For no apparent reason my 13' tv/vcr combo will get a black box covering most of the picture. Its like a computer opening another window and covering the older window. Some times words, letters, or symbols will appear to be typed in but make no sense beyond a couple of words. Sometimes the words will match something that was said on the show i'm viewing. The tv went months without it happening then suddenly it started again. It will happen on a paticular channel but not another if switched. any function on remote pushed will clear it for a short time from 3 seconds to 30. seams to happen on local/network channels more often. Does not effect sound.
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You need to have the video heads on the vcr cleaned! This will correct it. Take a chamois stick or a good lint free cloth and wipe the heads with a damp solution of alcohol. If your cloth or chamois tuns black, you're getting it clean!
If you are playing a VHS tape that should be color content and it's in Black and White ... well you could check the tracking control if there is one on that model. Otherwise it sounds pretty broken. Probably NWR. Not worth repair. Try Cleaning the heads with a cleaning tape???
Note that the large black box goes away when pushing buttons on the tv (ex: the black box will disappear to show the volume setting when changing the volume on the tv but it will cover the picture and the menu display of the dtv box).
This is caused by the closed caption setting of the television set NOT the captioning of the converter box. To fix this you must open your television's menu, find the ccd/closed caption option, and turn it off. This is a frustrating problem as when most people are told to shut off the captioning they try to do so at the box.
Normal dtv box captioning will appear as a small text box at the bottom of the screen as you would expect - not as a giant black rectangle that covers most of the screen. If you do want to shut this off too you will find that you can't do it through the usual menu options (the menu will only allow changes to font, color etc.) - there should be a ccd button on the remote that when pushed will scroll through ccd-1, ccd-2,... off.
All I can say is that the black box appears when the closed captions are on and set to TEXT. This is normal. Turning off the closed captions should make the black box go away. If the closed captions are somehow turning themselves back on, there may be an issue with the microprocessor in your TV.