Converter box and VCR recording

iluvtolaff

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
First off, I apologize if I've posted this in the wrong area.

I have a new Sylvania DTV with only an indoor antenna hooked up to it and I get all the channels really well--I do not use a converter box.

However, I want to record a tv program and am having no luck in setting up for it. I have followed the directions according to this FCC Government site...

Setting Up Your Digital-to-Analog Converter Box With a VCR

I can't get a picture on playback so I assume I have something hooked up wrong.

Would I need to hook up the converter box to just the vcr? If so, what steps would I take?

Thank you!
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Greetings iluvtolaff welcome to the Forum :welcome:

Given that you said "VCR", I'm thinking that it may be an old Analog unit !
If that is so, then yes, you will need a Converter Box to allow it to tune in to the new Digital Channels.

Just in case I'm off on this, why not give us the Mfg and Model number, of the VCR, and one of us will try to check it out, and verify if it's Analog or Digital. And if Digital, then we can discuss the Cable routing.

Just FYI:
If you start looking around for a Converter Box, and, since I already know that you want to record with it, you should try to find a converter which has the "VCR Timer" included as one of it's features.

It's totally a pain in the Tush to do recordings via a Converter, but, it's the only way you're going to be able to continue to use the VCR and get it to do scheduled recordings on preselected channels when you're not around.
(the way you used to do it when there was Analog)(set it and forget it)

The only other way to get around that is...
Leave your Converter on, and on the station you want to record, and allow the VCR to come on and record that input, then shut off as it's supposed to. Then, if you want to record a different channel, you must change the Converter tuner, and do it all over again.

Just in case you want to start looking for a Converter, then check these links...
Converter Box Auctions via DTVUSA
Converter Boxes via Amazon

Believe me, having the VCR Timer is a better way !
Get back to us with that info and we'll go from there.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

iluvtolaff

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
Thank you for your quick reply and for the nice welcome. Nice to be here!

The vcr is an old Zenith and it is analog.

I have a converter box but don't use it. It is a Magnavox and it doesn't have the timer feature.
I will only be taping one show and won't be watching anything else as it tapes so not having the timer feature is ok.

I need to know how to hook the converter box to the vcr and hopefully that will take care of my problem. I only have coaxial cables to use for the hookups.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#4
iluvtolaff,

I just happen to be online with you now, it usually takes a little longer to respond, so don't get tooooo used to that ! :D :D

I'll give you a couple links below, but the sequence is generally

Antenna to a..
2 way Splitter, then...
1 Coax to your TV Antenna input, and
the other Coax to your Converter antenna input.

Then a Coax or A/V Cable from your Converter output,
to your VCR input.

Then a A/V Cable from your VCR output to your one of the TV A/V inputs,
(got to have a A/V Cable here, so you might as well get two)

Here's some links...
Setting up your Digital Converter Box (Basic)
How to Install your Converter Box by DTVUSA Jay
you might have tried one of these already.

See Item "B":


Have a good Day :)
S.W.
 
Last edited:

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#7
iluvtolaff,

Glad to help, and please get back to us, and tell us how things worked out, OR, if you have any more problems with the hookup.

FYI, go back to the Home Page and take a look at all the various topics we discuss, Movies, reception problems, many things you may be interested in.

There's a bunch of very nice people on this forum, we'd be glad to have you post in any number of other areas, and we'd like to know you as one of the regulars here.

Tell a friend about us too.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#10
LtL,

Gees !, you're right, there are a lot of choices, and, you can spend some bucks on Cables.

But, just for starters, why don't you go over to Radio Shack, and get a plane 2 Way Splitter, and some "inexpensive" cables just for starters.

You can experiment with them at very little cost, and if you think at some time you'd like to go with the "good stuff", then we'll go from there.

So, this is just to get started, test things out, and see if you like it, and those may work real well for you.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

iluvtolaff

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#11
Thanks SW! That's where I was looking--Radio Shack online-- but there were so many choices. I'm just trying to price all this first before actually going to the store itself.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#12
LtL.

Radio Shack is NOT cooperating !
Surely they have a Composite Video Cable, but, I can't find on on their website. You don't have to use them, Fry's, Best Buy, maybe even Lowe's or another discount store, will be able to provide you with these simple items.

Anyway, here's a picture of a Splitter from Radio Shack...
2 Way Splitter
The problem with it is, that it cost TOO much ! You should be able to get one for about $5 or less.

