Hooking up a tunerless VCR
Our family VCR recently died. To replace it I purchased a TOSHIBA SD-V295 DVD VCR COMBO RECORDER. Alas, instead of getting the great deal I thought I was getting, I learned that the unit lacks a tuner, and our home does not use either a cable or satellite box.
Can a digital converter serve the same purpose as a cable or satellite box? From what I understand, the tuner my new DVD/VCR combo lacks is an ATSC tuner. Is the digital converter an ATSC tuner?
If not, is there any way that I can hook my new DVD/VCR up to my non-digital TV?
[I'd return the unit to the seller, but I bought the unit on e-Bay, and the seller's description was very accurate. It was my mistake when I purchased it not understanding exactly what a tunerless DVD/VCR combo was.
Hooking up a tunerless VCR
The unit does have RCA inputs and outputs, but no coax connection.
Thanks in advance.
Yes the converter will act as tuner.
You have probably already discovered the answer yourself by now but ....
You can simply use red-white-yellow RCA cables from the converter box to the VCR/DVD player. They should go into the far right-most set of holes if you are looking at the back of the player.
Then you need another set of red-white-yellow RCA cables to connect the VCR/DVD player to the non-digital TV, from the next set of holes to the left. Your TV probably has jacks that will accommodate these, either at the back or front, and you will have to consult your TV remote directions for how to switch from watching TV to watching VCR or DVD player.
That will let you 1) watch TV via the converter box and 2) record to VCR tape (but only the channel that your converter box is bringing in) and 3) play VHS tapes on the VCR player using composite video (the yellow cable), and 4) play DVDs to the TV through composite video (the yellow cable).
I just hooked up the SD-296, which is very similar to the SD-295, and it works fine. However, the VCR/DVD player needs to be turned on in order to receive TV signal if you have hooked it up in this manner.
Another thing I discovered -- you can get much better output visually when playing DVDs by using component video connection between the VCR/DVD player and the TV. If your TV has a set of red-blue-green jacks, you should try this. You can do it in addition to the setup I just described (and then choose whether to watch a DVD using composite video (yellow cable) or component video (Y-Pb-Pr), which is less degraded signal.
To do this, you'll need another red-white-yellow RCA cable and a red-white audio RCA cable. You don't need any special "component" cable. Just make the red-blue-green output on the left of the DVD player rear gets sent to the component cable input on your TV. Those three cables will provide the video signal. Then red-white cable nearby will provide the audio signal. Put a DVD in and watch.
If both setups are established, you can use your TV remote to switch between the composite video and component video and see which one you prefer. They don't interfere with each other and can be set up at the same time.