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Old 11-25-2009, 06:44 PM   #1
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DVD-recorder installation problems

Has anyone installed a dvd recorder-?

I am replacing a VCR installation with a dvd-r unit and have multiple problems. Most are caused by the replaced vcr having had "cable type" connections and the new unit not having them.
The goal is to have the input choices of cable/batwing to the dvd-r.

We have tried multiple configurations with no luck so far.

2004 Dolphin 32'
non-digital tv (but have recorder)
Wineguard Entertainment distribution system.


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Old 11-25-2009, 08:24 PM   #2
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If I understand correctly you have a new DVD-r recorder that does not have the RF connector input. That is strange, but I guess can happen in today's technological world. I am going to assume that it has the typical RCA phone plug inputs and outputs. If so, go to your local department or electronic store and look at some of the video switches that are on the market. Some will have RF input and you should be able to direct the output to the input of the DVD-r. This again is an assumption that you want to record off-the-air signals. It is also an assumption that the DVD-r has a built in digital tuner, or is being fed by the digital converter.

Sometimes the "newer" televisions have an output (RCA-phone jack) and that could be the input into the DVD-r.

What is the model of the DVD-r and I can look up the configuration on the Internet.

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Old 11-25-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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Wow, John. I think this is going to be a tough one to answer because there's so much we don't know. What I mean by this is that your DVD recorder and TV most likely have a myriad of connections, and, without knowing what they are, it's going to be difficult for anyone to formulate a possible solution to your dilemma. However, I have a JVC VCR/DVD player/recorder (with a digital tuner) that I connect to my old 1993 Quasar 31" TV here at home, and when we camp, I connect it to a 2000 Prima 14" TV in our RV. Both TVs are non-digital. Here is how I connect it to to the each TV.

For Both TVs: On the VCR/DVD, there is a standard "Ant In" 75 ohm connector which I connect either to the Batwing (in the RV) or indoor antenna (at home) to.

At home: On the Quasar, I get the video signal by connecting the "S-Video" jack on each unit (my Quasar was way ahead of its time to have this jack). Stereo sound is achieved via the two RCA right (red) and left (white) "audio out" jacks on the VCR/DVD to the corresponding "audio in" jacks on the TV.

In The RV: The Prima TV has mono sound and only has a 75 ohm connector, so I simply connect it to the "Ant Out" on the VCR/DVD. However, I don't use the sound from the TV at all. Instead I connect stereo sound (using the same "audio out" jacks on the VCR/DVD) to the "Aux In" jacks of the RV's AM/FM/Weather/CD player. This arrangement pipes stereo sound throughout the RV which almost gives it a theater feel; although, I know it's not.

Judging from your posting, if you don't have any (or only an output) 75 ohm antenna connection(s) on your DVD recorder, it probably has no digital tuner. If this is true, you'll never get any TV stations to show on your analog TV no matter how you wire it unless you have (or purchase) one of those digital to analog signal converter boxes.

The VCR/DVD recorder I have was purchased at Sam's Club for just under $200.00. It works well with both my TVs and has the HDMI connector for use with an HDMI TV.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:57 AM   #4
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Go to Radio Shack; tell them what you want to do and they well sell you a little box for about $30. That's how I did it and it works.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:29 AM   #5
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To have it the way you want your winegard switch box has to be one with dvd capability and you have to have a dvd recorder with a built in tuner. In other words does your switch box have buttons to switch your TVs to dvd and does it have RCA connectors on the back for DVDin.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by FlaJon View Post
Has anyone installed a dvd recorder-?

I am replacing a VCR installation with a dvd-r unit and have multiple problems. Most are caused by the replaced vcr having had "cable type" connections and the new unit not having them.
The goal is to have the input choices of cable/batwing to the dvd-r.

We have tried multiple configurations with no luck so far.

2004 Dolphin 32'
non-digital tv (but have recorder)
Wineguard Entertainment distribution system.

You picked a hard one John.

First as a review, most RV use an RF switching box (box with lots of antenna/cable type of connectors) to control which sopurce (cable, satelite, VCR) each consumer can connect to (front TV, VCR, bedroom TV). If you don't have this, stop reading now and give us more details.

