TVs & Home Theaters

Question

how do you hook up a VCR to a DVD recorder w/o a cable box?

by joe91074 / July 23, 2011 6:40 AM PDT

Hello,
I have a rather large collection of VHS tapes that I have taped myself that I would like to convert to DVD. I took the past 3 months to look through the collection by using a late model stand alone Toshiba Model number W528 4 head VCR. I used this Toshiba for a 3 month period to test out which VHS tapes I wanted to keep that were of good quality, both picture and sound wise. This Toshiba worked like a charm and allowed me to determine what tapes to keep after all these years and which ones were no longer of any use to me.

I also own a Phillips DVD recorder VCR model number DVDR3545V that I was going to use to transfer these good quality VHS tapes to DVD. However, when I played these very same tapes in this machine, the tapes would not read properly on the VHS side and the picture would fade in and out, rendering whatever copy I could make useless.

I'm a self admitted novice when it comes to hooking up devices and always relied on combo units in the 90's to make copies from VHS to VHS, so I looked online and did different searches to try and figure out how to hook up a stand alone VCR to a DVD/VCR combo unit.

Unfortunately, all of these searches involved having a cable or a converter box, of which I own neither. I'm probably one of the few people out there that still does not have digital cable and only has standard tier cable without ultilizing a cable box. Instead, I have a coaxial cable running to the back of my DVD/VCR recorder in the IN antenna port and have white and yellow cables running from the out ports on the back of the DVD/VCR side of the recorder into the IN ports of my TV so I can watch and tape from the TV.

I wanted to know if it is at all possible to hook up this Toshiba VCR to my DVD recorder without ultilizing a cable box or a converter or a modulator of any kind.

I don't understand for the life of me why the VHS side of my Philips DVD recorder won't read the very same tapes that my Toshiba stand alone VCR read perfectly.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!!

Thank you!

Joe

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All Answers

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Answer
Is this question "Why doesn't the Philips doesn't work well?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 23, 2011 6:51 AM PDT

1. "I don't understand for the life of me why the VHS side of my Philips
DVD recorder won't read the very same tapes that my Toshiba stand alone
VCR read perfectly."

While we could dive into this down to the heads and circuits will the simple answer do? If so the answer is that some players are better than others. That's the short answer. And the long answer will do nothing to fix a player that doesn't play tapes.

2. "fade in and out"

This sounds like the old MACROVISION copy protection. It's the pain of trying to copy old commercial tapes and we will not discuss any box or cable to fix that (forum rules!)

But it's a known issue and it's there to thwart copy from the tape to other things.

In other words it's working properly.
Bob

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Pepe's post is gone.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 23, 2011 12:47 PM PDT

They did note the home made tapes but the tracking and more means that it won't always work. It's that simple and why I have to keep more than one player around.
Bob

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Why doesn't the Philips doesn't work well?
by joe91074 / July 23, 2011 3:31 PM PDT

My response to R. Proffitt:

"While we could dive into this down to the heads and circuits will the simple answer do? If so the answer is that some players are better than others. That's the short answer. And the long answer will do nothing to fix a player that doesn't play tapes."

This could be possible...as some brands of electronics are better than others...but this is not teh likes of Daewoo or Sansui or any other low rent brand...Philips is a well known brand. It has played various commercial tapes just fine, JUST like my Toshiba did...but again, for the life of me, I can't understand why a Toshiba VCR will play these tapes and my Philips won't...as in my mind, Philips is a better brand of electronics than Toshiba is. So reagrdless of your short or long answer, I'm not sure either would help but I do thank you.


"This sounds like the old MACROVISION copy protection. It's the pain of trying to copy old commercial tapes and we will not discuss any box or cable to fix that (forum rules!)

But it's a known issue and it's there to thwart copy from the tape to other things.

In other words it's working properly."

I specifically noted in my opening sentence in my post that these were tapes THAT I TAPED MYSELF. I am quite familiar with the Macrovision format...which would indeed cause an issue and rightfully so...if they were on COMMERCIAL tapes that I was trying to copy...unless those nasty people in Big Media snuck into my apartment and macrovisoned all of my videos while I was at work or sleeping hahaha

trust me...I could go to mnay websites and find a fix for that pesty macrovision problem...so I most certainly don't neec any one informing me of any forum rules for something I wasn't even asking about! hahaha

so in other words...no, my dvd recorder/VCR is NOT working properly...but I do thank you for your lack of help and assuming you know what you're talking about when you don't have the slighest idea.

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Then you return it or use other players.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 24, 2011 12:08 AM PDT

As to those names, I've had good and bad experiences with that. As to Macrovision there was a few recorders the applied Macrovision as they made tapes. Nasty units that didn't fair well in retail but worth noting.


Sorry to have upset you. I want to be honest and not dive into areas that won't help except to explain how things work.

Bottom line? It's not working proper so you return it as defective because any trips to their repair shop is 99% of the time a waste of your time.

You did write the tapes did play in some other player which is your best clue this player is not well.

Bob

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Answer
how do you hook up a VCR to a DVD recorder w/o a cable box?

You didn't say whether a receiver is involved in this.
I've had many vcrs of different brands (beta and VHS) over the years and also experienced a non copy protected tape playing fine on one vcr and not another (as mentioned by someone else -- heads, circuits, tracking, etc.) By the way, did you try adjusting the tracking on the Phillips?
The vcr and vcr/DVD recorder must be old -- couldn't find anything on them to see the inputs/outputs on each. I don't know what you have hooked up now and how (a TV must be involved sp you can see what you're doing) -- you could try connecting the Toshiba via audio/video out (RCA jacks - 1 video 2 audio) to the Phillips audio/video in (could be called line in) assuming the Phillips has video in jacks.
You then switch the input on the Phillips to "line in".
Alternately, if that isn't feasible -- a vcr audio/video also goes thru the cable in and cable out jacks. You could connect the Toshiba via coax cable (cable out) to the cable in on the Phillips and the cable out on the Phillips to cable in on TV. If your cable signal goes into the Phillips onto the TV you'll lose the cable signal when recording but big deal. Just reconnect the cable to the Phillips if that is the way you're connected now.
Check back if any of this helps or not.

