Using a VCR to Record from a DTV Converter Box

There are some stipulations to using a VCR to record from a DTV converter box.

  1. You must have the VCR tuned to record on channel 3.
  2. You must have the VCR connected to output signal of the DTV converter box. In other words, the converter box must be connected between the antenna and the VCR. So, the likely configuration you would use with a coaxial cable is antenna to DTV converter to VCR to TV.
  3. You must tune the DTV converter to the channel you want to record prior to recording. The VCR won't be able to change channels on the DTV converter.
  1. You will be able to use the timed record function on the VCR but you must adhere to steps 1-3.

If this sounds freakishly familiar to recording on a digital cable or satellite set-top box, you are right. It is exactly like recording a signal from a digital cable box or satellite receiver. While it may be inconvenient to perform the steps above, at least the option still exists to record on a VCR while using a DTV converter box.

Disadvantage of DTV Converter: You will lose the ability to watch one program and record another with the DTV converter. Sorry for the bad news.

The reason is the tuner. The VCR tuner is useless with digital except for recognizing channel 3. The digital converter is a single tuner item so it only receives one station at a time.

Advantage of Digital Television, DTV Converters, and Antennas: A single broadcast station can send out multiple signals within their digital band.

This is called a sub-channel. You will likely gain recording access to these sub-channels when using the DTV converter box with an antenna.

Sub-channels appear something like 42.1, 42.2, 42.3, etc. Here's a real world example of a sub-channel: In my area the ABC affiliate sends out the ABC feed on 24.1.

They also send out a weather-only signal on 24.2.

This is one of the advantages with digital television that will carry over to the analog world with the DTV converter box.

More About The Digital Transition

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