How to Scan and Add OTA TV Channels on a Samsung TV

Photo of author
Written By Robby

Once you are on the TV source, use the directional pad or arrow buttons on your remote to select Settings (All Settings). Select Broadcasting, and then select Auto Program. Select Start to begin auto-programming, and then select either Air, Cable, or Both. Select Air if you are using an antenna only.

One of the best features of modern Samsung smart TVs is the ability to receive free over-the-air (OTA) channels by connecting an antenna. With a simple channel scan, you can access broadcast stations in full high definition – all without paying for cable or satellite service.

This guide will show you how to connect an antenna, scan for channels, and add free OTA channels to your Samsung TV channel list.

Overview of Scanning OTA Channels

Here is a quick rundown of the overall process:

  • Obtain an antenna to receive OTA signals in your area.

  • Connect the antenna to your Samsung TV.

  • Access the TV’s settings and run the Auto Channel Scan function.

  • The TV scans available OTA channels and adds them to your channel lineup.

  • View and enjoy free local HD channels through the antenna.

Below are more detailed steps to scan for OTA channels on Samsung smart TVs.

Step 1: Get an Antenna for OTA Signals

In order to receive over-the-air channels, you will need an antenna designed to receive broadcast signals:

  • Indoor antenna – Small antennas that sit near your TV. Good for suburban or urban areas near broadcast towers.

  • Attic/loft antenna – Mounted in attic for broader reception. Works for farther outskirts of broadcast range.

  • Rooftop antenna – Mounted outside for largest range. Best for rural areas far from towers.

Research antennas that pull in channels in your specific area. Many antennas let you enter your zip code to view available stations.

Aim for the longest range antenna within your budget. You can add a signal amplifier as well for maximum reach.

Step 2: Connect the Antenna to Your Samsung TV

With your new OTA antenna ready, it’s time to connect it to the TV:

  1. Locate the ANT IN or ANT/CABLE IN port on the back of your Samsung TV.

  2. Connect one end of a coaxial cable to the antenna’s output.

  3. Connect the other end of the coaxial cable to the TV’s ANT IN port.

  4. Ensure the antenna is placed in an optimal reception spot, like near a window.

The coax connection now links your TV to the over-the-air signal from the antenna.

Step 3: Run the Auto Channel Scan on Your TV

Next, you need to access your TV’s settings and run the channel scan function:

  1. Turn on your Samsung TV and use the remote to access Settings.

  2. Go to Broadcasting > Auto Program.

  3. Select Air or Both for the auto scan type.

  4. Choose Start to begin the channel scan process.

The TV will now scan the entire antenna frequency range, identifying and storing any channels it finds. This may take several minutes to complete.

Step 4: Add Detected OTA Channels

Once scanning finishes, your TV will display the number of channels it discovered. These are now stored in the TV’s channel memory.

To access OTA channels:

  • Press the Channel + or – buttons on the remote to scroll through channels. New OTA channels will be mixed in.

  • Bring up the Channel Guide to browse a list of all channels, including new OTA additions.

  • Add favorite OTA channels to the Home Screen using the Channel List editor.

You can rescan periodically to pick up any new channels in your area as broadcast signals change. Enjoy!

Tips for Improving OTA Channel Reception

In some cases, you may not get many (or any) OTA channels when performing the initial scan.

Here are some tips to optimize your antenna setup and improve channel reception:

Adjust antenna direction – Slightly adjust the antenna position and direction to aim it better at local broadcast towers. An amplified antenna with a signal strength meter helps.

Elevate antenna placement – Try placing the antenna higher, like in a window or ideally on the roof outside. Higher placement receives clearer signals.

Use a signal amplifier – Add an amplifier between the antenna and TV to boost weaker signals. This strengthens and extends the antenna’s range.

Replace coax cable – Try a newer, high-quality coaxial cable designed specifically for TV signals. Old, low-grade cable causes signal loss.

Rescan channels – Run the channel scan again after adjusting your setup. Channel frequencies can change as new stations go live.

With some tweaking to optimize reception, you can pull in a wider selection of free over-the-air channels.

Access Advanced Antenna Settings on a Samsung TV

For maximum control over your OTA antenna setup, Samsung TVs provide some advanced settings under Broadcasting:

Channel List Edit – Manually add, delete, name, and reorder OTA channels.

Program Air/Cable – Choose Air for antenna channels only.

Channel Scan – Select specific modes like Add or Delete while scanning.

Fine Tune – Manually enter broadcast frequencies to manually add OTA channels.

Signal Information – View signal strength for each discovered channel.

Auto Program Guide – Change settings related to the auto scanning process.

These advanced options allow you to customize and fine tune your OTA channel lineup.

Troubleshooting OTA Channel Problems on a Samsung TV

Here are some common issues and fixes when dealing with OTA channels:

Can’t access antenna settings – Make sure source is set to TV/Antenna, not HDMI or other.

No channels found – Double check antenna connections and scan again. Try antenna tips above.

Channel missing – Rescan in case broadcast changed. Or add manually under Channel List Edit.

Channel not found – The channel may have been taken off the air. Verify at

Channel fuzzy – This is usually weak signal. Try repositioning antenna or add an amplifier.

Channel buffering – Low signal can cause temporary loss. Upgrade coax cable and connectors.

Following antenna best practices when installing and positioning will yield the best results. But with trial and error, you can resolve most issues that pop up with OTA channels.

Get Even More Channels with Samsung TV Plus

Once you’ve scanned for antenna channels, take your free TV to the next level with Samsung TV Plus. This is an app that comes pre-installed on new Samsung TVs and provides over 200 streaming channels completely free.

To access:

  1. Press the Home button on your Samsung remote.
  2. Select the Samsung TV Plus app.

Samsung TV Plus offers popular channels, movies, sports, news, music and more without any subscription, fees or sign up. It’s a great supplemental source of content.

You still access these streaming channels alongside your regular OTA programs using the channel up/down button or guide. Samsung TV Plus integrates seamlessly with your existing channel lineup.

Between local OTA channels and Samsung TV Plus, you can access a ton of free TV without monthly bills. Ditch the cable and satellite subscription and enjoy!

Get All Your Favorites with a Samsung TV Antenna

The ability to plug in a simple antenna provides free access to network shows, local news, live sports and more in full HD quality. By connecting an OTA antenna and scanning for channels, you can unlock limitless entertainment with your Samsung TV.

Follow the steps in this guide to optimize your setup and get the most free programming. Combine it with Samsung TV Plus for the ultimate cord-cutting experience. Ditch the costly cable bill and enjoy free TV on your terms.

How To Scan for Channels on Samsung TV

Leave a Comment