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How do you hook up a vcr with an insignia converter box?


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#16 8210GUY

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 08:18 AM

Yeah I know what you mean, if I could get my hands on it I'd figure it out pretty quick, but sorry if your still confused over what I am trying to explain, and please tell me which parts you don't understand, because if your not following what I am saying exactly this may be where the weak spot is, so don't feel awkward asking for further explanation, but I need to know when you don't understand something, then I can try and break it down for you.

Here are the types of connection to help you see the difference between them, if you can compare them to what you have then we can clarify exactly what connection(s) your using:-
This is a Male coax plug (on the left) and an F connector (on the right) side by side; http://www.zaktronic...20connector.jpg

*edit
changed the link on this as the previous wasn't showing, click on expand on the image box for this to see it more clearly.
Now if you have pre made leads that come with the units, you will almost certainly have a Male coax plug (on the left) to a Female coax plug) on the right), and as such you should be able to plug them into each other, hopefully this will give you a better understanding of which plug have\need; http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item5d287359a8

This is the best pic I could find of the rear of a VCR, it's not your one, but should be very similar, look closely at the aerial in\out sockets on it, as per the lead one is male (on the right marled loop out in this case), the other female (on left marked antenna in on this unit), hopefully as you follow through this it will help to see how these things work together; http://www.idtv.co.u.../DSCF0455Hi.JPG

I notice you have a similar thread on another forum, and they are in the same boat as I am currently, but so you know, where they questioned the need\use of the 3 coloured connections on the diagram i did to try and show the way to go, the reason for this type of connection is it gives a higher quality signal, and the more up to date the units being used, the better connection options there are, so as a guide here is my view of quality of connection going from worst (but still quite usable and is the traditional connection) to the best:-
Coax, then RCA (as per these 3 connectors) followed by Scart, and at the top of the list is HDMI, don't worry about understanding these, it's purely an FYI.

The VCR is definitely the weak link here, so either it's not connected properly, it has a menu option that needs changing, or has some sort of fault, but after going through the manual again looking deeper I have come across the following to do with tuning, but I am concerned about confusing you even more, because I don't have the items in front of me even I am finding the following hard to understand, but take it 1 step at a time and fingers crossed it helps, or at least you can understand this, the following is straight from the manual:-

Set VCR channel
To view playback of a recorded tape, or to watch a program
selected by the VCR's channel selector, the TV must be set to
channel 3 or 4 (video channel) when a TV is connected with
the 75 ohm coaxial cable only.

1. Press and hold POWER on the unit for 3 seconds in
standby mode. The video channel will start to flash in the
display.
Press CH /+ to set the video
channel 3 or 4.

2. Press ENTER to set the
selected video channel in step 1 into the memory.

3. Turn ON the TV and set to CH 3
or 4 to correspond with the
channel selected in step 1.

4. Turn on the VCR and select any
channel to receive a TV station
in your area. The channel
number will appear on the screen and display for about
4 seconds.


Now the specification says the VCR comes ready set to channel 3, I have also looked deeper in the set top box manual, and it's not as clearly stated, but if i am right it is also pre set to use channel 3 as it's output, now if both the VCR AND the set top box are out outing on the same frequency (a possible issue I noted earlier in the thread) then this could well be the problem, so I suggest tuning in one or the other of these devices.

The above is for the VCR, now my gut says it will be easier for you to tune in the set top box, because if you change the VCR then you will have to change the TV as well, so my best advice is do the set top box by using the instructions as follows taken from the manual:-

To set the output channel.

1. Press Menu. The SETUP menu appears.

2. Press ▲ (up) or ▼ (down) to select Output Channel, then press ► (right) or Select.

3. Press ▲ (up) or ▼ (down) to select channel 4 (this is probably already on channel 3, so change this to channel 4), then press Select


I strongly suspect after looking at both manuals this is what is causing the interference between the 2 units, the set top box is wiping out the VCR signal, hence no picture when connected. so I really hope you are able to follow this, but don't be afraid to ask for more clarification if you need it, if you can't be sure you did something right\wrong then we could be chasing our tails until the end of time lol, so as with all this, take 1 step at a time, trying to take it all in can be overwhelming, so literally don't worry if you don't understand (although I will happily do all I can to aid your understanding), because until you slowly look at everything the way I have laid out here, it wont make complete sense until you complete this, then hopefully the whole thing will begin to make sense, hope this helps.

