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FAQS

Below are a variety of frequently asked questions about setting up and using a printer with WebTV. Go to this page for a FAQ about maintaining the printer and taking care of the infrequent problems that arise.

QUESTIONS

1. Why should I get a printer?
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2. What types of printers and equipment can I use with WebTV?
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3. Which brand should I use?
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4. Where can I get an adaptor? (original classic model only)
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5. Can I use a different brand adaptor? (original classic model only)
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6. How do I set the printer up?
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7. What is the "best" printer for WebTV?
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8. Where is the best place to buy the printers?
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9. Can I type and print letters?
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10. Why is large text fuzzy?
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11. Can I change the size of text when using "Print Screen"?
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12. Can I print page three out of ten?
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13. Can I make adjustments to the printer?
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14. Can I use the Photo cartridge?
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15. Can I use other sized paper besides the 8.5 x 11?
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16. Which side of the paper does it print on?
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17. How do I print in just black with a dual cartridge printer?
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18. How long can I leave the printer on?
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19. How do I align the cartridges?
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20. What kinds of paper can I print on?
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21. Why do pictures only print half a page?
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22. What is the size in pixels of an 8.5 by 11 page?
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23. Can I use A Scanner with my WebTV unit?
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24. How can I print an image found on a webpage, by itself?
  
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25. Why are there lines in my printed images?
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26. Why do the colors I print not match the screen?
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ANSWERS

1. Being able to print any of the many things that you see on the internet greatly enhances the enjoyment you will get from using WebTV. Being able to print such things as e-mail, news group posts, pictures, cards, regular mail etc just adds to the experience.
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2.  Click on this site for a run down of all the equipment you will need to print.
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3.  The four brands available for use with WebTV are Canon Hewlett Packard (HP), Epson, and Lexmark. Whether you can use a particular printer may depend on the "build" of your WebTV unit, Whether you have accepted an upgrade or not.

Within the brand all the dual cartridge printers will print exactly the same. It makes no difference which one you use. The single cart printers will not print color quite as well as the dual carts will. When using just a color cart there isn't any black to use. The black is created by mixing colors and is not as intense a black as straight black ink. Unless you hold a sample of each next to each other the difference isn't that great. As to which brand is better I can only give you a comparision on my own experience. Click on this site for my comparision.
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4.  Philips Magnavox (PM) adaptors are most easily found online. A variety of stores carry them but it isn't consistent from community to community. Unfortunately Sony quit making their adaptor sometime early in 1998. (see the next question for Sony) A great place to look online is at Pricescan.
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5.  The PM and Sony adaptors were not made to be interchangable. While technically the same on the inside they are physically different on the outside. The PM adaptor can be made to fit. This link is for your information only. Under no circumstances do I recommend that you do this, especially to a terminal still under warranty. Doing so would probably void any warranty you have. You might want to add the costs of the adaptor, and whatever shipping, and handling charges there are versus a newer Classic model that has the printing adaptor built in.
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6.  Basically it's just a matter of plugging everything together. (webtv recommends unplugging the terminal before installing anything to the terminal) On the Classic you need to plug the adaptor to the terminal. The tool for removing the side plate comes with the adaptor. Before you plug the adapter in I would remove the washers from the mounting screws. It allows for a better connection. If the connection is good a little green light will come on at the side of the adaptor. Now follow the instructions that came with the printer for setting it up to use. Connect the printer cable between the printer and terminal, to the back of the Plus and to the adaptor on the Classic. (original classic's only use the adaptor) The terminal should automatically recognize the model printer you hooked up. Turn on the printer. You should automatically get a sheet to print on it's own. Try the "Options" key and there should be a "Print" button on the pop up panel. At this point you should go to the "Printing Options". For most of all your printing you should leave the boxes unchecked.You only need to have the "Print page in black" box checked to save your more expensive color ink. It wouldn't hurt for you to try it with each box checked just to see what it does. There will be occasions in the future that you may want to use the "print background" and "print date and URL".
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7.  There really isn't a "best" printer for WebTV printing. But some printers are a bit quieter, a tad more solidly built than others. Try and get a "hands on" demo, but remember the display probably uses a PC rather than a WebTV, and your results with your WebTV will not duplicate the stores examples. One of your main questions for yourself "Is a PC in my future?" If you think you will have a pc then you can compare features. Otherwise dpi, (dots per inch, the printing resolution) ppm speed, (how many pages will print per minute) will not matter basically just price and the stores return policies matter.
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8. Most large office supply stores, computer stores and some large retail stores will carry the printers and accessories that you will need. Prices do vary from store to store so shop around. You can also buy them online. A good place to start is at Pricescan.
Each manufacturer has online shopping and many have refurbished printers with warranties. Check your Sunday papers sales circulars for stores like Circuit City, Best Buy, Walmarts, etc. Back to the top.

