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I installed an Insignia converter box, Model # NS DXA1, and it worked fine. I did not realize it would decrease the size of my screen, so I disconnected it and figured I would try again later. I have learned more about the box and realize the smaller screen may be a fact I have to deal with. Anyway, I have tried to reconnect the box a second (many tries) time and it is not finding anything. It searches for channels and finds none even though it found four five the first time and I have two strong channels via the antenna on a regular basis. What's wrong? Does it need to be readjusted as a first time install or what?

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Ok, you have 2 issues:
1) Consult the manual page 8 for setting the 'type' of TV either 4:3 (Standard) Aspect Ratio or 16:9 (Widescreen) Aspect Ratio. Then the Picture Size for 'each individual station' can be Selected via the button on your remote in the upper right hand corner. It's labeled "ZOOM". As you push the button, it will rotate through the size types available. If you have an older standard TV (4:3) and want to fill the entire screen, then select 'CROPPED' for every channel(my preference). You will only see a center cut of the entire picture and will lose some picture on either side, but most of the action will remain in the center of the screen. If you select "SET BY PROGRAM" then some programs will appear in their actual Aspect Ratio so some will be in 16:9 and some in 4:3. More and more programming will end up being 16:9(the new DTV/HDTV Standard). Set this to your liking.

2) This is going to take a bit of explaining:
Depending where you live geographically, whether in a home or an appartment, and the Type of Antenna you are using, your reception problems may be affected by a combination of these. The FCC was not completely forthcoming in letting the public know that the best way to get DTV signals(and Analog) is with an Outdoor Antenna and that indoor Antennas may be useless. Plus most of the 'fancy HDTV touted" Indoor antennas are various degrees of bad when it comes to VHF reception. The new system they(FCC) selected has lowered significantly the power at which TV stations broadcast. So most people using Indoor Antennas may not get all of their favorite channels even with the best of indoor antennas and doing everything right with the 'placement' of that antenna. The same goes for and Outdoor Antenna. Just because you have a premium outdoor antenna and it has worked perfectly for the last 10yrs.(of more) with Analog TV, DOES NOT MEAN THAT it will work perfect with DTV for a few reasons:
1) DTV Signals, because of their lower power, require very deliberate placement of an antenna. Just pointing it in the right direction is not enough. DTV signal reception is a bit like 'Swiss Cheese' meaning if your are getting poor results and think that rotation will fix it, you may be wrong. If you are in the 'hole' and rotate, you are still in the hole. Sometimes moving your antenna a couple feet laterally can make a huge difference.
Why? Because the direct DTV signals coming from the TV stations are in the Kilowatt range (analog was usually more than a million watts!) They have now become more sensitive to interference from the back and sides of your antenna. Some sources of interference can be a reflection of the same signal off of a nearby tower or building which cancel some of the direct signal resulting in low or no signal. FM Radio transmissions, an Analog TV station from Canada(they don't go digital until 2010) operating on the same channel as your favorite Channel's new channel assignment can inject so much noise that your tuner cannot process it. Remember, runnig through just about every neighborhood are many other Wireless/Microwave Services: Phone, Internet, TV, Paging Systems, etc.. These, too can ave some affect.
So by moving your antenna to a position that I refer to as the "Sweet Spot", you are allowing your antenna to get more of the direct signal and 'de-tune' the unwanted signals from the back and sides.
Why did the channels you found before not show up the next time? Well, based on your current antenna's position and the signal strength its receiving from those stations, the level may have dropped off due to some of the above. Every DTV and Converter Box has a 'lower signal level cut-off point', meaning it needs so much signal before it cuts off. Because DTV either gives you a perfect picture or its gone, the old method of looking at picture quality to make sure your antenna was placed correctly is not valid. So the maker of the Converter Boxes put "Signal Strength Meters" in every box. Get to know where this is. It is your new best friend and is the only way you can be guided when placing your antenna. It can usually be accessed by pressing a button on the remote labeled :"SIGNAL or METER" and sometimes "DISPLAY or INFO". Some Boxes, like many DTV Sets, require you to go into the menu settings to locate this feature. Usually the sinal strength is indicated by a RED, YELLOW & GREEN scale and may have a % indication. To have reliable pictures, you should be above 60% or in the GREEN Zone. If you are only getting less than 60% or Yellow Zone, you may see the picture break-up into little squares or 'Pixelate' as it is known. If you are in the RED Zone or less than 30% your Box or DTV will not lock and give a "NO or LOW" signal indication. It is normal to see the meter indication 'hunt' or move up and down a bit due to atmosheric conditions and the swaying of the TV station's Towers.
Gee, Can you tell that I explain this often? Yea, I work for a TV Station in Cleveland. This switch has generated more than 700 phone calls all of which I attempt to call back on a daily basis. The public needs to be re-educated on this new system and how to make it work for them. Every installation is unique. In many cases, it will require the help of a qualified TV Antenna specialist to find the "Sweet Spot". Those of you in Apartment buildings, and anyone that may be a shut-in or senior with limited help or finances, my heart goes out to you.
Hope this helps!

Posted on Jul 29, 2009

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