Any other DTV Troubleshooting Tips?
Why does my audio vanish on some programs, but is fine on others?
The audio setting has probably been accidentally changed from its factory (default) setting or a power surge has caused the setting to be changed.
- Check the audio settings using the using either the “Audio” button on the converter box or digital TV remote or by going into the on-screen Menu to the “Audio” Settings.
- Choose the “Audio One” or “Main Audio” or “Primary Audio” setting and not any secondary or later setting.
Not all programs have secondary audio channels for things like descriptive video for the blind or a foreign language translation, which is found on the secondary audio channel on AETN-1. AETN uses the secondary audio setting on AETN-2 and AETN-3 to air the Arkansas Information Reading Service for the Blind, which is also found on AETN-4 only as an open audio-only feed on the primary audio.
Why do I see Black Bars on the edges of my TV picture?
Programs are created using one of two different formats (called “aspect ratio”) for the picture. These are either a “4x3” or a “16x9” ratio meaning that the picture is either 4 units wide and 3 unit high for a square looking "4x3" format or is 16 units wide and 9 units high for rectangle looking "16x9" format. Usually programs created in analog or standard definition (SD) digital use a “4x3” format while programs created (or are up-converted) in high definition (HD) digital use a “16x9” format.
- Programs in different formats can appear on the same channel.
- Since the formats of the TV screen itself are fixed, programs are sometimes “re-sized” in an effort to standardize them.
- Black bars may be added to the sides (or “pillar-box” or "center-cut") or above and below (“letter-box”) the picture.
Depending upon which of the above options a cable company may use, you can change the display format of your TV using the “zoom”, “format” or “picture” button or similar setting on your remote control or in the on-screen menu.
- An automatic or similar setting (usually called “set by program”) will choose the ratio appropriate to each program, but that may not always be your preference.
- Expansion of the picture to a full screen might either move part of the picture off-screen and out-of-sight, or stretch and distort the image. Cycle through the options and choose the one you prefer.
- Check your television or converter box owners manual under “display”, “aspect ration” or “settings” for more information.
Why do I see a Black Box covering the screen?
The closed captioning setting is improperly set. Be sure that it’s set to “Off” or “Service 1” or something similar. Or, the box is trying – unsuccessfully – to translate a secondary captioning service and the result is a black area of confusion. Check your owners manual.
Why doesn’t my Cable or Satellite Provider carry everything AETN broadcasts?
Cable and satellite providers are only required to carry the main channel from each of the local broadcasters they can receive. Every station would prefer to have all program services they broadcast carried, but the choice is up to the cable or satellite provider. Some providers do carry more than the main program channel, but most currently do not. You are certainly free to contact your cable or satellite provider and let them know your feelings.
Why does my convertor box turn itself off?
All converter boxes come with an energy-saving feature that turns them off if no button is pressed on the remote for four (4) hours. This setting can be change or disabled.
- For Digital Stream: go to “Function” > “Time” > “Power Down” to change the setting.
- For Zenith or Insignia: Press the “Sleep” button to reset.
- For RCA: Press “Menu”, then choose “Settings” > “Power Saver-3” to reset.
Why do I not receive channels that I used to receive?
- First, you may no longer receive channels in digital that you used to receive in analog because of reception problems. If the old analog channel was slightly-to-very snowy in the pass, you may now be totally out of range to receive a digital signal which is much more precise.
- Move your antenna to a higher location and use the “signal-strength” meter on your digital TV or converter box after you rescan to see if you have a powerful enough signal.
- Be sure that you are not trying to receive signals through a metal roof or heating ductwork in your attic if your antenna is located there.
- For rabbit ears, be sure that metal objects such as window blinds, window bars, and large electrical appliances are not between the TV and the direction of the TV station transmitters.
- Be sure that your antenna is designed for both VHF and UHF.
- If adjusting your antenna and rescanning does not improve things, you probably need to upgrade to a different antenna situation or you may have to choose either cable or satellite for full reception.
Why does my picture seem to freeze into tiny little boxes?
This is called “pixilation”. If the picture freezes, audio drops out or distorted colored squares appear on the screen, the television signal received by your antenna is not quite strong enough. These symptoms are the digital version of snow, ghosts and fluttering in the analog days of TV. Digital reception is less forgiving than analog. Try adjusting your antenna, relocating your antenna or upgrading your antenna if this is a constant problem. The CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) produced a large mapping project that covers every city in the United States. You can go to www.antennaweb.org for more outdoor antenna information and advice. You can even type in your address and determine the distance, exact direction and type of antenna you need for your situation. Another good place for antenna information and location maps is www.tvfool.com.
Why do I see “Weak or No Signal” on my TV screen?
This will occur when your reception of an over-the-air signal is too weak to be reliably received or if the TV station is off the air for technical reasons. If it is the former, adjusting your antenna may help. If it is the latter, patience is required until the TV station makes its corrections.
I have cable or satellite and I can see all of my channels when I tune my TV set to Channel 3, but only a few on Channel 4. Why?
Your analog TV or converter box communicates to each other by being on the same channel. Normally, channel 3 is the channel both use. So, be sure that your converter box is witched to channel 3 (found on the back of the box) and your TV is tuned to channel 3. Once that is done, you only use your TV remote control to turn on and off your TV and adjust the TV’s volume. Your converter box remote control is used to change channels and make adjustments to the converter box.
How do I still use my old VCR with my converter box and analog TV set?
Simply connect your antenna to your converter box. Then connect the converter box to your VCR and then the VCR to your TV. That way the digital signal is converted to analog for your VCR (which is analog) and your analog TV.
Can my Homeowner’s Association prevent me from putting up an outdoor antenna?
In most cases, the answer is “No”. As directed by Congress in Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Over-the-Air Reception Device Rule concerning governmental and nongovernmental restrictions on viewers' ability to receive video programming signals from direct broadcast satellites ("DBS"), multichannel multipoint distribution (wireless cable) providers ("MMDS"), and television broadcast stations ("TVBS").
The rule is cited as 47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000 and has been in effect since October 14, 1996. It prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.
The rule applies to viewers who place video antennas on property that they own and that is within their exclusive use or control, including condominium owners and cooperative owners who have an area where they have exclusive use, such as balcony or patio, in which to install the antenna. The rule applies to townhomes and manufactured homes, as well as to single-family homes.
The rule allows local governments, community associations and landlords to enforce restrictions that do not impair, as well as restrictions needed for safety or historic preservation. In addition, the rule does not apply to common areas that are owned by a landlord, a community association, or jointly by condominium or cooperative owners. Therefore, restrictions on antennas installed in common areas are enforceable.
On November 20, 1998, the Commission amended the rule so that it will apply to rental property where the renter has exclusive use, such as a balcony or patio. The effective date of the amended rule is January 22, 1999.
How can I learn more about DTV?
You can also learn more about how to prepare for DTV at DTV Answers.com or download a free copy of the booklet "DTV Made Easy" at www.dtv.gov/dtv_made_easy.pdf.