9. Yes you can. Check out the methods on the Word Processing page.
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10. Part of the problem is the limited printer software provided by WebTV and that the printers print at only 72 dpi. There isn't anything we can do about it. Some people use "text generators" and the text is actually an image, and someimes prints fuzzy. You can use HTML coding to change the size of the text from minus 2 to plus 7
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11. Go to the WebTV home page and click on Using WebTV. Go to the Text Settings and change them to either Large, Medium or Small. This will also affect the size of the text you see on the screen in your e-mail, posts and web pages.
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12. There are three ways to do it. If what you want is only enough for one screen then use the "Print Screen" button. If it is more than a screen's worth then you can use Cut, Copy and Paste to copy just the text that you want and take it to a word processing page, your e-mail, your own web page or the HTML Testbed to print. You can also use this page to reformat the page you to print.
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13. The printer manufacturer's were very limited in the amount of memory they could use due to the limited memory of the terminal. They selected the basic things to use to give us as great a printing experience as they could. Because of that we can't make any adjustments as to how the printer operates.
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14. You can use the Photo cartridge but it won't print as well as it is capable of printing. With WebTV the printers only print at 72 dpi, no where near what the photo cartridge was designed for. You will get a "not supported" message first when you try to use it. Just wait a few seconds and it will start printing. (Basically a photo Cartridge is a waste of your money, Photo Paper on the other hand can make a difference, it presents the ink better, less ink absorbs into the paper.
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15. We can't print on anything longer than 81/2"x11" sheets of paper. The printer will try to feed another sheet after reaching 11 inches. You can print on shorter sheets of paper.
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16. HP prints on the bottom face of the paper loaded in the tray and feeds from the bottom.
Canon prints on the top face of the paper loaded in the tray and feeds from the bottom.
Epson prints on the top face of the paper loaded in the tray and feeds from the bottom.
Lexmark prints on the top face of the paper loaded in the tray and feeds from the bottom.
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17. The "2.6" upgrade added a new feature to printing options "print page in black" Both cartridges (color and B & W) have to be in the printer for it to work. The only way to print in just black text is to use a completely empty color cartridge or a brand new one that still has the protective tape on it. To print images in black requires you to refill a color cartridge with black ink. Using an empty cartridge may cause a heat build up damaging the printerhead contacts.
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18. There doesn't seem to be any time limit on how long you can leave the printer on. Quite a few people have reported leaving the printer on all the time, never turning it off. The printer must be turned off and on with the printers on/off switch for it to operate correctly. (Some models do not have an on switch, some have an auto shut off feature)
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19. HP printer's cannot align their cartridges. Canon models: 3000, 6000/6100, S400/450 can align automatically or by manual adjustment.
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20. We can use a wide variety of paper. Click on this link for a more thorough explanation.
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21. A picture that only fills one screen (544x388 pixels) will only print on a half sheet of paper. The farther you have to scroll down to see the picture the more it will print on the page. It takes just over two screens to print out on a full sheet of paper (544x697 pixels).
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22 The "safe" size is 540 pixels wide and 690 pixels high.
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23. Not if you have a Classic.
If you have a Plus model, you can use the new HP e-scanner, which connects to the video input connector of the Plus. It does not produce prints as sharp as the ones that you would get if you used a computer and a regular scanner. It also has the limitation of only being able to scan photos or other pages up to the size of 4 X 6. Anything larger would need to be scanned in sections. To keep from damaging the delicate video input circuit, always _unplug_ the power to your Plus before connecting a scanner, camcorder or digital camera to the video input connector.
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24. You can use a "source viewer" or an "image extractor" to find the image and to isolate it for printing. Sometimes you need to view source if the image is on a page built using frames. Filedex is a very good service which provides a source viewer, an image extractor, and an HTML validator.
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25. Lines (or gaps) in text is a first sign indicator that you are running out of ink. However after the Nov. 1999 upgrade many users posted at the printerhelp ng of lines in their printed images that has yet to be resolved.
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26. There are a number of reasons why colors you see are not what your printer prints. The browser deciphers colors one way and printers store and read them another way. (Part of the blame goes to web page builders who name a color instead of using the 6 digit code, or who use a color that is not one of the 216 web safe colors which will not dither between browser's.) Your own color, tint, hue, brightness, and contrast settings on your TV may distort the color.
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