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Sound problem (1 Viewer)

Mike Broadman

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Hey, folks, this is a question about my parent's TV setup:

They have a simple cable/VCR/TV setup:

Regular analog cable w/ cable box. Coax from box to VCR, coax from VCR to TV.

The problem is, if they try to record something, the sound is all quiet and muffled. They have to crank the sound on the TV up to un-godly levels to get any sound onto the tape.

Also, if you turn the sound low, you hear a muffled whispering-type distorted sound.

Are there some setup issues I should be aware of? I'm going to visit my parents this weekend and will be giving them and installing my DVD player. While I'm poking around, I may as well check out anything you guys have to suggest. Thanks.
 

Evan S

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Mike, Usually people use that setup for convenience, but it's really no good if they want to tape things.

There are usually volume controls on those cable boxes. People tend to alter the volume of their set using the volume control of the box, not the TV.

If you want to tape, you need to turn the volume on the box all the way to max to feed the full signal to the VCR...they would then have to lower the volume on the TV to more comfortable levels this way.

The better way to do it would be to throw the coax straight into the VCR and then have the VCR go out to the TV and keep the volume on the cable box to max and just alter the volume using the TV controls. This way you can tape things with the full signal, watch something else while you are taping something different, etc.

The problem is that your folks will have to use the VCR as their de facto cable box now and won't work if they have premium channels like HBO. If that's the case, then you have to run the setup the way you have it presently, but you need to max out the volume on the box like I mentioned previously to get a good signal feed to the VCR.

Hope this helps.
 

Mike Broadman

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The better way to do it would be to throw the coax straight into the VCR and then have the VCR go out to the TV and keep the volume on the cable box to max and just alter the volume using the TV controls.
Wait, how is that different with what they have now? Are you sure you typed that in correctly, or did you mean having the cable go to the TV, then the TV to the VCR?

Besides giving them my old DVD player, I will also give them my old universal remote, which should force them to adjust the TV volume, not the cable box volume. Hopefully, they won't complain about having to learn to use a new remote.
 

Evan S

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Mike, this is what you typed...

Regular analog cable w/ cable box. Coax from box to VCR, coax from VCR to TV.
I'm telling you to take the Coax directly from the wall into the VCR (don't even use the cable box unless they have premium channels like HBO). Then take the coax from the VCR directly to the TV. They would switch channels using the VCR remote, bypassing the cable box altogether.

If you need to use the cable box (for if they have HBO or some other premium network), then make sure the volume control on the cable box is maxed out and control the volume with the TV, not the cable box.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Mike, your post is a little confusing:
The problem is, if they try to record something, the sound is all quiet and muffled. They have to crank the sound on the TV up to un-godly levels to get any sound onto the tape.
First of all, the TV has nothing to do with sound going onto the tape. The TV adjusts the volume after the recording. The sound level going onto the tape is decided by the signal being fed into the VCR, in this case, the cable box.
I don’t have a cable box, so I don’t know about Evan’s statements about the box having a volume control is correct. But assuming he is correct, if the cable box’s volume is set too low that would explain why the sound levels are low on playback of the tape.
I suggest doing as Evan advised and try eliminating the cable box, at least for a test. If the problem goes away, then it is indeed the cable box reducing the volume on your recordings.
If you still have the same problem after eliminating the cable box that would mean the VCR is ready for the glue factory.
Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

Mike Broadman

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Yes, they do have premium channels, so the cable box stays.

However, my mom told me today that the VCR is broken and they trashed it. So, I'm hoping that was the whole problem in the first place.

I also think the TV is starting to crap out. It's a 10 - 15 year old projection screen TV which has gone out before.

Thanks for the tips.
 

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