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It sounds like Ratio problem. It should be a button on your TV remote and or Cable TV box that will allow you to set the picture size to 4:3 Ratio, 16:9 or FULL Look at your manuals they use sveral terms, sometime they use picture, Zoom or Ratio.
can you see any any menus or the volume bar or channel indicator?
Make sure all your audio and video cables are hooked up correctly to inputs on the TV and to the same set of hookups. For example all of the VCR cables hooked into video 1 and all of the DVD cables in video 2.
Also check that you haven't hooked up the video to the tv's output. Some sets output audio and/or video for external devices such as recording setups or home theater sound systems.
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.
By your description it sounds as though the closed captioning option has been turned on on the TV. Only certain programs are CC capable and that accounts for the box moving from channel to channel as some broadcasts are not CC CAPABLE. Go to the menu on the tv and ensure closed captioning is disabled. This should resolve the issue. If you need more help please let me know.
Just happened to see your black box problem associated with your T.V.; Thought I would pass along an idea for you to check into, and let me know if it helped...Check into whether or not it has a onscreen text block mode, if it gets into this mode by accidentally pressing the wrong buttons on the remote and or TV, it could and I have seen, at least with zeniths, a big black box which will cover the whole screen except for a 2 to 4 inch border around the box and outer edge of the screen...if this is the case, find someone familiar with the correct setting for the set associated with this problem, and get it back into the right mode....Hope this helps..T.
I have a Sharp Tv that had the same problem with a large brownish or black square right in the middle of the screen. It only left about an inch around the edges that you
could see the picture moving in behind the big black block or square.I have DISH sat-elite and the book recomending that I check and see if the "caption settings" were on
or off. They were on. I turned the caption settings off and the large square diappeared.