How do you program a VCR with cable???

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by DanaA, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Signed up with Sure West. Problem is I can't figure out how to program my VCR to record TV shows when using a cable company.

    I know that this is probably a dumb question to most here, but, truth be told, I really don't watch much TV, except for DVD's. I did a test programming thing today and it didn't work. Only static on the screen. You're supposed to change all channels with Sure West's remote while the VCR is set to channel 4.

    My 12 year old daughter's gonna kill poppa if he can't record some of her shows. About the only show I record for myself is 24.

    Stupid, huh?
     
  2. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    I've been off of VCRs for a while now, but if I'm not mistaken, your VCR is supposed to be on channel 3, not 4 if you're using an RF connection from the cable box.
     
  3. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    To record just one program, leave the cable box on that channel and record from channel 4.

    To record programs on different channels you need to buy a special remote control with a timer that will operate your cable tuner box, changing the channel as needed to match the times the VCR is recording (its channel 4 all the time).

    Ther are even some timer remote controls that operate both the VCR (in push button mode, not timer mode) and the cable box. The remote has to be put on the coffee table or somewhere that it can point at both the VCR and the cable box at the same time.

    On some cable systems you can connect the cable feed from the wall directly to the VCR and then you can use the VCR's program timer. You will probably not be able to get all of the cable channels.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

    * Most cable boxes can output to a VCR as your choice of channel 3 or channel 4, some boxes can output to a VCR as video-out. Your recording must match. The VCR can output to the TV as your choice of channel 3, channel 4, or video-out and this does not have to match.
     
  4. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    In the olden days, some VCRs came with cable mice-- essentially an IR transmitter that could be aimed at the cable boxes IR sensor. But even If you had such a thing, the VCR wouldn't necessarily be capable of tuning channels above (say) 125.

    If your cable box has a Y/C or composite connection, you might be able to connect that to the video in of your VCR for a better picture.
     
  5. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Thanks guys.

    Your information was valuable and pretty much confirmed what I expected.

    Allan, I might just try to look up one of those remotes you mentioned.

    Thanks again all.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Dana,

    I take it from your initial post that you have a cable box – I assume for digital cable or premium channels.

    What you might not be aware of is that most cable companies deliver regular cable service simultaneously with the upgraded service. That can be accessed via your VCR. I imagine your daughter’s programming is probably available on regular cable, so what you could do is set up your VCR for cable, from its menu. Then you can program the VCR as normal, to come on at a certain time and record a certain channel.

    Now, if you want to record a digital or premium channel from the cable box, it’s a little different. If you can’t use any of the suggestions the other folks mentioned, you can always program the VCR to come on and tape channel 4. Keep in mind,the cable box would have to be on and tuned to the channel you want to tape. Alternately, you could hook up the cable box to the VCR via the line inputs and tape there, but again the cable box would have to be on when the taping begins, and you can’t change the cable box’s channel until taping is finished.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    I still use a VCR with Dish Network. I set to record channel 3 and just make sure the Dish receiver is set to the proper channel. Fortunately, I have two sets, so I can record on one and watch something else on the other. Ahh, the good old days.
     
  8. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Thanks Wayne,

    Yesterday, I tried about a dozen things (well, that's a bit of hyperbole).

    I did switch the VCR to cable, but it only picked up whatever channel 4 was tuned to at the time.

    I went to Best Buys today and they had the type remote Allan referred to, but Sure West wasn't one of the companies listed as it having compatibility with. The salesperson said Sure West was relatively new to the cable arena and it might be best to call them to check on compatibility or for suggestions.

    So, for the time being, I'll just set the programmer to Channel 4 and leave the cable box on the station I want recorded.
     
  9. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Dana,
    You’ll have to give the VCR a direct feed from the wall, not from the output of the cable box. Your best bet would be to come out of the wall and use a splitter to send a signal to both the VCR and cable box.

    Of course, then the only way to get the signal from the cable box to the VCR (for taping) will be through the A/V jacks.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  10. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Thanks again Wayne. [​IMG]

    That's how it is connected. Source>VCR>TV.

    I'll call Sure West this week.

    Even if they can give a solution, I think I've decided another route to go.

    My Mitsubishi has more than one assignable input for antennas. I'll attach the antenna cable to our rooftop regular TV antenna to a DVD recorder and tape the shows directly from that, like I've been doing all these years, except this time with a DVD recorder instead of a VCR.

    If I want something specific only to cable, I'll use the VCR's for that.

    I think this will work and my wife has been wanting to get a DVD recorder, so it'll take care of two things with one stroke.
     
  11. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    When you:

    1. Disconnect the wall cable feed from the cable box and connect it to the VCR,

    2. Set the VCR to cable-ready,

    3. Set the VCR's TV/VCR setting to VCR,

    4. Flip through the channels on the VCR using numbers, not up-down,

    Are you sure you got only one channel, 4?
     
  12. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    My goodness, I may have been misunderstanding what was being said.



    Not at home to check at the moment.

    I'll try it out in the next couple of days to see.

    Thanks
     

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