Edited by 8210GUY, 22 March 2010 - 08:26 AM.


#17 leader2

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 08:52 PM

Ok I am still a bit confused, but am trying to follow you here. Thanks so much for bearing with me. You are so very kind. And as for posting on another forum I wasn't trying to say you got it wrong on the other forum, I just was asking for extra help to fix this issue. Forgive me for any misunderstandings. I apologize for any offense that could have caused.

The vcr cord has a male coax plug with plugs into a female outlet on the tv.

The antenna cord is an F connector that plugs into a female outlet. (It usually would connect to the tv or vcr)

There was a cord that came with the insignia and it is also a male coax plug. (I think. Now I am confusing my self lol)

Both ends of these cords are male and they can't fit into each other.

I saw the picture of the back of the vcr. There is no male connector on mine. Just two femaile connectors that jut out from the back of the unit. They are filled in and flat.

I am sorry about this and appreciate your patience. However no matter how many times I program the vcr, I'm still getting the same result. Snow for play and recordings.

I also remember the diagram you gave showing how the antenna, box tv and vcr were to be connected here.

Posted Image

Unless these connections (Pink, Light Green, Dark Blue) are referring to the red, white and yellow audio/video cables, I don't have these extra cables and was forced to hook up the vcr, antenna, box and tv without them. Sorry if this was an inconvenience, but I just don't have the extra cables and I don't even have those connections on the back of my vcr or converter box.

#18 8210GUY

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 08:58 AM

I am not offended at all, it's not uncommon for a user to have a few threads on various sites on the same subject, sometimes it's an advantage, as you may come across someone with a similar experience and have a simple solution for you, but there are times when it can be a bad thing, most noticeably is dealing with infections, as each site will work on whats in front of them, so when this is concerned (infections that is) you must only ever follow 1 set of instructions, but with matters such as this, although not as important as infections, it can create even more confusion for the op getting contradicting advice.

That was my main concern here, although it appears they have said exactly what I have, although they couldn't see what the 3 leads were about, and TBH anyone who hooks up equipment should of easily surmised those to be RCA connections (I used those colours to stand them apart from the others, but yes they are those leads you think), and the fact they questioned this with you may of added even more to your confusion, my only interest was ensuring you knew what and why they are there, and used for, it's just unfortunate that your VCR can't use the rear ports for incoming signal, but this is purely so you know and hopefully understand more about this kind of situation for future reference.

Right, the coax connectors, it is not uncommon to have same sex connections on leads AND units, so there is nothing wrong, and it will not affect the end result in any performance way at all, all it does is change the leads used to connect each aerial IN\OUT ports on each bit of kit, and a person could easily use a lead plugging it into the only port it will fit, which could actually be the wrong port to use, this is why I am trying to help you appreciate what all these subtle differences can make to someone who doesn't understand all this, then hopefully they will be able to know what to look out for, and avoid incorrect connections which would end up adding to the confusion in doing this.

Now going from your findings you missed out the set top box, well not missed out, but not as clear as you covered the VCR, but the pic for the set top box suggests it too has F connections, but you appear to say they are normal coax ones ?
Sorry to keep asking the same things each time, but I have to be certain on you using the correct connections, and the correct sequence, otherwise it will add to the confusion, but it sounds like your slowly getting your head round this now which is great, when completed you'll probably look back and wonder why it was so difficult lol.

So from the top, the Antenna MUST connect to the IN port of the set top box, now if the set top box uses normal coax plugs, you will need to use an adaptor to connect the antenna as that uses an F connector, you will need to identify the IN port on the box, and identify if it's male or female, once you know this you need to get an F connector converter to make a secure connection, the following is such a connector, again links are purely for reference, not a place to get them from:-
http://www.old.satan...F CONNECTER.jpg
That is a male connector, but they do female ones that are near identical just like the ones above, with only the middle bit varying, the antenna screws into the threaded part, then the other end simply pushes in like a normal coax plug, but it secures the connection where without it the lead can come loose and give a bad signal.

Once you have got this correctly connected it leaves the aerial out which then connects to the VCR IN port with the appropriate connector.
The fact you've had the TV hooked to the VCR previously means you know exactly which port and lead to use there, so once these are all hooked up like this then it's good to go, that side of all this is complete if done correctly.

