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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    With the recent addition of a cable box to my home entertainment setup, I find myself in a jam. I bet with cable box/satellite receivers becoming more common, some of you have had a similar problem. Here's what I have:

    - An A/V receiver with 2 video (RCA yellow) inputs, 2 video outputs, 6 audio inputs, and 1 audio output
    - TV with 2 video inputs (RCA yellow), four pairs of audio inputs (red/white inputs) and a currently unused cable input jack
    - Cable box with 1 RCA input jack, 1 RCA output jack, and 2 cable jacks (1 in and 1 out)
    - DVD Recorder with 2 RCA input jacks, 1 RCA output jack, and 2 cable jacks (1 in and 1 out)
    - VCR with 1 RCA input jack, 1 RCA input out, an additional video out, and 2 cable jacks (1 in and 1 out)

    Here's my problem: How can I hook up the VCR to the DVD recorder so I can transfer video but also watch cable TV at the same time? I've had no problem hooking up the cable box to the DVD recorder input and watching TV fed through the DVD Recorder input, but I can't set it up so I can record from a VHS tape to a blank DVD while being able to watch cable TV at the same time. As it's set now, with everything being fed through the DVD recorder, I can't just let a tape transfer while sitting back and watching something else.

    The confusion seems to lie in joining everything together with the A/V receiver. I've yet to find a diagram that displays a setup with the exact pieces I'm using. I'd have no problem setting all this if I didn't want all the sound to come out of my surround sound speakers.

    Is there a way to hook up the DVD Recorder and Cable Box together where viewing TV isn't dependent on the DVD Recorder being on? A perfect solution would be to have the DVD player and Cable Box on seperate inputs while still being able to record what's playing on the TV with the DVD Recorder.

    Is an A/V splitter the way to go? I'm starting to think it is, but I can't believe with all the inputs and outputs at my disposal that I won't be able to make it do what I want without having to buy even more equipment.

    Any help or advice would be much appreciated. It's getting really frustrating to look at a mess of wires while trying to figure out what to try next.
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  2. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    St Louis, MO USA
    Search Comp PM
    First, if any of the VHS tapes are commercial, they likely won't copy. DVD recorders will get tripped up on the MV.

    As for the connection issue, because of how you are wanting to use the hardware (at least in the short term), you will need to keep the cable box and TV "out of the recording loop". I would connect cable box to TV via coax. Then connect your VCR to the DVD Recorder and video out of the recorder to the TV (this will allow you to see what you are recording).

    I would only hook up audio to the AVR from whatever sources you will want to hear using your surround sound. There is no reason to have them all connected as you aren't likely to need surround sound from all of your hardware, but it won't hurt anything to hook them all up, just more cables.

    Most of this hardware is old and doesn't support/use any of the higher quality inputs/outputs, so the less equipment daisy chained together the better the quality you will get.

    In order of quality: HDMI/DVI, component (red, green, blue RCA), S-Video, coax, composite (yellow RCA).
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