Skip to Content

Samsung TV Not Finding Channels: 5 Causes & Fixes (2023)

Samsung TV Not Finding Channels

Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Apple TV…

I don’t know about you but I can’t see much point in subscribing to all of these services.

Especially since they’re starting to hike up their prices. 

It might be time to call it quits and go analog.

“But it’s been too long! I forgot how to look for channels on my TV.”

Don’t worry, we got you covered.

Keep on reading to discover

  • How to scan for channels manually.
  • What the coax cable does for your TV and how it can break.
  • 5 reasons why your Samsung TV can’t find channels and how to fix it.
  • How to fix the “Standby Auto Tuning” glitch to prevent losing channels.
  • And so much more…

Why is my Samsung TV not finding channels?

Your Samsung TV can’t find channels because of a weak signal. Or that you forgot to configure your input settings. Your coax cable could also be broken or not properly inserted. The antenna or cable itself might be broken. Lastly, it’s possible that the problem is a glitch with Standby Auto Tuning.

Samsung TV not finding channels: 5 causes & fixes

#1: Weak signal strength

Let’s start with the simplest reason why you’re not finding channels: you have weak signal strength.

It’s no secret that our TVs have evolved over the last couple of years. But they’re still vulnerable to weak antennae or weak cable signals.

Luckily, it’s also the most easily identifiable problem. 

Samsung notifies their users whenever they have this issue with a “Weak Signal” popup.

When you receive this warning, here’s how you can fix it.

What you can do

The first thing to check is your signal strength:

  1. Go to your home screen.
  2. Open the ‘Settings’ menu.
  3. Select ‘Support’.
  4. Under ‘Self Diagnosis’, press ‘Signal Information’.
  5. Your signal strength must be above 20dB to be considered stable.

If your signal is less than 20dB, don’t go buying a new antenna yet. You can fix this by yourself.

This is what Samsung recommends users try if they encounter this issue:

  1. Make sure that the external device is turned on.
  2. Check if you’re using the right source on the TV.
  3. Check if any connections are loose.
  4. Replace the connection cable.
  5. Test a different external device on the same source.

If it’s still not working after doing those, you can always buy a signal booster. This can amplify your antenna to receive more channels.

A signal amplifier has two types: indoor and outdoor.

Indoor amplifier

Indoor signal amplifiers are commonly used when your antenna only supports one TV.

To properly set up an indoor amplifier, you need to: 

  1. Connect the TV antenna to the amplifier using the antenna’s coax cable.
  2. Connect the amplifier to TV and AC power adapter.
  3. Perform a complete channel scan of your TV.
Outdoor amplifier

On the other hand, outdoor signal amplifiers are used when multiple TVs use a common antenna.

To properly set up an outdoor amplifier, you need to:

  1. Connect the TV antenna to the amplifier using the antenna’s coax.
  2. Connect the amplifier to power inserter and AC power adapter.
  3. Perform a complete channel scan of your TV.

Note: Be careful not to overamplify your signal. Doing so would only worsen your connection further.

#2: Damaged aerial or cable box

Damaged Cable Box

If your TV has a strong signal, then the problem might be with your hardware.

Antennae, especially outdoor ones, are susceptible to damage. From attracting lightning to nesting birds, we’ve all experienced a broken antenna…

Cable boxes, on the other hand, can seem more durable on paper. But they are still vulnerable to damage because of age.

What you can do

Check your antenna or your cable. Figure out what’s broken.

Is it the peripherals or is it the device itself?

If it’s the latter, then it’s better if you buy a replacement. 

Remember that everything succumbs to old age, even your devices. Buy a new antenna or order a new cable to prolong your TV’s usability.

Note: Take care of your cable box. There have been many reports of cable companies overcharging for a replacement. 

You might also be interested in: 3 Steps To Install Chromecast On A Samsung TV

#3: Coax cable is broken

The coaxial cable (also called the RF cable) connects your Samsung TV to your antenna.

Like all electrical cables, a coax cable is susceptible to breaking due to a lot of factors. According to a cable manufacturing company, these are:

  • Age.
  • Application.
  • UV exposure.
  • Rodent attack.
  • Heating of cable.
  • Mechanical failure.
  • Electrical overloading.
  • Moisture in the insulation.
  • Degradation of the cable sheath.

When the coax cable breaks, then your TV’s signal will also be compromised. 

What you can do

Fortunately, fixing a broken coax cable is simple. All you need are:

To repair a faulty coax cable, you need to locate where the damage is. 