RShack didn't have a Composite A/V Cable. So just so you can see, here's another which shows you what type plugs it has on it. There should be three wires with these type plugs on each end. 1 Yellow for Video, and 1 Red and 1 White for the Audio. You should be able to get one or two 6 Ft "sets" for under $10 each. Look at this...
Composite Video with Stereo Jumper

The point being, you don't need to spend a lot of money on these items.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

iluvtolaff

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
Ok, I know it's been months but life happens!

I was able to hook up the vcr to the converter and tv but I can only play vcr tapes, I cannot record.

What steps do I take to be able to do that?
Thank you!
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#15
iluvtolaff,

Apparently you have the Cable between your VCR and your TV correctly installed.

First, there should be a Coaxial Cable from your Antenna, to the Splitter, then 1 to the Converter, and the other to the TV.
Then, you should have either a Coaxial Cable or A/V Cable, from the Converter to the VCR.
You already have a good connection between the VCR and the TV, or you would not be able to view the VCR in Play mode.

Now, if you can verify that the above connection routes are in place...
You would do a Scan with your Converter, capturing the available channels.
You would then set the VCR on Channel 3 or Channel 4 IF you're using a Coaxial Cable between the Converter and the VCR...
OR...
If you're using A/V Cables between your Converter and VCR, you would need to select AUX, or R1 or F1 on your VCR to feed the input of the Converter to the VCR.

Here's how you find AUX or one of the other inputs when using an A/V Cable...

Set your VCR to Channel 2.

Then with your Remote or a manual entry on the VCR, toggle the channel in the minus direction.
From Channel 2 backward, not up to Channel 3, but the other way.

As you see the Channel number change on the VCR, you should find AUX/R1/F1 between Channel 2 and Channel 99 or what even number is the highest channel you can receive.

You do not have to do a Scan with your VCR to accomplish this, just with your Converter.

When setting your VCR to record, via A/V Cables, it's just like before, you must select the input to record (AUX/R1/F1) treat those as actual Channel numbers.

Once you find the proper input for your VCR, you will record on that Input for ALL recordings.
To select the program you want to record, will be done with the Converter Channel selection.
Again, the VCR remains on the SAME channel for recording ALL the time.

Try this, and let me know what happens.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

iluvtolaff

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#16
Ok, brother tried setting it up. He put in a vhs movie and could get audio but no picture. ???? Also, as to the diagram above (post #4) Item B-- I don't see the converter in the diagram.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#17
In the Picture, Item B, the Converter Box is identified as "DtA STB".
Sorry about the abbreviation, but that's "Digital to Analog - Set Top Box".
That is the one you should follow, except that you will be using A/V Cables between the Converter and VCR.

You guys need to read what's on the equipment, on the backs.
You must follow the flow of the Signals, sequence is from Converter to VCR to TV.

Look closely at what it says on the back of the Converter.
You should see a block or group of connectors marked OUT, or Signal OUT.
You should see a Yellow (Video), a Red, and a White (Audios) colored marked plugs.

Then, look on the back of the VCR.
You should see the connectors marked IN, or Signal IN.
You should see corresponding IN colors and names that identify the Yellow (Video), a Red, and a White (Audios) colored marked plugs.

Use the same process for connecting the VCR to the TV.

So, Let's just follow ONE color thru the system as follows.

Yellow -
OUT from the Converter, to IN of the VCR,
then
OUT of the VCR, to IN of the TV.

Do this with EACH color from the Converter to VCR to TV.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 
Last edited:
U

Unregistered

Guest
#20
a similar but slightly different setup

I am also having trouble recording from my TV to my VCR. I have a Toshiba VCR W512 VCR and a Sony KV-13FS110 TV, and guess that both are analog devices. The D/A converter is a DigitalStream DTX9900. I also have a DVD connected to the TV with A/V cables.

I can play a commercial video. But, when I try to record from TV to video, upon playback nothing appears. What to do?

Thanks.

iluvtolaff,

I just happen to be online with you now, it usually takes a little longer to respond, so don't get tooooo used to that ! :D :D

I'll give you a couple links below, but the sequence is generally

Antenna to a..
2 way Splitter, then...
1 Coax to your TV Antenna input, and
the other Coax to your Converter antenna input.

Then a Coax or A/V Cable from your Converter output,
to your VCR input.

Then a A/V Cable from your VCR output to your one of the TV A/V inputs,
(got to have a A/V Cable here, so you might as well get two)

Here's some links...
Setting up your Digital Converter Box (Basic)
How to Install your Converter Box by DTVUSA Jay
you might have tried one of these already.

See Item "B":


Have a good Day :)
S.W.
 

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