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New Visitor
RealistView
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2012
Accepted Solution

Can't record on VCR

Ever since I hooked up my cable box, I have been unable to record on my VCR (not a typo, they still exist).  I can watch pre-recorded material but when I record, I only get static.  I checked the connections and tried all possible settings and different tapes before calling tech support and trying everything again with the rep.  He hung up in my face after I had been on the phone for 40 minutes all because he was incompetent at his job (NOT an appropriate response).  Does anyone know how to record on a VCR that's hooked up to a cable box.

Silver Problem Solver
rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: Can't record on VCR

the problem lies here, when you put a cable box on a vcr you have to leave the vcr on channel 3 and you can only record what channel the cable box is on.   To set it up you run the cable from the wall to the input on the box, the cable out on the box goes to the in on the vcr the out on the vcr goes to the tv.  So basically you have to watch what your taping. 

New Visitor
RealistView
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2012

Re: Can't record on VCR

Do I have to leave the vcr on ch. 3 even if we have to use ch.4 for the cable box in our area?  I have tried recording on ch. 3 and ch. 4 but not sure if the cable box was on the channel that I was trying to record so I will try again this evening.  Will follow-up if not successful.  Thanks.

Silver Problem Solver
rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: Can't record on VCR

If you require channel 4 then you have to leave the vcr on 4 and then you can record whatever channel the box is on. 

Gold Problem Solver
BruceW
Posts: 7,730
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Can't record on VCR

If the cable box output is on channel 4, any timer programs you set up in the VCR must specify channel 4 also.

New Visitor
RealistView
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2012

Re: Can't record on VCR

BruceW, THANK YOU.  Such a simple fix and it worked, I tried it!   

Gold Problem Solver
BruceW
Posts: 7,730
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Can't record on VCR

Glad to help!  :smileyhappy:

Visitor
Tiajo
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-01-2012

Re: Can't record on VCR

When the digital cable box was installed, I deliberately did not connect the VCR through the box, as I was only interested in taping shows up to Channel 30, which I could do without connecting, as I often tape several shows on different channels while I'm watching regular TV.  Up until last week this wasn't a problem, but then I got a message saying something about needing a digital box (which I had).  Cable guy came out - very nice - got my DVD video channel working (which had also disappeared) and thought he fixed the VCR as well.  Until I tried to record a program last night on Channel 5 while watching Channel 9 -- nada.  The timer came on, the recording light came on, but when I hit rewind to watch what I taped, there was nothing but a wavy screen.  Would love to go back to original setup, but apparently he hooked it up through the box and I can't record anymore. Thoughts?

Gold Problem Solver
BruceW
Posts: 7,730
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Can't record on VCR


Tiajo wrote: ... I tried to record a program last night on Channel 5 while watching Channel 9 ...

Please review the other messages in this discussion thread. When using a box It is no longer possible to record one channel while watching another unless you rent a separate cable box for your recorder. The VCR must be permanently set to channel 3 (or 4), and the channel you want to record selected on the cable box. Likewise, timer programs must be set for channel 3 (or 4).

Visitor
Tiajo
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-01-2012

Re: Can't record on VCR

Thanks.  I appreciate your response, and understand about the hook-up and only being able to record what you're watching, but what I would like to do is disconnect the VCR from the box so I can set it up to the way I had it before. (And it was a Comcast installer who told me to not go through the box if I wanted to record one show while watching another, so I didn't.)  I could only tape shows from Channels 1 through 30, but that was fine, as I could time shift all I wanted for those channels.  When the cable guy came yesterday, he apparently undid the setup and connected it to the digital box, so now I am up the proverbial creek without a paddle and no desire to spend another $20 a month for a Comcast DVR.  Am on a budget! 

Gold Problem Solver
BruceW
Posts: 7,730
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Can't record on VCR

[ Edited ]

Tiajo wrote: ... Am on a budget! 

Me too!

 

If you still have analog channels and the signal is strong enough, you can use a 2-way splitter and 3 short coax cables to feed the cable box and the VCR. Connect them like this:

 

1. Wall plate to splitter input.

2. Splitter output #1 to cable box input.

3. Splitter output #2 to VCR input.

 

Depending on the outputs available on the cable box and VCR and the inputs available on your TV, you might be able to have both hooked up at the same time, or you might need to use an A/B switch to choose between them.

 

Please let us know if this works for you or if you need more info.

Visitor
Tiajo
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-01-2012

Re: Can't record on VCR

Thanks, Bruce.  Am pretty sure this is the setup I had before with a splitter, and didn't need an A/B switch.  After doing a lot of google research this afternoon, and although I don't have a definitive answer, I fear that Comcast has totally done away with analog signals in my area (although I never received word this was happening), which means I am SOL.  I did try tonight when I got home to test recording on a single channel per instructions on Comcast site. I.e., use the guide on the remote, pick a channel, hit record (I tried using the channel I was watching - go Giants!) and set the VCR to 3 (although it shows a blue screen), and while the record light came up, it wouldn't record, so I still have a problem of not being able to record even with the VCR connected through the digital box.  I'm really not up to another hour-long phone call with Comcast tonight, so will carry on tomorrow, I guess.  Thanks for taking the time to try and help me.

Gold Problem Solver
BruceW
Posts: 7,730
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Can't record on VCR


Tiajo wrote: ... I fear that Comcast has totally done away with analog signals in my area ...

Probably the quickest way to check this is to connect your TV directly to the wall plate (rescan if necessary). Comcast CSRs should know whether there are still analog channels on the system, but they often don't.


... I still have a problem of not being able to record even with the VCR connected through the digital box. ...

Recording from the output jack on the box should work for sure. Maybe double-check your hookup?

Visitor
Tiajo
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-01-2012

Re: Can't record on VCR

Thanks, Bruce.  Will give this a try and see what I find out!