Difficulty getting VCR compatible with UHD 4k smart TV

DB1020

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Dec 4, 2016
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Hi. Hoping someone can help! I have made some attempts already and looked at similar posts, but I haven’t found/don’t think I see solution yet. I just bought a smart TV. (Samsung UHD 4k.) I use an antenna, so since I don’t subscribe to cable or anything, I am trying to get my VCR (Panasonic, quite old…. from maybe 2003) connected so that I can continue to record (as I did w/my previous tube TV). The most success I’ve had was hooking the antenna up to the VCR and then connecting the VCR to the TV (which I think is what I was doing w/my old TV). I could play something previously recorded (although the volume was barely audible, even when turned up to the max), but I could not get it to record something new. (I tried to record something new, but when playing back what I had “recorded,” there was a message on the screen that read, “No signal. AV. Check the cable connections and the setting of your source device. Press SOURCE on your remote to select connected source device.” After this fail, I tried two more things. #1). a splitter. (I didn’t think this would work, but the Radio Shack employee thought it would. Anyway, it indeed did not solve my problem (although I got more channels, b/c routing the antenna thru the VCR is I guess too far for the signal to travel…plugging the antenna into the splitter was much better). So then onto #2). an RF modulator (video converter). This did not work at all though. When I had it plugged in and then sent chose the “source” for the VCR, the message on the screen was, “There’s no signal or it isn’t strong enough. Check the source connection.” One other note: in this set up (using the RF modulator), there was a cord that I was not able to connect to anything b/c there was no spot for it to go into the modulator device. I don’t know the proper terminology, but both ends of the cord are round, and it just gets pushed/pulled in/out (rather than needing to screw it in/out, like a coax cable). (So the only connection from the VCR to the modulator was the audio video cable.). ****So all of that being said, does anyone know of any solution to get the VCR connected to my new TV so that it is able to play back tapes AND record again?? Or is the problem maybe that the TV is specifically 4k/UHD?? Maybe it’s just that I need a specific type of modulator/converter…??? I understand that I can buy a TiVo (sale price of $350…ugh!) that does not require a monthly subscription/fee, and so thus there is something out there that will allow me to record shows without needing to sign up for cable or whatever, BUT if there is a way to make the VCR work again, that is totally my preference. Or if someone knows w/out a doubt that there is no device/hardware to enable this, that would also be helpful (albeit disappointing) to hear. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ANYONE THAT IS ABLE TO HELP!!
 

Wiz33

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Sep 10, 2006
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OTA HD signal are Digital and UHD TV does not output any analog signal (what your VCR needs). If you already have a converter box that convert the ATSC digital HD signal to SD analog (it seems you do). Use a splitter to run separate antenna cable to the UHD TV and the converter box. Then you can connect the converter to your VCR to record. But you would need to connect the Yellow (composite video), Red and White (analog audio) from the VCR to playback to the UHD TV. You'll need to find a UHD TV that will accept composite video input (look at the back of the TV and for the Yellow, Red and White Plug or use a converter box to convert the Analog (Yellow, red, white) to HDMI to the TV, something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Teorder-Composite-Converter-Adaptor-Blue-Ray/dp/B01G6R3VEM/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1481303219&sr=8-12&keywords=composite+to+HDMI+adapter

This setup will let you do what you want but I seriously would only use it to playback my existing VHS tapes but get something else for recording. Take a look at this, it's a cheaper TIVO like solution with a optional subscription that is much less than what TiVO charges.

http://us-store.tablotv.com/collections/frontpage-1/products/tablo-2-tuner-over-the-air-hdtv-dvr
 
For playback you should have connected the VCR to the TV with composite video (yellow RCA) and audio red & white RCA). Some TVs have a shared component (3 RCA) video - composite video (1 RCA) input. You have to select which way you are using it in the TV menu.
For recording you will need some kind of digital tuner or converter box. The tuner in the VCR is analog. That's why you don't get anything. If you did get an ATSC tuner and connect it to the VCR you would still only get low quality SD recordings Will look pretty bad on a new TV. You won't be able to change channels on the VCR just set start and stop times so not convenient at all.
I think it makes more sense to buy an ATSC HD tuner with DVR like this one
https://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-HW-150PVR-HomeWorx-Converter-Recording/dp/B00I2ZBD1U
You can record to a USB drive and will get an HD recording. There are better ones such as the Channel Master but quite a bit more money.
http://www.channelmaster.com/DVR_Plus_p/cm-7500gb16.htm
It does integrate online streaming too. No subscription needed for either.
You can split the antenna so that both the internal TV tuner and DVR can receive channels at the same time. Now you can record one channel and watch another.
 

DB1020

Commendable
Dec 4, 2016
3
0
1,510
0


 

DB1020

Commendable
Dec 4, 2016
3
0
1,510
0
Thank you, Americanaudiophile! I appreciate all of your insight. I am trying to understand each component of what you said to figure out which way to go... I need a little more time to figure it out, but I will likely have follow up questions to get further clarification. Like, one right now is: prior to getting my new UHD TV, I was using an SD tuner w/my old set up.... Do you know, would somehow hooking THAT same one up again somehow enable successful recording on my VCR? I thought that wouldn't be needed anymore b/c all of the new TVs have the tuner built in (?), but it sounds like you are saying that something is now needed specifically for the VCR. I know you said the recording quality would be low tho if recording on my VCR still....I guess I'd like to try it and just see. As far as the inconvenience of not being able to change channels while the VCR is recording, I wouldn't mind. I need more time to look at your other suggestions more closely. Thanks so much.
 

Wiz33

Distinguished
Sep 10, 2006
75
0
18,710
27
OTA HD signal are Digital and UHD TV does not output any analog signal (what your VCR needs). If you already have a converter box that convert the ATSC digital HD signal to SD analog (it seems you do). Use a splitter to run separate antenna cable to the UHD TV and the converter box. Then you can connect the converter to your VCR to record. But you would need to connect the Yellow (composite video), Red and White (analog audio) from the VCR to playback to the UHD TV. You'll need to find a UHD TV that will accept composite video input (look at the back of the TV and for the Yellow, Red and White Plug or use a converter box to convert the Analog (Yellow, red, white) to HDMI to the TV, something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Teorder-Composite-Converter-Adaptor-Blue-Ray/dp/B01G6R3VEM/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1481303219&sr=8-12&keywords=composite+to+HDMI+adapter

This setup will let you do what you want but I seriously would only use it to playback my existing VHS tapes but get something else for recording. Take a look at this, it's a cheaper TIVO like solution with a optional subscription that is much less than what TiVO charges.

http://us-store.tablotv.com/collections/frontpage-1/products/tablo-2-tuner-over-the-air-hdtv-dvr
 
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