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Receiver connection ? particularly the 45tx or Denon 3803 (1 Viewer)

Brad Newton

Second Unit
Aug 14, 2001
I need some advice on hooking up satellite receiver, vcr & dvd player to either the Pioneer 45 or the Denon 3803. What I want to accomplish is:
I want the vcr to be able to record from the dvd, local broadcasts and the satellite. I know this would be simple by running everything through the receiver, but the vcr is only composite not s-video capable. The dvd and satellite are s-video capable, but the Pioneer unit does not have the conversion feature. I have see products that supposedly convert composite to s-video, but I don't know how effective they are. I also want to be able to view local channels without having to turn on the receiver, but if I want to be able to have the sound going through the receiver.
Does the 45 have enough inputs for future upgrades? I would like to add an hdtv stb, when it becomes feasible, and possibly a dvd recorder. Will the Pioneer unit have enough inputs? I know that the Denon unit has ample.
Please keep in mind that this whole ht setup needs to be as "wife" friendly as possible. In other words, if she wants to use the tv,vcr or the dvd, it needs to be able to work just as it does now, since it is hooked directly to the tv.

Andrew Pezzo

Second Unit
Mar 17, 2003
I have the Denon AVR-3803 and all of my A/V components go directly into that. I have one s-video going from receiver to TV and the standard cable signal going from wall to VCR to TV so that VCR can operate without receiver. I dont notice any PQ problems having cable upconverted to s-video. I have a macro for normal TV watching since this mostly what I do and makes it "wife friendly". One reason I got the Denon was that it had plenty of inputs for future gear.

One thing to keep in mind is that no matter how simple operating a HT is some instruction will be needed, just make sure the wife follows what you are saying. Whenever my wife operates the system and has a problem I explain what went wrong and how to fix it but she doesnt really care, she just wants it to work now.

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
Brad, I've got some bad news for you.

Recording from DVD: you cant. There is macro-vision protection that will fade the video in/out/in/out to prevent this. Dont even try.

Too many options: You want to just watch TV, or fire up the receiver. Each option like this gives you a different 'mode' for the system that your wife is going to have to learn and learn how to change. This conflicts with "spousal friendly". It will get worse when you have a mix of Composite, SVideo, Component sources (STB) and while YOU can memorize the different sources, do you think your wife will? Not a chance. Simpler is better.

My advice:
  • Get rid of the VCR.
  • Change your satellite receiver to a PVR. This is a DirectTivo if you have DirectTV, or a PVR unit from dish. This will simplify your number of devices, and give you a easy-to-use recorder. Of all my HT toys, the PVR is the only one I have ever heard my wife brag about. She will love it and never want to go back to tapes or ordinary cable/sat.
  • Now you can run SVideo from your 2 devices to the receiver, then SVideo to the TV.
  • Train yourself/wife to always turn-on the Sat, the Receiver, the TV. (A remote with Macro capability makes this a 1-button operation).

This greatly simplifies the operation of your system to 3 modes:

- Off
- On for Sat watching (Sat remote is the primary)
- On for DVD watching (DVD remote is the primary)

Very spousal friendly.

The VCR: if you really, really want to make tapes from the Sat receiver, most sat receivers have L/R/Video outputs that work in parallel with the SVideo. Hook this straight to the VCR inputs to archive off shows. (But once you get used to the replay quality of a sat receiver, you will be frustrated with the artifacts introduced by tape.)

Pioneer vs Dennon: Go with the Dennon. You mention STB, DVD burner but dont forget about something like an XBox with progressive-scan output, or cable company offering HDTV as well as your sat provider. How many inputs does this make? Lots. Plan for the future.

Hope this helps.

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