This system takes advantage of the common denominator of the RF cable, the signal can be split with no power and then run some distance (front to back with no problems). However it does have some limitations.

As you said you have an DVD recorder and want to hook it into this system. The main problem being the DVD-R does not have RF inputs or outputs.

Actually this is similar to adding a DVD player to a system that only had a VCR before. There are two ways to do this: 1) purchase a combination DVD/VCR player and replace the VCR, very simple and uses exactly the same connections as the VCR. 2) purchase a DVD player (very few standalone DVD players have RF connectors) and hook it upto the VCR.

Let describe in more detail how to connect a DVD player to a VCR:

a) Leave the VCR connected to the switch box as it is now.

b) Install the DVD player and power.

c) Connect a three connector cable to the DVD player output. The red and white are the audio, the video connector will depend on whether the VCR has a yellow RCA input, or a mini-DIN (4 pin, see S-Video - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). It may have both, if so, prefer the mini-DIN.

d) Connect the other end of the cable into the VCR input.

e) Using this system is pretty easy. All of the other controls on the switch box are the same. If you want to watch a tape on the VCR, select the VCR as the source on the switch box. If you want to watch a DVD, select the VCR on the switch box, and adjust the VCR to use as its input the VCR input. There is either a TV/Video switch, or you tune the VCR to a video input channel.

This basically uses the VCR as a video to RF converter for the DVD player.

But, you say, I have a DVD recorder.... Well this can be handle in a similar way. Buy another cable, probably the same one used earlier for connecting the DVD to the VCR, again, prefer the mini-DIN. This time connect an output of the VCR to an input of the DVD recorder. In this case you will be using the VCR as a tuner (RF to video converter).

All of this is fine and dandy, but there is one limitation and that is the qualify of an RF connection is limited to about 480V x 330H resolution (standard TV broadcast resolution). Note that DVD resolution is 480 x 700. This might be fine for the bedroom TV that is 22" or less, but the front TV is larger and you can see the difference.

The solution to this is to use yet another 3 wire cable as described above to connect the DVD player directly to one of the TV inputs. In this case to watch a DVD you would use the TV remote to select one of the alternate video inputs on the TV. The bedroom TV would still use the RF/VCR/DVD path to watch the same DVD.

Another problem might be that the DVD recorder only has one video output, in which case you will need either a passive or active splitter.

Last comment before I shut up. If the front TV is an HD TV, then the above description needs more work, mostly along the lines of hooking the front TV directly to the DVD recorder.

Good luck. Let me know if there are any questions.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:35 PM   #7
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I agree, almost, with the radio shack suggestion.. Any Audio/Video store

The VCR has Coax (RF) in and out) the DVR likely has coax input (RF) so you can record off-the-air but though mine has a coax-out it's a pass through connection, it won't play a DVD via that fitting.

So...... There is a device called an RF-MODULATOR which you can get at any Audio/Video store. Not just "The Shack" (They are droppign radio as they don't much sell them any more) but Best Buys, Frys, and anywhere else that sells Televisions and audio gear.

Take the Red/White/Yellow from the DVD player/recorder and feed it to the modulator and you done.

That is option 1

If your rig, like mine has a DVD player... Replace it as well with the Record/Playback unit.. Just use the modulator built into your winegard switch

On my coach the front has a DVR (Not a dvd-recorder but a hard drive box) that does have RF out.. It has a DVD player (ONLY) and the vcr is in... storage elsewhere.

The back TV has a 2nd DVR (They network) and a DVD-R/RW unit.. Rather than play RF games.. I just feed it to the LINE IN on the tv and enjoy (Actually I feed it, and the DVR, both to a selector switch... But that's so I can do virtual magic easily.. I can watch my DVR. or I can "Slave" the tv to the wife's by pressing a button on the TV remote.. The TV is both TV-2 (Via the DVR) and TV-3 (Direct)
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:24 AM   #8
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A number of manufacturers make DVD recorders with an OTA digital receiver. This would make your life much better and more flexible than having to add a converter... but, if you can not return the unit you have... then the converter will be your only choice.

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