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  1. Member
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    I bought my first LED TV but the kicker is I get my signals from a roof antenna which I'm going to keep. I don't need a converter box anymore with the new TV, but I'd like to set up and keep my old DVD/VCR combo that has NO HDMI ports, only RCA cables. Does the converter box have to be hooked up to the old DVD/VCR?

    I'd like to video tape and view programs like I did with my old CRT-TV but don't know how to go about setting all this up.

    Additionally, I need some guidance adding a bluetooth speaker as my hearing isn't great and the speakers that came with this TV are inadequate. Unfortunately this TV isn't bluetooth capable so I'm wondering if there is an after market gizmo that plugs into a USB or headphone port on the TV?

    Thanks to all for ANY ideas, or help with these two questions!
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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Unless your old DVD/VCR can receive QAM DTV signals, then yes, a converter box would have to be hooked up (upstream of) the DVD/VCR.

    You want equivalent (or better) full features of a VCR, while getting full simultaneous reception on the TV? Get a Tivo with QAM reception, or HTPC with QAM DTV OTA vid card and use PVR software.

    I do not recommend BT speakers, particularly if you are already hard of hearing. BT transfers via the equivalent of low-med bitrate mp3 or low bitrate (sbc) aac, so much of the quality of the signal is being lost in the transmission. This is due NOT to the quality of the source nor to the quality of the receiver/speakers, but due to the limitations in the spec of the A2DP profile/protocol.

    You will get MUCH better quality with either getting a Soundbar or Receiver+(wired) Speaker set. Depending upon the model of your TV (since you didn't give any info on it), you might also need to convert from SPDIF (TOSLink, etc) digital out to RCA Analog Line in.

    More info needed, please...

    Scott
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  3. Member
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    Thanks for the reply Scott. I purchased an Insignia LED flatscreen.

    The DVD/ VCR is from 2002 so it doesn't receive digital signals. I hooked it up to the flat screen TV with the RCA cables and the TV recognizes the VCR, but only when I'm viewing my tapes. If I stop playing the tape, the TV stops recognizing the player and I can't tape off of the TV. I guess that's where the Digital converter would have to come into play.

    So, do I connect the antenna coaxial to the Digital converter, come out of that with a coaxal, pluging into the DVD/ VCR, come out again with coaxial and plug into the flatscreen like I did with the old TV? Is the flatscreen looking for a digital signal thru the VCR?

    As for the sound situation, the soundbar was a consideration if I can find one that's not to dear. I just figured that the blue tooth speaker would be better because it would be closer to me instead of bothering the neighbors with excessive volume. The problem is I don't know the difference between what a soundbar vs. a Bluetooth speaker sounds like so I may have to see if Bestbuy can show me the difference now that things have calmed down because the holidays are over and I can talk to a sales person that isn't flustered.

    I hope I've provided you with more detail.
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  4. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    No the digital converter has nothing to do with that - signals are converted once they're decoded by the TV. But the TV is probably putting out SCMS/CGMS/Macrovision, etc. on the composite (RCA) out, and THAT is what the VCR won't allow.

    The VCR can only do old-school NTSC signals (input & output). Aka ANALOG only.

    Unless the TV is very cheaply made, it should still have capability to receive NTSC (which is what your VCR would be putting out on ch3 or 4) in addition to QAM ATSC DTV reception.

    So, a signal flow like this should work:
    1. Antenna
    2. Coax cable
    3. Broadband RF splitter (amplified, if poss) sent to outputs A and B

    4A. Coax cable
    5A. Converter box
    6A. Coax cable
    7A. VCR
    8A. Coax cable

    4B. Coax cable

    8A & 4B go to:
    9. RF A/B switcher box, current output of choice goes to
    10. Coax cable
    11. RF input on the TV

    Still can't give you full suggestions, because I still don't know what the MODEL # is... (you realize, don't you, that Insignia probably makes scores if not hundreds of models of LED TVs, all with different levels of capabilites).

    Scott
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    You can do as Cornucopia suggested to keep using your VCR to record. However, there are other recording options available in addition to a TiVo, or PC TV tuner.

    There are set-top boxes with one or more tuners that would allow you to attach a USB hard drive (purchased at an additional cost) for recording one digital channel while you watch another on your new TV. Most have HDMI out so they can work nicely with a new HDTV. These two are popular choices

    The Mediasonic HW180STB http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-HW-150PVR-HomeWorx-Converter-Recording/dp/B00I2ZBD1U/...9541168&sr=8-2 has one tuner and records using timers like your DVR. You would need a hard drive with its own power supply, like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822207017 or you could use a USB stick up to 64 GB, but a 64 GB USB stick would only hold 9 hours worth of HD recordings.