Now the tuning, as I said above it's probably easiest to tune the set top box, because changing the VCR will mean you also need to change the TV, and I fear this will add even more to your confusion, but another reason is the set top box appears to have the simplest method, so if I repeat the above instructions myself my hope is you will be able to make sense of them better, now to aid this you need to view the TV display, so connect the set top box in whatever way you have to so you can see it on the TV, then do the following.

Turn on the set top box, and press the Menu button, with this pressed you should see a menu display on the TV, it looks like the Set Up tab is displayed by default going by the manual.

Notice 2nd from bottom in the larger pane it has Output Channel, and it will probably have Ch3 listed next to it, scroll down using the arrow buttons on the remote and highlight it then press the Select button to enter that option.

Once there change the Ch3 to Ch4 using the arrow buttons (going by the manual anyway), then press Select, that should save this, exit the menu (saving if further prompted), and it should now be on the correct output channel, if you wish to check enter the menu again and just look to check it now shows Ch4, if it does thats it, complete.

Once done reconnect everything back up bringing the VCR back into the chain (as described above) and see if you can now see\record where previously you said your couldn't ?
If this allows you to do what you couldn't previously then it's worked as I hope it will, the only possible thing after this is tuning in the TV and VCR too enable them to see the set top box in it's own right, you should be able to see the set top box through the VCR, BUT, if the TV is tuned to the Ch4 frequency, this will allow you to watch the box independently of the VCR if you wanted, but we can move onto the benefits of this after you have got the devices working through each other without issue, so as always take a simple step one at a time following the above, although there may still be confusion, the hope is as you proceed it will start to make more sense, but as always feel free to ask anything you need, or if a specific part needs more clarification just say, I will do what I can.

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:24 PM

Thank you for not being offended as I wasn't trying to imply that you weren't doing a good job of helping me. You have done an excellent job of being thorough and patient and I really appreciate this. :)

You don't have to be sorry for asking anything. :) You are just trying to help, it is I rather, who has been slow on understanding. I'm thankful for your understanding. When I mentioned the set top box I wasn't referring to the box itself, but rather the CORD that came with the box. I believed based on your description that it had coax connectors. Here is a pic of the set top box.

Posted Image

Are the connectors for the antenna and tv really fconnectors? Just so I know. And just so you know the connectors for the antenna and tv look like the ones on my vcr if it helps.

The antenna fits into the connection at the back of the converter just fine, so that you know. I have not found an adaptor necessary. Actually I haven't found an adaptor necessary for any of them. Everything plugs in without a problem.

I changed the box to channel 4.

I unfortunately still cannnot record/play with the vcr. :( :pullhair: :wall: I can play the box and tv, but the vcr as usual is always a sticking point. Sorry for this. I have connected everything per your instructions and it still won't work. The instructions on the manual weren't too much help either. Maybe you could break it down for me?

Posted Image

#20 8210GUY

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 12:19 PM

Right, the pic you show strongly suggests they are threaded connections as used by F connectors, the VCR and TV are normal coax so the only thing to get right there is using the correct IN\OUT ports when connecting.
The drawing of the set top box in the manual is what has made me suspect it uses F connectors, but it may well be a generalisation applied to all they're products for all I know, but your pic shows the middle part that I expect to see required by an F connector, you have already verified that the antenna DOES use an F connector going by above, so take that and insert it into the Antenna IN port of the set top box, "IF" the port does not have a thread to screw too, then you need an adaptor like I posted above, if it DOES screw to the set top box then this uses F connections as well as the antenna, if the "To TV" port also has a screw thread on it, you will need a cable like I posted previously such as the following:-
http://www.zaktronic...20connector.jpg

This needs to be an F connector to Male coax lead (given you identified the VCR as having female ports), as shown in the link, you then attach the F connector end too the set top box's "To TV" port screwing it in as you did with the antenna, then connect the coax end into the TV\antenna IN port on the VCR, then hook the VCR to the TV as you always have done, from a logical point of view this should allow the signal to be received by each device in turn without the need of switching the antenna between them, they "should" all get the signal fine.

The manual guide you tried to follow, forget it, if you have done as I have instructed then you have already completed that, but they go on to say about connecting the RCA (3 lead) connections for a better signal, unfortunately we have already found that you can't use these connections (apart from the front of the VCR), so until you update the VCR to one that can receive such connections they are of no use to you, not without messing about with the VCR anyway.

