Trouble getting the WIS signal? Here are some tips!

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - WIS has completed The Big Switch to digital television, but we are aware that many of our viewers are still having trouble receiving our signal.

Here are some tips if you are having trouble getting the WIS signal:

  • Many antennas sold by the "big box" electronics retailers were marketed as DTV or "digital" antennas, but they are only effective for UHF channels. WIS is on VHF channel 10, so viewers need to be absolutely sure that their antennas are VHF/UHF antennas, which are able to receive signals of both and VHF channels (2 through 13) and UHF channels (14 and above).
  • Indoor, "rabbit ears" antennas should be set up with the telescoping rods extended only 12” to 18”, NOT extended all the way. And the rods should be tilted just above horizontal, NOT vertical or at 45-degree angles. This will maximize signal strength on channel 10.
  • Indoor antennas need to be positioned to face the direction of the local stations' TV transmitters. The WIS transmitter, and those of most other Columbia stations, are located in Lugoff in Kershaw County, just over the Richland County line off I-20. The others are located in northeast Columbia.
  • Many homes have foil-covered insulation in the walls. Some digital TV signals do not penetrate this insulation well. Viewers should try placing their antennas in front of a window, which may improve reception.
  • If viewers cannot pick up a station and have repositioned an antenna to try to improve reception, they need to re-scan the channels on their DTV or converter box after each repositioning in order to see if the stations can be locked in.
  • Some viewers may need to re-scan twice or more to lock in the channels they are missing. To double re-scan a converter box:
  1. Detach the antenna
  2. Rescan the converter box (to clear the memory)
  3. Detach the converter box power cord for 1 minute (to ensure that the memory is clear)
  4. Reattach both the power cord and antenna
  5. Rescan again
  • Most rescanning issues can be resolved with these tips, but some viewers may need an in-home installation visit. Call 1-888-900-3881 to schedule a free service call from a contractor working for the FCC, the federal agency overseeing the DTV transition.
  • If all else fails, attic-mounted or outdoor antennas work best for pulling in VHF channels.