how to hook up DVD and VCR at the same time

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Brenton, May 14, 2003.

  1. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

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    This is probably a rookie question, but I'm going to ask anyway.

    My TV/VCR/DVD setup is anything but spectacular, like everyone else's here on the forum. I simply don't have the money to pour into it, so all I have is a 27" TV with basic cable, a VCR, and a DVD player. (I don't even have a Home Theater System yet!)

    The back of my TV has co-ax (in), A/V composite cable (in), Audio composite (out), and S-Video (in).

    My DVD player has optical audio (out), S-Video (out), and A/V composite (out). (I think it also has component, but that doesn't matter for now)

    My VCR has co-axial (in and out) and A/V composite (in and out)

    Here's my question: how do I hook both my VCR and my DVD player up to the TV at the same time without having to use co-ax?

    I tried using A/V composite cables to hook my DVD player into my VCR, and my VCR into my TV. (With the Cable still going in through the co-axial) That didn't work. It may have been anti-copy protection, or it may have been something else. Either way, I couldn't get the DVD player on the screen.

    The way I have it now is the VCR hooked to the TV via co-ax and the DVD hooked to the TV via A/V composite. I don't like this though because the co-ax doesn't allow me to take advantage of the VCR's stereo output.

    So... can it be done?
     
  2. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Brenton,

    You should hook up the red, white and yellow wires from the VCR output to the TV input (A/V input). You should also hook up the DVD player directly to the TV using an S-Video cable and red and white audio inputs. You cannot run a DVD player through a VCR. A nasty copy protection scheme called Macrovision will kick in and your DVDs will be unwatchable. Run the cable through the VCR.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  4. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    Brenton, I hate to say this but I think you've tried all your options already. If your VCR will not pass the signal from the DVD with Macrovision copy protection in it there really is nothing you can do except buy an Audio/Video Switch Box. As far as hooking up the Composite "Yellow" Video Input & the "S-Video" Input at the same time to one set of inputs that will all depend if the tv has "Auto S-Video Detection". On most sets you can only use one or the other. I would get a cheap A/V switch box at the Raido Shack or try www.partsexpress.com for one. Oh just thought I'd add that "SOME" vcr's will pass the dvd signal through to the tv without Macrovision in it but it kicks in as soon as you push the record button so you can't copy the dvd. If you have another vcr you might want to try swapping them & see what happens otherwise buy a cheap A/V Switch Box & some cables.
     
  5. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Depending on how old your vcr is, you can hook up the DVD player through the a/v input of the vcr and then the vcr through the a/v input of the t.v. S-video is by far the best, but if your tv only has one a/v input, then hooking it up the way I prescribed will give you the most flexibility. In some cases, macrovision (copy protection) doesn't occur until you press the record button, therefore you picture would be clear if you are just watching DVD through the vcr/tv.
     
  6. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

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    If you reread my post more carefully, you would see that this was the first thing I tried. As a matter of fact, my VCR is only a few months old.
     
  7. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    First on the vcr passing through the video without Macrovision. It doesn't make any difference if it's an old vcr or a new vcr it just depends on the brand & sometimes the model number. Now for a question. Even if your tv can switch between S-Video & Composite Video how would you run 2 audio cables (1 from the vcr & 1 from the dvd) to only 1 set of audio inputs on the tv? (Unless you can get sound from the antenna input & Video from the S-Video input or the Composite Video input at the same time which I've never heard of) I still think it would be easier to hookup an Audio/Video Switch Box. I got a discontinued one at the Radio Shack for only $10.00 that has 4 Inputs & 1 output that goes to the tv. I use it on an old spare tv (It only has 1 Set Of Inputs on it) for different games, my camcorder, dubbing to different vcr's & etc. The only other thing I can think of is to get an RF Modulator where you plug in the Audio/Video Cables into it & then it has an RF output to hook to your tv's antenna input.(But I don't know if it passes a STEREO audio signal or not? maybe someone will chime in on this) This is how people hookup DVD Players to tv's without any A/V jacks at all. But I would think a cheap switch box would cost less? The only other thing I can think of (And I don't reccomend this) is to buy 3 "Y" Cables (1 for Video & 2 for Audio) plug them into the tv's inputs & then run both sets of A/V Cables from the VCR & DVD to the "Y" connectors on the tv.
     
  8. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

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    That's exactly the problem.
     
  9. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    I take it, you don't have a receiver nearby that you would want to play the dvd thru your receiver & speakers?

    Also I seem to remember people talking about using y-connectors to hook up an sacd & dvd-audio player to one set of 6.1 inputs. I think you can use 2 y's for your left and right audio as long as you never would have sound output by the vcr and dvd at the same time. (Ie, don't record on the vcr and watch dvd's at once, since the vcr and dvd would both send audio signals).
     
  10. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

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    UPDATE: After some playing around with settings on my VCR (I'm not even sure exactly what I did), I was able to get the DVD player to play even though it's routed through the VCR. It had something to do with Line 1 input something-or-other on the VCR. Strangely, I have to have the VCR "ON" to see the DVD.

    In my first post, I mentioned that I don't even have an HT system yet.
     
  11. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    That's how the vcr should work when your using A/V Outputs. It's only the RF Antenna Output that will pass the signal with the vcr off. If you ever do figure out what you did to get it working post a follow up on what it was. Also try recording a DVD on the vcr & see if the Macrovision kick's in. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones who has a vcr that will record dvd's. Myself I have an older GE vcr (A 1998 model) that doesn't have a Macrovision guard in for some reason? I got it new & I never had it disabled or did anything to it & I am able to copy store bought tapes & dvd's on it.
     
  12. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

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    I'm not sure how that would make me "lucky", as I've never had a desire to transfer my discs to tape, but I'll give it a shot if I get around to it.
     

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