, but it’s an issue that’s come up many times before. A well-designed device makes the process easy, but it isn’t always automatic. Do you find retuning a major nuisance, or have you come to terms with it? Tell us in the comments.

Digital TV re-scans for new service a turn-off for some [The Australian]


  • I have to say I normally can’t be bothered re-tuning when a new channel launches. I only do it when I’m bored and think it might be cool to check it out.

    • From memory, the process for tuning an analogue set was to just add a new channel and manually tune it.

      My current digital, though, throws up a prompt that it’s found new channels every time I turn on the tuner, and asks if I’d like to run a new scan. Doing so erases the channel list and does a full scan, which takes a while and means I also lose my list of favourite channels.

      So yeah. The process is much more invasive now, and annoying until I actually get around to doing it. Yet another reason why I very rarely actually watch broadcast TV.

  • I have to say that in the 2yrs that I’ve had it, I’ve never had an issue with needing to retune my digital tv (46″ Sony Bravia XBR). When the extra FTA channels launched, they appeared in my channel list straightaway. I’ve actually set up a favorites list which allows you to choose which channels and in what order so that I don’t have to scroll through the duplicates (incl. regionals such as Win, Prime) or inane fluff (senate tv, ABC3 etc) that I’ll never watch.

  • Seriously, if you are too lazy to retune your tv then you deserve to miss out on Go or 7two…
    great new channels well worth the rescan!
    The reason I’m stopping my foxtel in fact!

    It is not a short process, but not overly too long so it can be done easily enough. The only problem is when you have to initally create a FAV list for your TV channels that might get annoying. For example why do I need channel 71, 72, 73, 74 all of the same content…So I delete those from the beginning.

    My channel list is OneHD, ABCHD, ABC2, ABC3, ABC radio x2, SBSHD, SBS2, 7HD, 7two, 9HD, GO, c10…think that is it…

    OH! have you heard, three new channels to come form 7, 9 and 10 this year!!!!

  • You should not have to. More new Channels are just using an existing frequency and the PID is already transmitted. It is not like there is a completely new frequency to tune into.

    It will generally be if you either delete the unused PIDs or setup favourites

  • Yes it’s annoying. I seem to be doing a rescan every couple of months. I don’t know why, do they add or remove duplicate channels all the time, or is it becuase the signal drops out sometimes and the TV forgets about that channel?

    Analog used to be easy, I could just flick between channels (there was only 5). Now I have to flick between dozens of duplicate channels. Why the duplicates? My wife complains that it is so hard now to to switch between the channels or trying to figure out which channel is which. In the old days 7 meant 7, 9 was 9, etc… I’m getting tired of setting up the TV for her.

    I applaud change when there is an improvement. Sure the picture quality is better, but usability has taken a huge nose dive.

    • TiVo also detects new channels and tells you if there are any specific problems with the new line up (e.g. when 1 becomes 10 or vice versa) and adjusts all season passes accordingly… No pain!

      But without TiVo, it would be a pain 🙂

  • Never have to bother here as there’s no new channels broadcast in my area to pick up. Not in the last year or so anyhow. A grand total of just 3: analog 7, analog 9 & digital ABC (all of them but who cares about ABC3 unless you’ve got kids).

    You can run round the clock to check what’s on in the space of a single ad!

  • Yes, it’s a pain with so many new channels coming online nowadays. Worst thing is with most STBs and DTVs when you do a complete rescan you lose all the channels in your favourites list(s)and have to go back and recreate the list from scratch again. That’s dumb.

    It’s also a pain that with most sets you can’t modify the frequency for a single network/channel as you can with the analog tuner in the same TV. I can receive both the VHF/UHF digital transmissions from the main transmitters in Sydney as well as the UHF versions from a repeater tower nearby, a rescan locks in the VHF/UHF frequencies from the main transmitter and ignores the higher numbered UHF channels for the same channels from the repeater even though the reception from the repeater is better for a couple of the channels (ABC and Seven). Then when it rains hard enough the weaker VHF signals for the ABC, and Seven too sometimes, drop out and I get no signal for them. I can’t however retune just the ABC and Seven to the repeater’s UHF frequencies, I have to rescan the whole lot (while it’s still stormy so it will use the repeater’s frequencies instead of the main transmitter’s VHF channels). And then I have to redo all my favourites again afterwards… I am getting very sick of this!

  • On the Easter weekend the in-laws complained to me that they couldn’t record digital TV anymore. It turns out I needed to rescan all the channels – the DVR couldn’t handle the fact that some of the frequencies has changed.

  • i have a hdhomerun which is brilliant and its not been an issue. i think some tuners pickup main channels and sub channels are added without prompt.

  • not really annoying rescanning, i actually think its kinda exciting getting new channels. The annoying part is reorganising channels and deleting duplicates.

    P.S I really hope we get a channel that does doco’s, its Channel 2,22 and 23 are often all showing kids shows at the same time, give us some damn docos!

  • Because, you know, pressing a button to autoscan is such hard work! ;p

    Someone should give these people an old tv where you had to press the dial in and turn it repeatedly while holding it in, in order to manually tune each station in (omg. tuning in SBS was awful on UHF!) and even then you only got it if you fiddled with the rabbit ears forever.

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