Connect a Digital Cable Box, VCR, and DVD Player to a TV

Cable box

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Connecting a digital cable box, VCR, and DVD player to a TV that doesn't have AV inputs for the DVD player is a problem for people who have coaxial-only televisions. Because DVD players don't have coaxial (RF) outputs, they can't be connected directly to a television with only a coaxial (RF) input. The solution is to purchase an RF modulator, which is a small device that converts the AV output from the DVD player to coaxial (RF).

Making the Connections

Assuming the DVD player is not a combo unit with the VCR and that you want to be able to record TV on your VCR, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the coaxial cable coming from the wall to your digital cable box using the Video In port. It might be labeled Antenna In or Cable In.

  2. From the cable box, connect a coaxial or composite (yellow video cable) and stereo (red and white) RCA audio cables to the Video In terminal(s) on your VCR.

  3. Connect the VCR to the RF Modulator using a coaxial cable from the Video Out port on the VCR to one of the In ports on the RF modulator.

  4. Connect the DVD player to the RF Modulator by using the yellow, red, and white composite RCA cables from the Video Out port on the DVD player to another port on the RF modulator.

  5. Connect the RF modulator to your TV with a coaxial cable. Run it from the Video Out port on the RF modulator to the Video In or Cable In or Antenna In port on your television.

You've done everything you need to get started watching your digital television. In simple terms, here are the connections you made:

  1. Coaxial from wall to cable box

  2. Cable box to VCR

  3. VCR to RF modulator

  4. DVD player to RF Modulator

  5. RF modulator to TV

You will only be able to record what is on the channel used by the digital cable box. For example, your cable box may require you set the TV to channel 3. As long as the cable box is connected to the television and the TV is on channel 3, you will be able to see the video signal.