Setting Up a VCR or DVD
VCRs or DVDs can be easily added to the set-up of an analog television, converter box, and antenna.
VCR or DVD to Play-Only. There are three alternatives when a VCR or DVD is used to play movies, but not record TV programs.
(1) The VCR or DVD can be plugged directly into the television. It does not need to be connected to a converter box. It will use the three RCA jacks on the back of the television, using a red-white-yellow composite A/V cable.
(2) If the television has only one input (RF), an A/B switch can be purchased. The viewer chooses whether to receive television signals through the converter box to the television (the A side of the switch) or to play movies on the VCR or DVD (the B side of the switch).
(3) Again, if the television has only one input (RF coaxial connector port), the VCR or DVD can be set up in the same fashion as the “Play and Record – same channel” method, below.
VCR or DVD to Play and to Record. If a VCR or DVD device will also be used to record programming, follow the instructions that came with the converter box or view diagrams created by the Federal Communications Commission.
(1) To record the same channel as the one being watched, connect the antenna to the converter box, connect the converter box to the VCR or DVD, and then connect the VCR or DVD to the television. Tune the VCR to Channel 3 and leave it set there. Use only the converter box remote to choose/change channels.
(2) To record one program while watching a different channel on the television, two converter boxes will be required along with either two antennas or a splitter for the antenna wire. Alternatively, instead of two antennas, an amplified antenna may be used to overcome signal loss from use of a splitter. (a) Connect an antenna to the first converter box. Connect the box directly to the RF coaxial connector port on the back of the television. (b) Connect an antenna to the second converter box, and connect the box to the VCR or DVD using a round RF coaxial cable. Then connect the VCR or DVD to the television using a composite A/V cable. (If the television does not have red-white-yellow RCA jacks to receive a composite A/V cable, an A/B switch must be connected to the RF coaxial connector port on the back of the television. Round RF coaxial cables will then be required to connect the first converter box and the VCR or DVD to the A/B switch.)
More information about the digital television transition is available on the following topics:
- Are All of the Televisions in the Household DTV-Prepared?
- Applying for $40 DTV Coupons
- Expired or Lost DTV $40 Coupons Can Now Be Replaced
- Purchasing a Converter Box
- Reviewing Converter Box Features
- Antennas and Reception Issues
- Cables or Other Equipment Needed?
- Portable and Large Projection TVs; S-Video and Composite A/V Cables
- Setting Up a Converter Box
- Channel-Selection Trouble-Shooting Guide
- Recycling Older Televisions
- Additional Information and Resources
- Alternative Formats
- Digital Transition Assistance for Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities