Dear Sun Spots: I have a new standard digital TV and a new digital ready rooftop antenna. I get channels 6, 8, 13, 51 and 35 just fine. But I cannot get channels 23 and 10 – why?

Does anyone really have an answer for the digital “mess?” Or do we who have antennas have to switch to cable or Dish to get decent TV? To pay big bucks a month for hundreds of channels no one wants or needs, and pay for the ones we now get free.

Also, I’m hearing impaired and I watch TV with captions. My TV menu is set for a large, white caption. The only station I can get this on is WGME channel 13. The other stations are a thin white letter on a black background, hard to read, blends often with a program background or shrinks to a very small letter, which I can’t read at all. Yes, I have an eye exam every year!

Why aren’t the captions the same for all stations, programs? I wrote to WCSH channel 6 with this question. I’m computer illiterate so I enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope, still got no reply. Thanks for any answers you may have. – No Name, Monmouth.

We spoke with Dave Cox, chief engineer at Fox 23 in Portland who kindly sorted out some of the confusion for us.

The answer depends on whether or not you have a converter box. If you do not have one, your television may only be reading digital signals and if that’s the case, you will have to wait until Feb. 17 to watch 23. Channel 10 is already broadcasting in digital and you’re probably just having trouble locating their signal depending on where your antenna is pointing. We suggest calling their audience services telephone number at 1-800-884-1717.

If you do have a box, it will have to rescan for channels when a station switches to digital. Until the conversion, if you want to watch 23, you can either unhook the converter or purchase a splitter.

The FCC provides the following instruction for doing a channel scan: Digital-to-analog converter boxes and digital televisions have a button, usually on the remote control, that is labeled “set-up” or “menu” or some similar term. Press that button to access the set-up menu. Using the directional arrow buttons on your remote, scroll to the option that allows you to perform a “channel scan.” The channel scan will search for digital broadcast channels that are available in your area. Consult the owner’s manual of your digital-to-analog converter box or digital television for detailed instructions on how to perform a channel scan for your device.

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