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Tivo Problem: Can't Record To VCR

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg Lovern, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Agent

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    Now, first let me say to any purists who are about to jump all over this thread that we're not recording to the VCR for our own viewing. My wife records to VCR for her friend who is living in India for a few years and has no other practical options.

    Recording from analog cable to VCR was working fine until I brought in the Tivo (Series 2, 80 hour) several days ago. Now it's my job to get it working again.

    I started out setting it up exactly as shown on page 6 of the 'Start Here' guide: The Tivo's Coax out to the VCR's Coax in, and the VCR's Coax out to the TV's in.

    I also tried the Tivo's Composite out to the VCR's Composite in.

    I also tried the Tivo's S-Video out to the VCR's S-Video in.

    I verified that if I connected the analog cable directly to the VCR (as it was before bringing in the Tivo), it recorded fine.

    The same Coax, Composite and S-Video outs on the Tivo that don't record when connected to the ins on the VCR, all work fine if I connect them to the TV's ins.

    I've tried to isolate the problem, but every element seems to work:
    -- The VCR can record.
    -- The Tivo sends a signal to the Coax, Composite, and S-Video outs.
    -- The Coax, Composite, and S-Video cables all transmit a signal.

    Any idea what the problem is? BTW the VCR is a Panasonic PV-S7670 if that matters.

    Thanks,

    Greg
     
  2. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    Did you try the different tv/video selections on the VCR? Did you try recording on Ch.3 and Ch.4 when using coax from the TiVO to the VCR?
     
  3. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    For coax, check the small switch on the back of the Tivo that tells you whether coax output goes to channel 3 or 4.

    When making these connections, are you able to see an image when you use the VCR as a non-recording 'pass-thru' i.e. Tivo->VCR->TV? If you can get that, than you should be able to record to VCR.
     
  4. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Agent

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    Not surprisingly, I was doing something dumb. The VCR was still set to record on channel 6. When I changed that to channel 4 (as set on the back of the Tivo), it recorded fine.

    When I do that I also see the image passed through from the Tivo to the TV per Gordon's question.
     
  5. Mark_E_Smith

    Mark_E_Smith Second Unit

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    You might want to record off the video input instead of the coax input. Hook up the L/R/V out from the TiVo to the L/R/V in on the vcr and set it to record off the video input. Did you know TiVo has a save to vcr feature? It will record 5 seconds of the guide discription at the begging of the program. Welcome to the TiVolution
     
  6. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Agent

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    After I posted this and left for work, I was thinking, so why didn't it work for Composite and S-Video? Choosing a channel doesn't apply to Composite and S-Video inputs, correct?

    Then I remembered -- when I bought it from a web store, it wouldn't record at all. I took it into a local shop to have it serviced under warranty. Maybe they only fixed the Coax input, and Composite and S-Video inputs are still DOA. That was in '98 or 99, so the warranty coverage is long since expired.

    Would that explain the behavior I've described?
     
  7. Don Munsil

    Don Munsil Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg, typically to record from the video input jacks, you have to set the VCR to a pseudo-channel by pushing channel-down past the lowest "real" channel, or there's a special setting in the menu that is something like "record from line-in".

    On my VCR, which is a JVC, you just go down past channel 4, and the display shows L-1 (which is line-in 1, on the back), and then F-1 (which is the front-panel jacks), and then pressing channel-down again recycles back up to the top channel.

    On another VCR I had, you had to push a "line-in record" button on the remote, or go into the menus and set "line-in active" to YES.

    Try those out and see what happens.

    Don
     
  8. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    To get the VCR AV inputs working, look for a "line input" or "input select" button on the VCR, also try channels 00-01. If you have been leaving it on regular channels, that would never work, because then the VCR is looking for signals on a particular frequency on the coax RF line, not on the composite / S-video connections.

    Once you get the above working, I strongly recommend using that for dumping Tivo shows to tape, and rewiring the RF coax 'F' type connections. Using AV connectors is the only way to preserve stereo sound (RF output from Tivo is mono, same as most VCRs). For the RF connections, you should split the cable from the wall and feed a line directly to both the VCR & Tivo, rather than passing through the Tivo to the VCR. That way the VCR can just record straight off the cable, which will avoid any degradation from recording onto the Tivo first, on shows you already know you want to put on VHS. Also, more importantly, this allows you to record a channel independently on the VCR, so you can record two different shows airing simultaneously, possibly watching a 3rd previously recorded on the Tivo. If your signal is of marginal strength you might need to amplify before you split.

    To do this, you will also need independent output paths from the VCR & Tivo to the TV. If you have an AV receiver, route AV connections through that. Or hook up to multiple AV inputs on the TV. If the TV has only one AV input, and you don't want an AV receiver yet, get an AV switch box (~$20 at Radio Shack, more for remote controllable ones). If your TV is a dinosaur and only has the 'F' type RF coax input, get an A/B switch.
     

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