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Video Wiring Problem (1 Viewer)

Prescott Moore

Aug 23, 2004
Greetings—perhaps somebody out there can help resolve my annual wiring predicament. (I’m not sure where this post might go as non of the categories seemed to fit, so if the moderators need to move it to a better location, please feel free.)

Every year our family holds a season wine and cheese/open house where we “screen” seasonal holiday television shows (Rudolph, Frosty, Grinch, Charlie Brown, etc.). For this, I run a series of televisions all around the house and projection system on the deck so guests can comfortably see a screen regardless of where they might be standing or sitting.

For my connections, I had always used simple coax, run from the main amplifier, through a basic radio shack coax signal amplifier, through splitters, to the various TVs. In the long-past era of VHS, this always worked like a charm with a decent picture and sound for each.

Then along came DVD’s with nicer picture, better sound—and copy protection.

While I’ve lived with the problem for the last few years, the Macrovision (or variation thereof) system leads to the crisp-bright/dim-blurry cycle that I’m sure most of you are familiar with at some level. Granted, for those away from the main theater area (who came to watch), the point of the party is to socialize so the secondary monitors are more background than focal point, but having a lousy picture still stinks.

So—the question is how, if possible, to get a decent picture and sound without running additional wires. I was inspired with the possibility of simply using the coax outputs on the DVD player (rather than running the coax from coax video outputs on the receiver), but none of my DVD players have a coax output.

My current “solution” is in converting my coax leads to RCA with connectors and swapping the coax signal amplifiers to an RCA-level signal amplifiers. This would provide me with a decent picture, but leaves me with no sound at the secondary monitors.

Any suggestions? My thanks in advance.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 1999
Corpus Christi, TX
Real Name
Macrovision is a sticky subject here, Prescott, since it often goes hand-in-hand with pirating. You might want to review this post from one of the Forum’s owners to familiarize yourself on what is and isn’t allowed here.

As I read it, it’s allowable to recommend DVD players that don’t have Macrovision, but not to tell or describe how to defeat it on players that do. I’m going to assume that it’s also okay to mention outboard defeating remedies since there was no mention of them, and because such products are legally and commercially available.

As you’ve already seen, Macrovision processing is present on the RCA and probably S-video video outputs of your DVD player, so switching over to RCA-level amplifiers isn’t going to work.

I’ve seen posts that recommend this RF modulator from Radio Shack as an economical solution. You would plug the player’s audio and video RCA jacks to the modulator, which would convert the signal to radio frequency (RF) that will travel on the coaxial cables, amplifiers and splitters you’re already using. You will probably lose some picture quality compared to a straight player-to-TV-feed, but it shouldn’t be readily apparent on the small secondary TV’s you’ll be using. In any event, the results will still far exceed what you’d get with VHS.

If for some reason the RF modulator doesn’t get the job done, my understanding is that the next solution is a professional time-base correction processor. Unfortunately, those aren’t exactly cheap.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Jeff Gatie

Senior HTF Member
Aug 19, 2002
The RF modulator that Wayne recommends is the solution for people who want to convert composite to coax, whether for monitors that have only coax or for Prescott's dilemma. Most major electronics stores carry a version of the RF modulator if Radio Shack does not have one or you do not have a Shack in your area. Should be around $20-$30.

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