Wiring video stuff question.

I have finally decided it was time to update the entertainment equipment at home. All I have had for years was a TV and VCR, nothing else. This past weekend I bought a new DVD/CD/CDR/MP3 player and a new stereo system. Now the fun part. How do I hook them all up so they can all work? I tried DVD player into the VCR into the TV with the stereo hooked up to the TV to. This did not work. I tried VCR to DVD to TV but then the cable TV signal does not reach the TV. The only place to plug in the cable TV is either the VCR or TV. Are there any sites that might have some wiring diagrams to figure all this out?

And this is from the guy that has been called an expert at the wiring on Boeing airplanes. :stuck_out_tongue:

DVD -> VCR -> TV will probably not work as there is a nasty thing called Macrovision that corrupts the video signal and is supposed to prevent you from recording the DVD to a VCR tape. Discussion of how to bypass this is frowned upon by the mods (I think) so I won’t go much further on that.

If you got a weird video feed when you tried to play a DVD, then that is your problem. However, you should still get the DVD player “Splash Screen” and menus with no problem. If you got no video feed at all then you may have to play with the input settings on your VCR, and change from cable to aux input.

Before we go further, what kind of receiver did you get with your stereo package? Is it a Dolby Digital/DTS or a Dolby Surround? What kind of inputs does it have on the back?

Assuming that you only have one input on your TV, and it’s a coaxile cable:
Cable Signal->VCR->an “RF Modulator” (sold separately)-> TV, DVD->"(the same)RF Modulator". You flip the switch on the RF modulator, and your DVD signal comes out on channel 4 of your TV (or something like that).

As for sound, it depends on what kind of outputs you have on the VCR, DVD player and TV, and what kind of inputs you have on the sterio.


There are two key pieces of information we need to help:

  1. Is your receiver and A/V receiver, or simply a stereo receiver? Stated differently, does it have inputs and outputs for video signals, or just audio components?

  2. Does your TV have multiple inputs? Stated differently, does the remote have an Input selector button? Will it accept coaxial (cable) directly, as well as RCA plugs for “auxillary”? Does it, by chance, have S-Video inputs or component inputs?

With that information, I think we can be much more specific in recommendations. Without it, we’re just shooting in the dark.

I had this same problem - all we have is VCR/DVD/Satellite/stereo, as seperate items, no combos. We spend HOURS one night, and several other nights, trying to get the DVD to work.

Our TV is about 13 years old, and only has one set of AV plugs, and one co-ax. We plugged the stereo directly into the TV, the co-ax, which is on a splitter, into the sat, and the other end of the splitter into the vcr. The DVD player runs directly into the VCR.

The problem came about because the VCR is also elderly - about 15 years, and has an actual “input” toggle switch on it. We could not figure out forever how to switch to the dvd, until that button was accidently switched. Now it’s just a matter of remembering to do that, and to NEVER unplug the damn thing.

Both boys have vcr’s, satelite, and game systems - one plugs directly into the vcr and the trick is remembering to turn the vcr “on”, and the other has a fairly sophisticated tv, which has enough jacks for all three devices (two sets in the back, and one in the front). Our bedroom tv only has sat and dvd, which is on an rf switch.

I’ll tell you how I did mine and maybe something is useful.

First off, my receiver is an A/V style - it has inputs & outputs for video signalling. This is great because the Receiver can act as a switching device for all sorts of Audio & video stuff.

The TV has two inputs, a coax (primary, where the tuner is) & an RCA (secondary, called video by the manufacturer) set.

The VCR has two sets of outputs, a coax & RCA, and also two sets of inputs, also coax & RCA.

The DVD has multiple outputs & no inputs - which seems pretty typical - they never seem to plan for you to daisy-chain a DVD player.

The problem with having the Receiver as your A/V switch in a standard setup is that you always have to have it on, even if you’re watching regular ol’ network TV. I came up with this setup, therefore, to allow us (& especially the kids) to use the TV in “network” mode with everything else off but still be able to fire-up the whole sights & sounds stuff when the mood hits. It really depends on the TV’s ability to switch between its two inputs.

So, path one:
Cable feed (wall) -> VCR coax in
VCR coax out -> TV coax in.

…this is plain jane, regular old "how to hook up your VCR stuff. Then, feed 2 is:

DVD out to RCVR DVD input
VCR RCA output to RCVR TV in (sort of an A/V aux port)
RCVR A/V output to TV RCA video input.

…of course I have my CD players, etc. all hooked in, too.

Now, when I want to watch DVD’s I can switch the TV to the “video” inputs (the RCA jacks), turn on the receiver, and play the DVD or VCR with all the full capabilities of the home theater system.

If I just want to watch TV, I switch the TV to the regular coax input and just watch normally. The VCR is available on channel three just like a plain setup through the coax feed.

I had a secondary RCVR A/V output hooked to the VCRs secondary inputs so I could transfer DVD to tape but the copy protection got in the way. (minor rant deferred). I also had the TV’s audio output hooked an aux input on the receiver once, so I could play network sound over the stereo, but it didn’t sound right to me and we never used it. When I moved the setup across the room, I never hooked that part back up.