Now assuming all this is hooked together as described, and as you have changed the frequency used by the set top box with no change there are only 2 possible causes for it not too work as best as I can tell from here, 1. it's as simple as they all need tuning in, or 2. the frequencies used by each device are too close together for you to be able to use them at the same time without conflicts occurring, if this is the case then your only option is to update the VCR, and make sure it has a way to change the frequency to the widest possible range, my VCR I can tell to use whatever frequency I want, and as such I can make sure I set it well outside of the range used by any other equipment, and thus remove any conflict between the devices.

So assuming ALL the connections are correct and using the correct connection type (eg F connector or coax plug) so they are all secure and giving the full signal through to each device, then trying to tune in the devices is about all we can try, but the connections MUST be using the correct type, eg if you have used an F connector and simply pushed it in as best you can into a coax port, then the signal will be compromised, because just like electrical items, they have an earth, and if this is not making proper contact it could be why signal is not getting through.

Right tuning, lets start with the TV, unless I have missed it I can't see it's been listed ? if so I wont be able to guide on how to do this, but hopefully you will know how, what I suggest you do is have the set top box with it's menu turned on, possibly do the same with the VCR, either way have ALL devices turned on, then hopefully your TV has a menu of it's own, and you can tell it to auto search for channels, by having the menu displays of each device on, you will easily be able to identify what signal you are viewing, if they are all just set to "TV" mode, all you will see is program after program, and knowing where each was coming from wont be easy, hence using the menu displayed during tuning to aid seeing what is coming from where.

We seem to have identified the set top box signal comes through to the TV, but the VCR is not viewable, so lets check what channel that is set to transmit via, it should be on Ch3 going by the manual, so if it is then thats fine for now, just exit that, so lets re-tune the VCR so it hopefully resolves this fuzziness, here is how to check the Ch# first, followed by tuning instructions:-

Checking the VCR Channel;
1. Press and hold POWER on the VCR for 3 seconds while in standby mode.
The video channel will start to flash in the display, simply see if it is displaying Ch3, if it is exit and leave it be, if not then use the Channel +\- buttons to select Ch3

2. Now press ENTER to save this setting if needed.

3. Next Turn ON the TV and go to CH 3, it may be possible you need to tune the TV for this, but logically it should already be tuned to this from what I can read, but if you view the VCR (when the signal comes through) on another channel on the TV, select that instead for now.

4. Now turn on the VCR, and select any channel to receive a TV station, the channel number for that station will appear on the screen and display for about 4 seconds, if this is working you should be able to view your VCR channels on the TV.

Tuning in the VCR:-
1. Turn on the VCR, then enter the Menu by pressing the button on the remote, then press Set +\- (plus & minus) buttons to scroll through the menu options, and highlight the CH Set Up option and press enter.

2. Now again highlight TV\CATV in the same way as previous, then press Enter, once in select the TV option (as opposed to CATV), then press Enter, this should set the TV function (CATV is the default I believe), once set press Menu once to return to the previous screen.

3. As before now highlight the AUTO CH MEMORY, and press Enter, the VCR will now auto look for all channels, be patient and allow this to complete, it should tell you when it's complete, the manual suggests it will return to normal operation when complete, if not just exit and it should be done.

As with tuning the VCR I suggest having the box powered on to the Menu screen, it aids recognising that channel from all the others.
Now your VCR appears to have a dual tuner, hence the TV\CATV, the latter is for CAble TV, this may also be a cause of the conflict, so by changing it to TV as explained above the hope is this will let it behave, needles to say tune in the VCR to the TV first without the set top box being connected or else you wont be able to see what your doing with this, so check the Ch3 is set, and change it from CATV to TV if it needs it, then reconnect the set top box and fingers crossed it will all be visible to complete this, hope it helps.

#21 leader2

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 09:34 PM

I must admit that I am bit confused and frustrated by the connections and such. I mean I've had this setup for YEARS with the antenna, tv and vcr connected together whether they be coax or F connections and it worked perfectly until I tried to figure in the converter box. Even the converter box works fine with the tv whatever the connectiions. The vcr is a sticking point yes, but I don't see how it could be the connections when the setup I had worked perfectly before. I'm sorry for sounded frustrated 8210. It's just that so far nothing is working in spite of our efforts. I changed the menu setting from TV\CATV to jTV and it's still not working. :smack: :pullhair: :wall: :( :wacko: :o I just can't understand why nothing is working. The vcr still won't record or play anything.

