Cable box/VCR hookup problems

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John DeSantis, Dec 9, 2001.

  1. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    I wasn't sure where to post this. It isn't related to DBS/SAT. so I'm trying here. Sorry if that's wrong.

    Just upgraded my Cable service to receive their so called digital channels etc. This of course required the addition of their Cable Box [ motorola DCT 2000 ] I get all the channels etc. with no problem. But, Although I can PLAY a VHS tape, I can't record or change channels on the VCR [ JVC HR-S3800U ] The Cable Box has an RF bypass switch and also a button for it on the remote. The manual describes this as "These coaxial connectors enable the cable signal to bypass the DCT and go directly to a Cable ready TV/VCR"

    And, the connections are just as described in the connection diagram. The button on the remote toggles the TV/VCR funtion of the VCR. When I try to set a recording or even change channels, my only options that appear are F-1, L-1, and channel 4. I've went through the CVR setup numerous times and can't see any setting that would cause this. The VCR works OK if I connect to another set without the Cable Box. I've run the A/V outputs the same way through my Yamaha 2095 as I did before the cable box was there and had no problem. I don't understand why the Cable Box is apprently preventing or limiting the ability to change or swith channels on the VCR. I know, I should call them back out but I'm thinking hey, I should be able to do this! Guess not. I'm just hoping someone that sees this may have has a similar problem and can explain what's going on. I can display the VCR menu etc. on the TV screen and as I said display a tape when played but I can't change the channel on the VCR or set it to record.

    I've looked and checked for a setting that enables/disables the L-1 (front panel inputs ) or directs it to the rear inputs ( L-1 ) When the VCR was connected without the Cable Box it would show F-1, L-1, then start at channel two and keep going. Now, all I have are those two plus channel 4. By the way, the TV has to be on Channel 4 to use the Cable Box. Seems like this is related but I don't know how. Sorry this is so lengthy and I know it's difficult to trouble shoot this kind of thig without seeing or reading the manulas but as I said, just maybe someone has run into this. Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    John,

    Most TVs and VCRs have cable-ready tuners built into them, as you can readily see from the “Set Up”menu where you select “CATV” or “ANT.” However the built-in tuners can only tune basic cable channels. They have never been capable of handling scrambled premium channels.

    The same is true for digital cable. Your TV or VCR will not be able to handle digital cable. If it did, you wouldn’t need their cable box, would you?

    Thus, the only way you will be able to record digital cable will be from channel 3 or 4, or through the line input jacks.

    Similarly, TV will have to be on channel 3 or 4 or the line input to view signal from the cable box. Same as the VCR.

    Typically digital cable service “rides” on the regular cable feed, which means you have capabilities for both regular and digital cable. This is why the VCR works with the other TV.

    If you split the incoming cable signal and send one side to the VCR and the other to the digital box, your VCR will still be able to tune and record regular cable channels. As mentioned, you can record digital cable programs via the line input jacks.

    Hope this helps.

    Happy Holidays,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Jim Lenneman

    Jim Lenneman Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    Just to add a very little bit to what Wayne said. The only way I know of to have fully independent (watch one digital channel and record another at the same time) operation of the TV and VCR is to obtain a second cable box. Of course this presents problems when trying to change channels on the cable box with the remote if they are both the same brand. The method Wayne mentioned will not allow recording one digital channel while you watch another digital channel.

    Jim L
     
  4. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys. I think I understand this a " bit " better. But I still don't understand why the VCR channels don't change past those 3 I mentioned even if it doesn't display that channelon the TV. When they hooked it up they said that I would be able to watch one channel and record another. Does the VCR sense the Cable Box etc. ? What makes it stuck on L-1, F-1, 4
     
  5. Alan Curry

    Alan Curry Agent

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    I don't think the VCR senses the Cable Box. What it is doing is sensing the channels. The Cable Box only outputs 1 channel (i.e. channel 3 or 4) and handles the rest internally. If you use the bypass feature of the cable box then your vcr should be able to sense all the channels minus the digital channels. I have mine setup to only be able to record one channel at a time. Welcome to the "pain" of Digital Cable boxes.

    Alan
     
  6. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    Alan:
    I guess your right. The VCR only sees channel 4 which is where the able box is. I don't understand though how they say you can record one channel and watch another. I assume you can only record what is being displayed on your TV at the moment? Your right, even though I don't use the VCR to record much on my main system this seems to be a pain as you said. There are A/V outputs (rca ) on the back of the Cable Box. I'm think of running them to the Line in on the VCR. Then I should be able to record the upper channels. I think [​IMG]
     
  7. Robert Lovejoy

    Robert Lovejoy Stunt Coordinator

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    Try to hook the cable in directly to the VCR, bypassing the cable box, and find and execute the VCR menu selection to have it look for available channels. That should restore all the analog channels to your VCR.

    You can pick up a baseband switcher and hook it to your VCR line in to allow choice between the line outs of your digital cable box, other VCR or PVR, or whatever other source material you may have. (Or if you don't have anything else, you can split the line outputs of your digital cable box and send one set directly to the TV and the other to your VCR line in. This will allow your VCR to record analog channels easily while the cable box remains free for surfing. Additionally, you can use the cable box to record premium channels via line in.

    To get even more complex and versatile, you can send an analog cable split to your TV RF (A/B switch) in so you can watch analog channels while recording digital.

    Anything is possible with enough work, but as your system becomes more versatile it also gets more complicated to operate. I had to print out detailed instructions for my wife to explain how to call up the various components of our system. To me the versatility is worth the trouble!
     
  8. JoeDelan

    JoeDelan Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    You can Record on the Upper channels. You just have to preset the Cable box to the channel you want to tape then when you set the VCR to tape you tell it to tape channel 4.

    OR you can get a Sony VCR and they have an offer to get a VCR mouse. What that allows you to do is place the mouse over the IR of the CAble box and connect it to the VCR and it will change channels automatically for you. and you can program the VCR to tape whatever channel you want.

    AS for watching a show and taping another at the same time you cannot do that with ANY cable box. On Mine, I just split the cable line to the TV before it hits the CAble box and then tune the TV to input 1, which is the COax input while the VCR tapes what would be input 3, which is the Video in from the VCR...

    Jeez, I hope that makes sense...
     
  9. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe, Robert ( and all who answered ) Thanks. I'll try the various methods and see what works best. Thanks again. Happy Holidays
     
  10. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I have digital cable right now. Is it better to get a high quality 1ghz or 2ghz 2way splitter and run a cable directl to the tv and one to the VCR? Instead of having the cable run to the VCR and then out to the TV? Will video quality improve?
     

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