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Use an RCA audio/video cable for this set up (Yellow/Red/White).
Connect from the Video out (Yellow) connection on the back of the cable box to the Video in on the back of the DVR.
Connect the audio (Red/White) cables from audio out connection on the back of the cable box to the "Audio in" on the back of the DVR.
This should still get you a decent picture but not a true HD picture for your recordings.
When you set the timer to record set it to record either E1 or E2 depending on which input you connected the cable box to and ensure that the cable box is tuned to the channel you wish to record.
*** NOTE: If you keep the HDMI cable connected as you have for the cable box and watch normal TV through the HDMI input on the TV you will get HD programming for your general viewing but still have the option to record with the DVR at a lower quality. ***
If a cable box is not required for cable signal reception, connect the cable line to the ANT. IN connector on the recorder. If a cable box is required for cable signal reception, connect the cable line to the IN connector of the cable box. Connect a coaxial cable from the OUT connector of the cable box to the ANT. IN connector of the recorder. To view or record a CATV channel:
Tune the TV to the Recorder output channel (CH 3 or 4).
Set the Recorder channel selector to the cable output channel. (Example: CH3).
Select a channel using the cable converter.
With this connection, you cannot record one program while viewing another.If you are using a cable box to tune channels, it is not necessary to do Auto Channel Set.
L1 and L2 are just line inputs. This unit does not have a tuner so there are no channels to select.
It requires you to be connected to a TV broadcast via a cable or satellite tuner box... and then would only record what ever channel you were viewing. The DVD is a player only.
It sounds like you should have purchased a DVD Recorder or a DVD/VCR Recorder. The players normally do not have a tuner. A Recorder should have an built-in digital tuner. Some also have the old NTSC tuner and may also have a QAM tuner.
Please recheck the model. It looks like it is the DVP33040V/17 model.
You said you cannot set or play DVD/VCR tapes.
1. Is this unit hooked up properly to your TV?
2. Is your TV set to its correct viewing channel?
This is the tunerless model so the very basic way of connecting this to the TV is using the composite cables (yellow/red/white). Then find the correct viewing channel on the TV. Note:IT IS NOT CHANNEL 3 OR 4. It depends on your TV make. Most of the time it is called AV, VIDEO, INPUT, SOURCE, EXT, AUX, GAME,etc. Most of the time, the TV remote control has a specific button with those labels. You can also check your TV manual how to get the VIDEO channel when using the composite cables.
Furthermore, if you would do recordings, you will need an extenal tuner (cable box or satellite box) for this unit. You have to connect an external tuner box using another set of composite AV cables - that is:
AV out from the cable/satellite box to VCR IN on the DVD/VCR.