Note: Usually, if your wire was broken by a rodent, you can easily find the damage by looking for an exposed wire.

After locating the damaged part, all you need to do is to:

  1. Cut a one-inch part of your coax cable from where you think the damage is.
  2. Insert the end of one of your cut cables into the stripping tool.
  3. Turn the stripping tool around the cable then release.
  4. Push down the replacement end to the stripped part of the cable.
  5. Insert the coax cable with a new end to the crimping tool.
  6. Press the crimping tool hard to ensure that the new end sticks.
  7. Do the same for the other part of the coax cable.
  8. Connect the two cables with the connector. Twist it firmly.

If you want a visual tutorial of how to do this, you can watch:

Alternatively, you can also just buy a new coax cable to replace your old one.

#4: Incorrect signal or source

Sometimes the issue is so simple, that you might not have even thought about it.

Messed around with your input settings lately? Chances are, the problem is just that you’re not on the correct input or signal option.

Always check if you’re on the correct input or if you have the signal 

What you can do

You can fix this without leaving your couch. 

Sit back and grab your remote. Here’s what you need to do:

Incorrect source
  1. Press the ‘Source’ button on your remote.
  2. Navigate to the input you want to access.
  3. Press the ‘OK’ button on your remote.
Incorrect signal input
  1. Press the ‘Menu’ button on your remote.
  2. Go to ‘Broadcasting’.
  3. Press ‘Aerial’.
  4. Select ‘Air’ if you’re using an antenna. Choose ‘Cable’ if you’re using a cable input.

#5: Coax cable connected to the wrong input

There are multiple inputs for a coax cable at the back of your TV. 

Sometimes these inputs are specialized. Meaning that some of them only accept aerial (antenna) input or cable input.

Since it’s at the back of your TV, it’s possible that you didn’t notice this as you input your external antenna or cable.

What you can do

When you suspect that this is the problem, you can simply reach for the back of your TV and:

  1. Remove the cable from the current input.
  2. Attach it to the other RF inputs.

If you’re still missing random channels, Samsung recommends you to:

  1. Go to ‘Menu’.
  2. Under the ‘Channel’ menu, press ‘Auto Program’.
  3. You can choose between ‘Air’, ‘Cable’, and ‘Air + Cable’.
  4. If you select ‘Air’, the TV will automatically program itself.
  5. If you select one of the other two, select your cable type.
  6. Press ‘Enter’ for the TV to auto program.

When you’ve exhausted all the solutions, you can also try to:

  1. Check to see if your coax cable is working by using it on a different TV.
  2. Connect the TV to a different cable connection, then do the auto program procedure again.
  3. Move the antenna around your house, preferably near a window. Do the auto program procedure again.

BONUS: Standby Auto Tuning is on

When your Samsung TV is idle, it goes to standby mode.

Once it’s in standby mode, there’s a chance that it will scan for channels without prompt. This happens because a setting called “Standby Auto Tuning” is enabled on your TV.

Good, right? So, why is it on this list?

Sometimes it does the opposite. 

Some users report a glitch where the “Standby Auto Tuning”. They claim that it resets their region settings every time they’re turning their TV on. The glitch asks the users to input their postcode and the TV somehow removes all saved channels.

What you can do

To turn off Standby Auto Tuning, do the following:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’.
  2. Press ‘Broadcasting’.
  3. Select ‘Auto Tuning Settings’.
  4. Toggle ‘Standby Auto Tuning’ off.

After you’ve done this, you will need to manually scan for channels for your Samsung TV. You can do this by:

  1. Press the ‘Settings’ button on your remote.
  2. Go to ‘Channel’.
  3. Choose ‘Auto Program’.
  4. Select both ‘Air’ and ‘Cable’.
  5. Select ‘STD’ for both digital and analog.
  6. Wait for the loading bar to reach 100%.

People also ask:

Why is my Samsung TV not picking up local channels?

Your Samsung TV is not picking up local channels because of an issue with the signal. Something is blocking your antenna from receiving broadcasts from local channels.

Many factors can contribute to interference between local broadcasters and your Samsung TV. Some of these are:

  • Heavy rainstorm.
  • Badly positioned antenna.
  • Your antenna facing the opposite side of a signal tower.
  • Obstructions outside your house like mountains or tall towers.

If you encounter any of these issues, make sure to scan for channels by auto-tuning your Samsung TV.
If this fails, you can always contact your customer service representative.