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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Digital Cable is connected via S-video. Video 1 is used for the sound of the S-video. My VCR is connected via Video 2. I can use my VCR to watch tapes but can't record a TV program. It just shows as blue screen. I also have my TV so Picture In A Picture works. What am I doing wrong with my Samsung 617 connections for the VCR?
 

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Where is the VCR getting its signal from? The video out of the set or directly from your cable box?
 

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No disrespect meant, but was the cable box on and at the correct channel? You're not trying to tape HD content with a standard VCR?
 

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If the VCR has an input selection button, toggle it until you start getting a signal.


From your description, its hard to tell how you're hooked up.


Is anything connected to the "input" side of the VCR?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let start again and I'll explain my setup hopefully in more detail.


The coax out from the wall is split to the TV (ANTA for PiP) and to the Cable Box. The Cable Box goes to the TV via S-cable and to video 1 (for sound). Coax then goes out of the Cable Box to the VCR's Coax in slot. The VCR then goes to the TV via Video 2.


Hmmm I seem to have to inputs to the VCR, coax and video. I wonder if that is messing it up?


But the problem was I could only record what was on cable channel 3. If I were to program the VCR to record lets say, channel 13 at 8pm, it would record a blank (blue), screen.


I'm usually pretty good at VCR stuff so yes it was on the correct channel. I can't for the life of me, figure this one out.
 

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Funny you ask this, I have the same setup and the same problem: only the blue screen. I haven't looked into it because I never use my VCR anymore (since I have a TiVo), but it may be that the cable box does not pass through the RF signal as long as it is turned on. Try turning off the cable box for a minute and seeing if that lets the VCR tune channels again.


Your only solution may be to split the signal (again) and send one end to the VCR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Another thing I found out is that I can record only if the VCR is set to channel 3. That in turn will record what ever channel I have set on the TV. But it still won't do a timed record. I even set the TV to PiP (ANT A), and got the same results. That should have ruled out the cable box.


Cobalt, I tried your suggestion and that didn't help.


Man, it's like I'm 60 something and dealing with setting the VCR clock. Why can't I get this thing setup? Is it the nature of these TV's?
 

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Sounds like the VCR "cable in" is connected to the TV's cable loop out.


That would explain why it only records on channel 3 and it only records what's on the TV, whether it's in the main frame or the PIP.


Double check your cables to be sure that they're connected the way you think they are.
 

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Try moving the VCR to a different point in the connection chain. This is hard to describe, but I'll do my best...


Hook it up so the coax out from the wall splits and goes to the TV and the VCR instead of the TV and the cable box. Then use the VCR as a coax pass-through, hook up its coax out to the cable box. Then you can connect the VCR via Video2, and the cable box via s-video as usual. The problem seems to be that the cable box isn't working as a pass-through, it's only passing along its decoded signal. The VCR should work fine as a pass-through.


Hope this helps, and wasn't TOO confusing...:)
 

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Midblue:


What you say makes a lot of sense.


Only problem is that he wouldn't be able to record what's on the "non basic" channels, which might explain what it's hooked up the way it is. The cable guy wired it so he could record the upper tier channels, but in order to do that his vcr has to be set to channel 3 and the cable box has to be on the channel that he intends to record.



Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm with you so far...but now what can I do?


The coax out from the VCR isn't connected to anything, since I'm using the video out from the VCR to the TV. I used to use the coax connection back to the TV when I only used coax. But now I'm using S-video from the cable box to the TV.
 

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As another poster mentioned, the way it's connected only records the channel that your cable box is tuned to and the cable box has to be turned on and the VCR has to be set to channel 3 or in some cases channel 4. This setup does allow you to record the upper tier channels, but you can only record what on the cable box, so no recording of one channel while watching another channel.


An alternative if you want be able to record any and all channels regardless to which channels you're viewing would be to get a second cable box and connect it to one leg of the splitter and let that feed your VCR.


If you're o.k, not being able to record the upper tier channels, connect one leg of the splitter to the VCR and send the output of the VCR to the TV.You might want to reinstall the coax between the VCR to AntA so you'll regain your PIP. Just remember to toggle VCR/TV on your VCR depending on which signal you want to send to the TV.


One thing that might help keep the confusion to a minimum, is with your cable box, whatever the cable box is tuned to, that's the signal that is exiting the cable box and going to any device it's connected to. Those devices must be tuned to channel 3 if it's a coax or to a video input if it's svideo.


Hope this helps.


Edited a couple of times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Boy is all this confusing. I can't get a second cable box and I would have to pay more for my service. I'm wondering if TiVo is a better way to go.


I'm thinking maybe I'll just set the VCR to a TV in anther room and use that for recording everything but upper end channels.


So how the cable box works is the problem and not the TV right? I've never had a cable box before upgrading to digital cable, so I've never had this issue before.
 

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Resist, I think JimP is right, especially since you said you just mentioned that you never had a cable box before having these problems.


The cable box tunes in all the channels and puts them out on RF channel 3 on the coax out, so you would leave the TV or VCR tuned to Ch3 all the time and change channels via the cable box. The problem is when you set the VCR, it doesn't know to change the channel on the cable box, it changes the channel on it's internal tuner, losing the RF feed from the cable box that is on Ch 3.


As I see it, you can do 1 of 3 things:


1) Split the cable from the wall to AntA and the coax input on the VCR (or, alternatively, run the Ant Out from the Sammy to the coax in on the VCR). Run S-Vidoe out on the VCR to the S-Video 2. On most cable systems, you should be able to record basic cable channels with a cable-ready VCR, and tune to different channels on the TV and via the cable box without affecting the recording.


2) Buy a new VCR with an IR Blaster, which is basically a tiny IR emmiter you would stick to the front of the cable box that allows the VCR to act like a remote to the Cable Box, so it changes the channels when it's ready to record something. Follow the instructions with the VCR to configure this (Probably COAX > Wall > Cable Box, then S-Video from Cable Box to VCR). You shouldn't change channels on the Cable Box while recording with this config.


3) Get a Tivo/ReplayTV. These come with IR Blasters, and would be configured somewhat like #2 above.
 

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Simple solution:


Step 1: Disconnect your cable box from the coax coming in from the wall and from your VCR.


Step 2: Call your cable company and cancel your subscription...tell them to come and get their equipment and to never call or send you correspondence again.


Step 3: Buy a Samsung TS-160 or 165 STB box and an OTA rooftop antenna from a reputable dealer who also does installation (Tweeter). Have them connect the STB to the TV via DVI and the VCR to one of your analog 4:3 TV's. You've spent the $$$ on the television so you may as well be watching it the way it was meant to be watched via DVI and OTA.


Step 4: Call DirecTV to get you up and running and tell them you won't be needing locals.


Step 5: When the HD DVR's come out never watch your analog television again.
 
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