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DVD / VCR combo with no RF in - how to record? (1 Viewer)

Curt Gilker

Sep 5, 2002
I have a Samsung DVD-V6700 DVD / VCR combo. This is connected to a Yamaha AVR, and to my HDTV monitor, a 2003 Panasonic. This DVD / VCR combo replaces an older one I moved to the kid’s playroom.

This newer DVD / VCR combo does not have an RF in / out for the cable antenna. The old one did.

I would like to be able to record to the VCR, but cannot figure out how to get the cable signal to the DVD / VCR combo without a set of RF in / out connections.

My cable company and Samsung both tell me I will need a cable box / set-top box or the like. I don’t really relish buying another component just so I can record to a VCR.

It appears the easiest answer is to switch the “old” DVD / VCR that has RF connections back to the big room and put this “new” unit in the kid’s playroom. But the new unit has a couple other features that I like.

Is there another way?


All Things Film Junkie
Senior HTF Member
Jul 30, 2003
North of the 49th
Real Name
Stephen J. Hill
Does your Panasonic display have an RF in and line outs? You could record this way, although you'd have to have the TV on and tuned to the correct channel for this to work. Otherwise, I believe you're stuck with either getting a set-top box or bringing the other unit in.


Bounded In a Nutshell
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Jun 20, 2000
A Mile High
Real Name
It sounds like the VCR/DVD doesn't have a tuner. To do what you want, there has to be a tuner. So, the combo unit can't do it all itself.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 1999
Corpus Christi, TX
Real Name
Hi Curt,

I feel your pain. I was helping my parents shop for a VCR a couple of months ago and everything I was finding was like you describe - no tuners.

The problem is the looming switch to digital TV come next Feburary. I expect that manufactures of late have been reluctant to sell the standard VCR/DVD/tuner combos we've been familiar with for years, because they knew they'd be facing the ire of customers when they become essentially useless next year. Sure, they could have installed dual tuners (analog for now, digital for later), but that would have easily doubled or tripled the price of these things (I'll bet you paid under $100 for the one you bought, right?).

Their answer was to ditch the tuner and advise people to use a cable box, or one of the new digital coverter set-top boxes the government is giving away coupons for now. Problem is, that makes for a pretty useless time shifting recording device. I expect there is no timer in the late-model combos to turn it on automatically, not to mention you have to leave the cable box turned on and tuned in to the station you want to record. If you want to record two shows back to back on different channels, you have to be there to manually change the channel on the cable box when the second show starts. Like I said, these new recorders are essentially useless for timeshifting.

I did find a solution for Mom and Dad: The Philips DVDR3575H/37 and newer DVDR3576H/37 1080p. They're upscaling hard drive/DVDR combos with built-in digital and analog tuners, so they work now and won't be boat-anchors come February. Hard drive/DVDR combos were fairly common a few years ago, but have pretty much faded away, probably because they never were as cheap as the VCR/DVD combos. The Philips models are the only ones left. They have a high user approval rating on sites like Amazon (which seems to be unusual for digital recorders as a catagory), especially from people who switched straightaway from VCRs. The primary complaints come from people who are used to TIVO, and that the units only deliver a standard resolution picture, not true high-def.

Unfortunately, these aren't dirt cheap like the VCR/DVD combo recorders, selling in the $300 range, although you can find them on eBay for half that. But when you consider that the hard drive will be infinitely more reliable than a $49 VCR chock full of plastic gears and drive parts, and no tapes to buy or deal with, it's not a bad deal.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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