Originally Posted by caltroon
Wow, what thorough replies. Thanks so much. I'm a "she,"
by the way
Here's what we have: A Mitsubishi HD rear projection TV WS 55517 (which
has something called Net Control), a Yamaha surround sound receiver, which
I think actually controls the attached devices, a VCR (not digital, we only
use it to play old videos) a Pioneer DVD (not HD, not DVR, just plays
regular DVDs), and a Scientific Atlanta Explorer HD 8300 Digital cable box
with DVR.I don't care about recording in HD.
We don't even use the PIP capabilities of our TV, it's a new one, got it
last September, and we never used PIP on our old one.
I'm a "He", by the way.
You have quite a TV (52"), it's very nice! IT has built-in up-conversion- which means it converts Standard Definition (SDTV) video to Enhanced Definition
(EDTV) video quality. Looks like it has (02) s-video inputs, (02) component
video inputs, and (01) HDMI input. Also has PIP/POP capability, good.
Essentially up-conversion can "magically" upgrade the picture quality of
cable television channels and/or video output from a DVD, DVR or VCR player
(without going into a long elaborate explanation).
You have the ever popular SA 8300HD cable box as well, no problem.
Originally Posted by caltroon
The only thing I didn't quite understand was the upconverting AV receiver.
Are you talking about our Yamaha receiver? It's an RX-V457. It seems to
me by what you say that I'd have to add one more hookup - from the cable
box to the new DVR and from the DVR to the Yamaha receiver. All the TV has
hooked up to it is a cable line (I think that's for PIP) and a big fat
triple cable (two audios and a video of some kind?) and a single RCA type
line going somewhere. All the major connections are in back of the Yamaha
I saw a Polaroid DVR at Wal-Mart for $219, 80 gig hard drive, writes DV-R
The Yamaha 457 is a decent AV Receiver, although it does not have built-in
up-conversion capability, not a problem. Only dictates how the connections
need to be routed, moreso.
I'm not hands-on experienced with Polaroid DVD or DVR players, anyway looks
like the one your referring to is model No. DRM-2001G . Should work okay.
Alhough I can't seem to locate a manual or user guide at Polaroid's
web-site, preventing me from knowing all connectivity specifications.
However, I'm sure it at least has an s-video input and a component video
output. You'll have to go through the manual/instructions after you
purchase it to better understand set-up details. I believe it has an "IR
Blaster" of some kind to automatically switch channels on your cable-box
for programming recordings.
You'll definitely need to learn more about the popular cable/connection
formats- ie. composite, s-video, component video, and HDMI. You can either
go on-line and do a search on these terms, or look around this forum. The
device manuals also have diagrams on cable types as well- ie. for example, look on page 14 of your Yamaha 457 manual, it has pretty good diagrams and explanations of the various cable types.
Anyway, I'm not going to attempt to guess what the ("big fat" triple) cable's you're describing on your TV set-up are. Instead, I suggest you start from "scratch" and remove all your cable connections and re-install a new configuration.
There are probably 5 different configurations you could go with, I'll describe a few-
 Use your Yamaha receiver as your central point of control (or switching) along with separate speakers for Home Theater (HT) "Surround Sound", and 2-channel stereo for music. With this set-up you can use your Yamaha remote to switch from CableTV, to DVR-HD, to VCR- to watch TV and movies (in Stan-Def & Hi-Def in full "theater surround"), listen to music, record CableTV programs to your DVR, etc.,...You would need a complete 5.1 speaker set (ie. 2 fronts, 2 rear-surrounds, 1 center, and a sub-woofer). Also, this configuration does not include your Pioneer DVD player, you would [not] necessarily need to use it.
 Use your Yamaha receiver as your central point of control (or switching) along with the two "built-in" surround speakers on your Mitsubishi TV. With this set-up you can use your Yamaha remote to switch from CableTV, to DVR-HD, to VCR- to watch TV and movies (in Stan-Def & Hi-Def), listen to music, record CableTV programs to your DVR, etc.,...However, the the major difference here is your audio capability would be limited to a less powerful 2-channel stereo surround format. You could play music as well. Also, this configuration does not include your Pioneer DVD player, you would [not] necessarily need to use it.
I would go with configuration # as much as possible to provide the most enjoyment. Here's a quick & dirty detailed set-up description:
(a) Connect SA8300HD s-video OUT-> to Polaroid DVR-HD s-video INP; connect Polaroid DVR-HD component video OUT -> to Yamaha component video INP ("DVD A" connection). Also connect one analog audio RCA pair (1 red & 1 white) from SA8300HD audio OUT 2 (Left & Right) -> to Polaroid DVR-HD analog audio INP; connect one digital optical audio cable from Polaroid DVR-HD digital optical audio OUT -> to Yamaha Digital (optical) Input 1, or connect one analog audio RCA pair (1 red & 1 white) from Polaroid DVR-HD analog audio OUT-> to Yamaha analog AUDIO inp "DVD" (Left & Right).
(b) Connect SA8300HD cable box component video OUT -> to Yamaha component video INP ("DTV/CBL B" connection). Connect one analog audio RCA pair (1 red & 1 white) from SA8300HD audio OUT 1 (Left & Right)-> to Yamaha AUDIO inp "DTV/CBL" (Left & Right).
(c) Connect your Pioneer DVD s-video OUT -> to Yamaha s-video "VCR IN". Connect one analog audio RCA pair (1 red & 1 white) from the Pioneer DVD audio OUT (Left & Right)-> to Yamaha AUDIO "VCR IN" (Left & Right).
(d) Connect Yamaha component video "MONITOR OUT"-> to Mitsubishi component video INP 1. Connect Yamaha composite video (or s-video) "MONITOR OUT"-> to Mitsubishi composite video (or s-video) INP 2.
(e) Connect one Polaroid DVR-HD s-video (or composite video) OUT-> to Mitsubishi s-video (or composite video) INP. This connection can be used to monitor DVR-HD playback using TV PIP/POP (split-screen) function.
(f) You would probably have to connect one video coax cable (F-pin) from your SA8300HD CABLE OUT-> to Polaroid DVR-HD cable IN. This is to provide a cable connection to your Polaroid DVR-HD for recording set-up purposes. An IR Blaster (LED-like component) will also connect to the back of your Polaroid DVR-HD an be positioned in front of your SA8300HD cable box.
(g) Follow speaker connection diagram from your Yamaha V-457 manual (pg. 13) to configure 6-speaker configuration (for 5.1 surround-sound). You would'nt need the one surround-back speaker (unless you desire to).
Anyway.......you will have to study the connection diagrams (from the manuals) for all the devices you plan to use. Try to identify the specific connections I'm describing, then figure out what, and how many, cables you will need to get first. Then re-connect your complete system.
If you want specifics for configuration # let me know.
Good Luck, and have fun! (I know all this may seem intimidating, but it's not)................