DVD player through VCR to TV, HELP!

Hey All,

Perhaps you can help me out with a solution to this problem. I have an old TV that still works great, it’s up in the bedroom. We went out and got a home theater system, so the old DVD player went upstairs. However, there is not a way to connect the DVD player to the TV. “Okay,” I think to myself, “I’ll just use the composite video in on the VCR, and then the picture will show up on the TV.”

I moved everything around and got it all connected, the DVD movie does play, but comes through with the contrast and brightness cycling up and down. I’m guessing the VCR thinks I’m trying to copy a copy-protected video tape.

Is there any thing I can buy, alter, to get the DVD movie to play through the VCR without the brightness and contrast cycling? Well, besides a new TV.


Check your nearest Radio Shack. They have a device that’s SUPPOSED to eliminate that light/dark business. I believe they call it a “video stabilizer.”

You’re getting hit with the Macrovision copy-protection scheme on the DVD. I had to get an RF adapter at radio shack to convert the composite input to an RF input, then hooked it directly to the TV. And yes, if you want to also use the VCR, it required an A/B box. It was an ugly solution. You can try to get rid of the Macrovision, but I can’t really give any advice on that. Check around the net, you should be able to find it.

If you don’t care about the VCR, Best But sells a ‘modulator’ that takes all sorts of inputs, including RCA’s and coaxials, and one output - a coaxial.

You plug the VCR and cable and DVD into that. If the DVD is on (the RCA plugs), the modulator assumes you want that signal. Els if the VCR, then that. Else the antenna/cable feed.

Before I make suggestions, you need to tell me a little more

By “old TV” I assume you mean one with an antenna input only, not audio and video in?

DVD player tested on a TV with video/audio inputs, and works fine?

If yes to both above, try recording the DVD onto tape (this is not a long-term solution, I know, but it will help determine whether the problem is in the input or output of the VCR) and watching it. Does the problem persist while viewing the tape?

Or better yet, buy something like
this, and bypass the VCR altogether. The item on the link seems a little pricy to me, and you should be able to find a cheaper unpowered version, I think. Your line level out has way more power than is needed by an antenna in, so you won’t actually have to increase the signal strength.

It might be a really stupid question, but do you have your VCR turned OFF? There shouldn’t be a need to have it on, assuming you are running the DVD out to the VCR input, and then VCR output which is then going into the TV input.
Also, make sure the DVD, VCR and TV are all set for either channel 4 or channel 3! (Have to all be the same or it will not work!) Then make sure the TV is turned on to the same channel (3 or 4).

I know those are basic questions, but I have heard of intelligent people hooking everything up and fogetting to plug one unit into the wall and I still claim if I hadn’t been bothered when I was hooking it all up I would have remembered to do that and…well, anyway. Just some basic questions before you go out and spend more money.

Hey All,

Thanks for the quick responses.

Bup and Yojimboguy, the devices you suggest are basically the same thing. I will go out and get one. That was what I was looking for.

DMark, the VCR has to be on to get the signal from the 2nd inputs, in this case the DVD. I know this as I tried setting up the VCR to use the 2nd input, then turned the VCR off, and it didn’t work. I also tried the different channel settings.

Actually DMark, I know everything is working as DVD’s that don’t have the macrovision (now I have a name!) play fine (those would be the physiological ones, y’know the ones that help you learn how to be a gynocologist and stuff).

Thanks again for all your help.

And now a macrovision story. This one time I was over at a friends apartment watching Full Metal Jacket with macrovision artifacts. And I thought the macrovision effect was part of the movie cause it would fade in and out at crucial moments, like it was on purpose. Later I saw the movie again, sans macrovision, and someone explained to me that it was not intentional, that it was the result of coping a copy-protected vhs tape.
The movie was okay without the macrovision fading, but for me, the macrovision version had more impact. The macrovision amplified the surrealness of the movie, for me anyway.

Anyway, thanks again for the help.
You guys (and gals) rock!

Yeah, its macrovision. there are a few ways to get around it, none of them completely legal. You might
search at ebay.com for ‘macrovision’…or search this board for it, as its been well covered.

BTW, Beta VCRs aren’t affected by Macrovision. (It’s the way they handle the blanking signal.) They are currently selling like hotcakes on eBay. (Sold an old mono for 3 times what I paid for it.)

Of course, copying DVD->Beta is a whole lot better than DVD->VHS anyway, Macrovision aside.

You can find DVD players that ignore Macrovision, usually the same ones that can play imported movies. The old Apex players could do it… I’m not sure which ones to look for these days.