Need Help Connecting Digital Converter Box to VCR Using R/W/Y Composite Connectors - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-20-2009, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I am using an OTA antenna. I have an analog VCR and a HD digital TV. I am attempting to connect a Zinwell ZAT-970A (with event timer) analog converter box to my VCR using composite R/W/Y RCA connectors. I want to be able to record one channel on the VCR while watching another channel on the digital TV.

Current connection attempt: I have the coax antenna cable coming out of the wall into a splitter. A coax cable from one leg of the splitter is attached directly to "antenna in" on the TV. A coax cable from the other leg of the splitter is connected to the "antenna in" of the converter box. R/W/Y RCA cables from the "out" of the converter box go to the "in" of the VCR. R/W/Y cables from the "out" of the VCR go to the "in" of the digital TV. Additionally, I have a DVD and Receiver connected to the TV via a HDMI cable. Doesn't work. I can't get the menu of the converter box to appear or play the VCR. If, however, I replace the R/W/Y cables with coax cables, disconnect the splitter leg that goes to directly to the TV, and connect a coax from the VCR "out" to the "antenna in" of the TV. It works. The problem with that is I need the TV to work independently (thus the use of the splitter) so that I can watch one channel while recording another.

Cannot figure out why connecting using R/W/Y composite cables is not working. Any ideas would greatly by appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-20-2009, 07:40 AM
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find the correct input selection for the r/w/y jacks for the tv.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-20-2009, 08:11 AM
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The VCR needs to be set to display the line input used by the Zinwell. That input may be selected by the "video" button or, with some models, below channel 2 or above the highest channel selected by the channel up/down control. The VCR needs to be powered on in order to provide a signal through the yellow, white/red outputs.

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-20-2009, 10:25 AM
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I have the same setup for the Zinwell section:

My VCRs MUST be on input channel L1 to record. I emphasize this because my VCRs will default to another channel after a power cycle.
>One of my VCRs has an Input Select button on the remote.
>My other VCR's input is selected through the OSD menu.

My TV is tuned to channel 00.

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post #5 of 12 Old 11-20-2009, 10:59 AM
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I have a RCA unit that requires the user to press a button on the unit that is labeled "INPUT."

As said before, The setup will not produce an output, unless the VCR is turned "ON" and the correct input to the VCR is selected.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-20-2009, 01:08 PM
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The funny thing is a friend gave me the first VCR I mentioned (a Toshiba) but couldn't find the remote. The composite input was totally useless without the remote (input select button) because the channel button on the VCR won't select the aux channels. And I couldn't turn the stupid display off without the remote's DISPLAY button. I'm glad he finally found the remote!

Correction on my "other" VCR (a Hitachi): It will select the aux inputs with the channel button on the VCR or the remote BUT I can only see what I'm doing via the OSD (TV), not the VCR display (clock/tape info only). I just discovered that if I type in 00 it prompts me with L- for input 1 or 2. The problem with this VCR is that if you don't have the TV on the correct input then you're not going to know what aux input is selected on the VCR.

I also have a Sony VCR that needs a little work but it works like both of the above VCRs; all channel buttons work and there is an input select button on the remote. It also displays on the VCR.

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post #7 of 12 Old 11-21-2009, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your help. The fix was indeed finding the correct input on the VCR. I found that when the VCR and Zinwell were powered on, the channel up and down buttons display only two channels: "52" and ""AV1". I selected AV1 and the Zinwell menu popped up. I was then able to select the desired channel from the Zinwell on screen menu, push the "record now" button on my VCR remote, and record.

I have not yet tried watching one channel, while recording another. Nor have I tried the timed recording. Not sure yet how to go about the timed recording. I'm hoping I just have to set the date and time on the VCR like in the pre-digital days. I'll experiment with that this evening. Thanks again.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-21-2009, 08:35 AM
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Added this quote to clarify why I posted what I did:

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Originally Posted by Biddle View Post

Nor have I tried the timed recording. Not sure yet how to go about the timed recording. I'm hoping I just have to set the date and time on the VCR like in the pre-digital days.

Of course you'll also have to set the program timer on the Zinwell.

The only catch with the VCR is that you have to set the record channel to AV1.

Verify the clock readings on the channels to record and your VCR. Some digital stations are sending out erroneous time info. Some VCRs required an analog signal to synchronize their clocks.

Check to see if your other remotes interfere with the Zinwell. I have to program mine then put a piece of black electrical tape over the box's lens (I poked a 'tiny' little hole in the tape for the LED, then tested again for interference). The first time I recorded I ruined my recording due to remote interference which also accidentally rescanned my Zinwell (and the factory reset command will wipe out everything).

GL!

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post #9 of 12 Old 11-22-2009, 04:30 PM
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You only need to set the timers on the Zinwell if you are recording from multiple stations and/or you're using the Zinwell power conservation option.

If you leave the Zinwell "ON" all the time and/or don't need to change channels, all you need to do is tune to the correct channel.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-23-2009, 12:24 PM
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And BEWARE the Sleep Timer when recording as its cycle isn't interrupted unless a button is pressed (no, Program Timer events will not stop it from turning the box off while recording).

Set the Sleep Timer greater than or equal to the period of time that you'll be recording. For example:

1 hr, skip an hour, then 2 hrs: ST >/= 4 hrs.

If you have big gaps in time between recording then you can shorten the ST. For example:

1 hr, skip 2 hrs, then 2 hrs: ST = 2 hrs. Note that if you set it for 4 hrs it would shut off in the middle of the second recording.

Pain in the ass and can get complicated.

Of course you can turn off the ST but the box will still be on when you return from vacation two weeks later.

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post #11 of 12 Old 11-25-2009, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Timed recording appears to be working. If I get a chance today, I'll try recording one channel while watching another. Thanks, again for all the words of wisdom.
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-03-2009, 03:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biddle View Post

Timed recording appears to be working. If I get a chance today, I'll try recording one channel while watching another. Thanks, again for all the words of wisdom.

Biddle; you need to be aware that this Zinwell is infamous for losing its timers settings any time, especially when there is any type of change in the name of a station so its a good thing to look at the timers at least once a week or when your watching a channel you didn't set the timer for....
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