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Connecting TV to combo DVD and VCR

I have a Durabrand tv to which I am trying to connect a combo DVD and VCR.
I had to use a RF modulator and I can play and see a tape but I can't get the
TV to play through the VCR. When I attempt the tuning process nothing appears on the screen.

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  • shirleym109 Nov 02, 2008

    I hope that this is the method to respond to axoplasm. The DVD/VCR combo requires a satellite or cable box which I don't have. I called customer support and the lady told me to take it back and get a unit with both the antenna in and out jacks. Would this unit work if I had a rf modulator with a video switch?



    Thanks,



    Shirleym109

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When you say "can't get the TV to play through the VCR", do you mean that you can't get the cable-stations to play through the VCR to the TV? I'll assume that's what you're trying to accomplish.

The most common way to connect a VCR to a TV is through a coaxial cable, from the port on the rear of the VCR labeled "Out to TV." There should be another coaxial port labeled "Cable/Ant In." This is where I picture your cable programming is currently connected.

Instead, it sounds like you connected the VCR to a modulator (probably thru RCA composite cables, which have yellow / red / white plugs). Then the modulator connects to the TV thru a coaxial cable. This will successfully play the VCR to whatever specific channel (perhaps 2, 3 or4), but the modulator doesn't know of any other signals to send to your TV.

2 possible solutions:

1) If the modulator has a coaxial port labeled "Cable/Ant In" or something indicating "In" at a threaded coaxial port, connect your cable-programming to this instead of the to the VCR.

Depending on what type of modulator it is, when you want to switch from watching the VCR to watching cable-programming, you might have to push a button on the modulator to make the swtich, or you might not. Your modulator might put the VCR on channel 3, and allow the higher cable channels to filter though to their respective stations. Most cable providers will leave channels 2, 3 and 4 blank for this purpose. Try it and see.

2) Axe the modulator. Take it out of the system entirely. Connect your cable programming to the VCR "Cable/Ant In" and use another coaxial cable to go from the VCR's "Out to TV" port to the TV. When you want to switch from watching the VCR to watching cable, press a button on your VCR or the VCR's remote. Usually this button is labled, "TV/VCR."

If this does not help, write back and explain in more detail how your system is currently connected.

--axoplasm

Posted on Nov 02, 2008

  • Matt Morango
    Matt Morango Nov 03, 2008

    If your DVD/VCR is ever to record cable-programming, there would have to be a coax input, or else you would need the cable box to use as a demodulator. (Is it a player only and not a recorder?)



    If it is a recorder, and it has a coax input, and you were recording cable programming through the coax input, there would need to be a way to monitor, at the TV, what you were recording. This would necessitate either a coax output, or a button that switches the source to the VCR output from disc/cassette to cable-programming (perhaps labeled "TV/VCR").



    It sounds peculiar that the DVD/VCR in question would have a coax input, but no coax output.



    So from this point on I'll assume the VCR has neither coax input nor coax output.



    ...

    Perhaps your TV has other inputs besides the coax. If it has an A/V input, I would suggest connecting the VCR there. Then connect the cable directly to the TV's coax input. To watch the VCR in this configuration, the switching is done internally when you press the correct button on the TV remote.



    ...If your TV has only a coax input...

    The cable signal coming out of the wall needs to be demodulated. The VCR signal coming out of your modulator also needs to be demodulated. A demodulator is built into your TV, the problem is that there is only one input to the TV's demodulator, and that is the TV's coax input. An RF switch (sometimes called "A/B switch") would allow you to connect 2 modulated signals to the TVs coax input, and switch between them manually.



    Another way would be to connect the modulated-VCR-signal and the cable-programming to a combiner, which looks like a common splitter, but reversed. The ouput of the combiner goes to the TV. Then your TV will show the VCR on whatever channel that the modulator is set, and cable-programming on all the rest.



    One complication could arise, however. If your modulator is set to output on channel 3, there might be competition with the cable's channel 3. If you can adjust the modulator to a clear channel, do so. Otherwise, you'll need to run the cable-programming thru a high-pass-filter before connecting it to the combiner, which will eliminate the lowest cable channels, clearing space for the modulator's channel. Low-pass-filters are the size of a fat magic marker and most likely more expensive than an A/B switch.





    --axoplasm

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