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Response to 3coursedinner:
by joe91074 / July 24, 2011 7:35 AM PDT

in response to 3coursedinner:

the only hook up I have involves the main cable wire that is coming from outside and into my apartment, by which I then put into the "IN" port where it says "ANTENNA" on the back of the Philips combo unit.

As far as the ages of the Toshiba VCR and the Philips combo unit, the Toshiba is proably close to 8 years old if not more but still works like a charm...and in my honest opinion, probably one of the last stand alone VCR's made before they became only a part of combo units. The Philips combo unit itself is only about 2 years old and has mostly seen the DVD side of it used way more than the VHS side, though I have used it in the past on ocassion.

Not sure if you and I could communicate via email...and I could take pics of the back of both the Toshiba and the Philips units, but I have the current hook up situation as this:

I have the white and yellow composite cables plugged into the "OUT" ports in the back of the Philips combo unit and plugging those in the IN ports on the back of my television. Having the connection set up this way, I am able to view VHS or DVD, record VHS or DVD, or watch TV. I have several other composite cables that I have tried plugging in in every conceivable way between the Toshiba, the Philips and the TV that I can think of with the assistance of eHow to no success.

Ideally, I would just love to have a picture on my TV of the VHS that I want to copy onto DVD playing from my Toshiba, have that tape to DVD from my Philips. I'm not concerned about watching or losing any cable signal while this is going on.


Thanks for the helpful hints 3coursedinner...I will read over what you wrote and see if I can ultilize them. I SOOOOO want to avoid purchasing another DVD recorder, let alone a stand alone one, if I don't have to, though I think in the end I might have to. My father purchased the Philips for me 2 years ago for almost $200 and I really want to give it a go on this before I totally give up and purchase a stand alone DVD recorder.

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2nd response to 3course dinner:
by joe91074 / July 24, 2011 7:41 AM PDT

I tried adjusting the tracking as well to no success. I had to adjust the tracking in some way on the Toshiba, but it played beautifully after I did so...however, when it came to the Philips, adjusting the tracking did nothing but make the situation worse, not better. I have NEVER encountered such a tracking problem on any VHS I have ever used that could not be resolved. I have used the GO Video VHS duplicating decks in the 90's and never had a problem...I've used various stand alone VCR's in the past 20 years..and every tracking issue that could be resolved...was...but the VHS side of the Philips seems to be the most stubborn VHS related thing I have ever come across!!! I've read complaints on this Philips model...but it was always on the DVD side, NEVER the VHS one. Ugh!!!

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VCR Issues
by 3coursedinner / July 24, 2011 9:06 PM PDT

l me know if I'm correct. You have no other connections other than the coax coming into the house or apt or whatever. Also, does the TV have audio/video (rca jacks)?
Do you have any RCA cables laying around or a short length of coax? If not, you're not going to be able to do what you want. You'll have to spend a bit of money on a length of coax or rca cables to try any alternatives I've mentioned.

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Answer
VHS issues
by Dan Filice / July 24, 2011 3:18 AM PDT

Over the years, I've owned many brands of VHS decks and oddly none of them did a very good job of playing tapes recorded on other brands. As much as we were wowed by VHS technology at the time, it was pretty bad technology. The best you can do is adjust the Tracking on the playback deck until it plays the tapes. If this doesn't work, you need to buy a Toshiba deck and hope it plays the tapes you recorded on you old Toshiba deck.

A VHS deck has Video-Out connections. A DVD recorder deck should have Video-In connections. You should be able to connect the Video-Outs to the In's on the decks unless there is something I'm not taking into consideration.

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Very odd, to say the least- likely an issue w/ SLP
by Pepe7 / July 25, 2011 12:08 AM PDT
In reply to: VHS issues

Hi Dan-

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Answer
Response to Dan Filice
by joe91074 / July 24, 2011 7:47 AM PDT

I NEVER had a problem playing tapes recorded from other VHS units...NEVER. If
there was a problem with tracking, it was easily taken care of, as I just simply adjusted the tracking in whatever model of VCR I was using at the time.

Both my Toshiba and my Philips both have in and out video and audio connections just like any other piece of equipment...and I thought I have tried every conceivable way of connecting other composite cables and connecting the Toshiba and the Philips to my TV...it's like a combination to a lock I can't seem to open!!! Ugh!

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VHS answers for Pepe and Joe
by Dan Filice / July 25, 2011 6:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Response to Dan Filice

Yes, I agree that tapes will play on other machines, but from my experience, things changes with age on the decks. Maybe the VHS heads came out of adjustment. For a couple of years, shorty after VHS Hi-FI format was established, I used VHS tapes to record and save music (kind of like a mastering format). These tapes were mostly recorded on a Mitsubishi deck. Two years later, I tried playing them on a Sony and JVC deck, and all tapes had a terrible time keeping accurate tracking. Minor tracking changes may not be something you notice all that much in video, but audio was so picky it was unusable. And yes, I agree about the DVD recording decks being horrible products. I've never found one that really worked as I wanted. This is why when I had VHS tapes that I wanted on DVD, I used a Canopus Analog-to-Digital converter and ingested the tapes into my Mac and created DVDs. The Canopus paid for itself after trying two DVD recorders that didn't work.

Anyways, back to recording, I'm stumped as to the problems with Video-Out recording into Video-In.

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