#22 8210GUY

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:04 AM

I'm sorry if I keep confusing you, but it is essential for me to know the connections are correct, otherwise it wont work, and neither of us will know why on the info given, I recently helped someone who couldn't burn a DVD, turned out they didn't have a DVD burner, so you can imagine how difficult it can be seeing what is wrong when a simple fact is missing. Now rather than try to get your head around what is or isn't an F connector, use the following as the way to identify them, and that is very simply if ANY connection (leads or connections on the equipment) has a screw thread on it, then that requires an F connector, it really is that simple, F connector = screw thread, coax = no screw thread, I hope that makes it easier for you. I can feel your frustration, we've all been there at some point, so try not to let it upset you, because the way it's begging to sound assuming the connections etc are correct, is that the VCR just wont play nice, and again my suspicion turns to the frequency each uses, because if these clash then it makes no difference what you try it just wont work. Changing the CATV setting was what I hoped would make the difference, because apart from the frequency used this appeared to be the only other sticking point, but if this has made no difference then I really don't know what to think or suggest, because logically this should be working if all is set as explained. Going by the manual your VCR appears to have a cable tuner in it (hence the CATV option), now I have a cheat in mind here to try and help get round this, but I don't know if it will be any good for you, the sticking point will be do you want to be able to record FROM the set top box TO your VCR ? If you do then this cheat will be of no use to you, but if you don't want to record from the set top box then this may be a workable solution for you, so let me know if this would be any use for you and I will tell you what you need, otherwise I fear the only solution will be another VCR that has greater range in it's settings.

#23 leader2

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 06:17 PM

Oh you are not confusing me. It's just I am not technical so the terms are a bit confusing. You have been very helpful and patient so big thanks. :) I say why not try to record FROM the set top box TO my vcr? We might as well try. Please give me the cheat you mentioned. I would like to try it and if if doesn't work then at least we know we tried. :) That is unless what you are recommending isn't free. I have no money and can't afford to purchase anything. I hope you understand. :blush:

#24 8210GUY

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:57 AM

Recording FROM the set top box is the problem, the cheat I mentioned is to use the equipment without having the ability to record from it, and yes it will cost money, BUT, it's so cheap you can probably get them for the price of a beer (not sure what your prices are like), and it's simply to get 2 aerial splitters, then we can have the VCR and the set top box connecting to the TV at the same time without messing around, fingers crossed that the signals remain separate at this point, BUT, you will not be able to record from the box. I just wish I was closer to nip round and do it for you lol, but ultimately "IF" you have made all these connections and menu selections as described I can only come to the 1 conclusion, and thats the frequency used by each being too close, and as such the set top box is walking all over the VCR blocking it's signal, if this is the issue then the ONLY way round it is to change either the box or the VCR, and make sure before buying what frequency it uses, and what it can be changed too, if you can change it to anything in it's range then you can easily separate the 2 signals to opposite ends of the range, that will ("should") make them both work together. About the only other suggestions I have is to ask around people you know, and see if anyone feels fairly confident about connecting things up, and ask if they can come and double check that all is as it should be, they don't need to be a rocket scientist, just comfortable in such things, a second pair of eyes may show an innocent oversight. The last suggestion is see if you can borrow another VCR just for testing purposes, I believe you said your mum has a similar set up ? Maybe see if she wouldn't mind you trying her VCR, should that VCR actually work then maybe some sweet talking may be in order to see if she would be OK swapping VCR's with you lol, but I really can't see any other options if all is done correctly, I really wish I could offer a better option for you, but at the end of the day if the hardware just wont play nice it doesn't matter what you do, they just wont work, feel free to ask anything you want, but I really fear there is no hope with the hardware involved given all is connected properly etc, I wish I had better news, but if you are able to borrow another VCR then I'll happily look at that to see what options it gives you, hope you get a solution somehow.

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 05:08 PM

I'll definitely have to try and find someone to tinker with it. I don't have any money and for some reason I doubt it will work with my mum's vcr. Part of the reason why is because here tv had the av connections that mine didn't. and somehow I think that figured into the setup. Anyway thanks 8210. You've been EXTREMELY patient, thorough and helpful and I appreciated working with you. :) :D Thanks again. ;)

#26 8210GUY

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 03:33 AM

I really wish I could see more options for you, but I can see nothing more in the manuals that give more clues, so my hope is a fresh pair of eyes at your end will see if anything sticks out, I hope you do find a way round this, but I fear there is nothing left to try on the info to date, if you think of anything that may have a bearing on any of this please feel free to shout, I hate being beaten by these things lol, good luck.



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