All TV’s will require re-tuning, usually via an auto-programming or channel scan feature in the menu of your television, in order to capture all new channels. Please ensure that the Standard Cable Setting is selected (not Air, Antenna, HRC or IRC). We have found that the auto-programming process can be as swift as 5 minutes, up to 45 minutes depending upon the television being programmed. Once the scan is complete, if the problem persists check what channels you can see. If no digital channels (16.1, 26.1, 114.3, 115.2, etc.) your TV may not have a digital tuner built in.

Campus cable TV is an all-digital system using clear QAM technology. QAM is a type of digital signal that is used by cable companies to distribute television and other telecommunication mediums. This change is similar to the 2009 digital TV switchover that was mandatory for OTA (Over the Air) broadcast stations. (Important: QAM signals are different than Over the Air signals. If you buy a digital converter or set top box from a local electronics store (Best Buy, Wal-Mart, or Kmart it will most likely NOT work.) 

  • Analog TV’s or TV’s that are generally more than 5 years old may require the purchase of a digital-to-analog converter box (clear QAM Tuner noted above) in order to view the new channels since the old analog system has been replaced with a digital signal. The cost of the converter/ tuner will be the responsibility of the student. These convertor boxes, can be purchased through Amazon for the conversion of an older set with an analog tuner. For testing ITS ordered a clear QAM tuner (IView-2000STB) from an on-line source and have found it to work sufficiently. This manufacturer/model is only a suggestion, ITS cannot speak to the manufacturers quality control. There are other manufactures/models of varying prices and quality that you may choose to try as well.

If your television has been manufactured within the last 5 years, there is a good chance that it can receive the QAM signal.

The easiest way to tell if your model will work is to either:

  • Refer to the documentation which came with your television, look for clear QAM capable
  • Google your make and model, look for clear QAM-capable

Not all new or recently purchased TV’s will function as a small percentage of “off-brand” TV’s like “Element” may not be equipped with a “clear” QAM tuner. However, different models of “Element TV’s” have been equipped with the QAM tuner. Please review this technical specification on any newly purchased TV’s. Thankfully, the vast majority of newer TV’s will work properly.

The small percentage of receiving devices may experience clear QAM tuning issues such as the inability to recognize video and audio streams, the channel numbering format, the channel description, or the channel programming detail. As new television models are released, we expect manufacturers will endeavor to remedy clear QAM issues.

If given a choice of STD, HRC, or IRC for auto-scanning options please select STD. Some digital television sets have tuners within them that change the channel numbering sequence even if scanned with STD. All channels should still be able to be received, but may show on different channel numbers than what is shown on the ITS digital channel line-up chart. This channel line-up variance is a product of the specific TV's tuner and is not an item that ITS can control. A known TV manufacturer that we have encountered this with is Samsung but others may do the same. If you are missing multiple channels within the line-up please let us know and we will work with you to resolve the matter.

TIVO units will NOT function fully on the University of Iowa cable television services and are not recommended.

I have a Westinghouse TV and can’t get any TV channels to come up.  What do I do?  

You will need to get a manufacture’s code.  To get this choose start to scan, go to QAM, on your TV you will see a phone number to call to get your code.   You will have to give your TV serial number and then you will receive you code.  Enter the code in the TV remote when prompted.

If these questions do not resolve or answer your issue please don't hesitate to contact ITS at 319-335-2949

Article number: 
Last updated: 
June 1, 2017