    The Channel Master DVR+ http://www.channelmasterstore.com/DVR_Plus_p/cm-7500gb16.htm has two tuners and includes program guide service, which requires an internet connection to receive updates. You can buy one with an internal hard drive or buy a USB expansion drive.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 30th Dec 2014 at 19:10. Reason: 2 links were not working
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  6. Member
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    Scott,

    It's an Insignia 39" LED TV 720p Model NS39D310NA15. It was about $250 so I imagine it's one of their inexpensive ones.

    I see what you mean by the Signal flow. I think I have a splitter a neighbor gave me when I had two VCR's set up way back in the '90's. It wasn't amplified if I remember but he did mark it A and B if memory serves right so it was definetly a splitter.

    That may work. But if I need to buy an amplified splitter(depending on what they cost, I don't know at this point), I may as well consider putting that money towards a new DVD/VCR that accepts digital signals and has an HDMI port. That is, if they make one.

    I'm on a fixed income and didn't and couldn't spend too much money on the TV but now the costs start to add up with sound bars, bluetooth speakers, splitters, new VCR's, etc.
    It is what it is I guess and 'you got to pay the lady if you want to dance' as the saying goes.
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    Thanks for the reply usually_quiet. Your suggestions are interesting. Recording one program while watching another would be nice. I didn't know such devices existed and I will investigate them but I have a feeling the cost factor may prohibit me from getting them. I'll look into it though.
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  8. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Another example of the digital divide, I'm afraid. With the newer technology, they (corporations) get to raise the bar on TCO in exchange for the "assumed" added features & convenience and (falsely presumed) quality. Then they raise the bar again after analog is no more. And then...

    Scott
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    No the digital converter has nothing to do with that - signals are converted once they're decoded by the TV. But the TV is probably putting out SCMS/CGMS/Macrovision, etc. on the composite (RCA) out, and THAT is what the VCR won't allow.

    The VCR can only do old-school NTSC signals (input & output). Aka ANALOG only.

    Unless the TV is very cheaply made, it should still have capability to receive NTSC (which is what your VCR would be putting out on ch3 or 4) in addition to QAM ATSC DTV reception.

    So, a signal flow like this should work:
    1. Antenna
    2. Coax cable
    3. Broadband RF splitter (amplified, if poss) sent to outputs A and B

    4A. Coax cable
    5A. Converter box
    6A. Coax cable
    7A. VCR
    8A. Coax cable

    4B. Coax cable

    8A & 4B go to:
    9. RF A/B switcher box, current output of choice goes to
    10. Coax cable
    11. RF input on the TV

    Still can't give you full suggestions, because I still don't know what the MODEL # is... (you realize, don't you, that Insignia probably makes scores if not hundreds of models of LED TVs, all with different levels of capabilites).

    Scott
    Scott, which of these splitters should I use?
    Image Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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  10. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    The one on the left is a splitter (single in, multiple simultaneous out). The one on the right is a Switch (multiple in, chosen single out).

    Scott
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  11. Member
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    The one on the left is a splitter (single in, multiple simultaneous out). The one on the right is a Switch (multiple in, chosen single out).

    Scott
    Then the one on the right seems to be the best way to go. When I want to tape a program I have to 'switch' to the analog signal for the analog VCR. Thanks for your help and Happy New Year!
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  12. Member
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    No. the one on the left is the one to go with. It's the only splitter in the picture. You want to split the signal, not switch it.

    I would go:

    antenna->Splitter :Output 1 -> TV
    :Output 2 -> Converter Box -> VCR -> TV
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  13. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    If you want an optimal versatility of usage with your current equipment, you will need both.

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 2nd Jan 2015 at 18:54.
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  14. Member
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    Ok guys, I'll use both the splitter and the switch. I've uploaded a schematic (used to be a draftsman waaaay before computers) as to how it all goes together according to what my lowtech mind understands. I wouldn't be surprised if it has to be reconfigured so any tweeks are appreciated.
    Image Attached Thumbnails SCHEMATIC.pdf  

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  15. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    OK, so if you intend to have the output of your VCR be Composite (as per your visual), you can completely bypass the A/B switch altogether as it is superfluous.

    Scott
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  16. Member
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    OK, so if you intend to have the output of your VCR be Composite (as per your visual), you can completely bypass the A/B switch altogether as it is superfluous.

    Scott
    Gotcha Scott. I'll eliminate the A/B switch. Thanks again.
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