Hooking Up A VCR To A HD Receiver

You got that new HDTV and upgraded to the HD DVR or receiver and now it is time to hook everything up, right? The connection for the receiver or DVR to the HDTV is quite simple with a HDMI cable for sure, but what about the old trusty VCR or DVD recorder? Not so simple anymore.

Why, you ask? Well, even though most of the HD receivers/DVRs have A/V (s-video/yellow-red-white) outputs for composite or s-video, most will be disabled when the receiver/DVR is set to output a HD format, either 720p or 1080i. That means in order to record anything from the receiver/DVR to a VCR or DVD recorder, the receiver/DVR must have its output reset to the 480i output. Some HD receivers/DVRs (like the U-verse units) even go so far as to disable all analog outputs when a HDMI cable is plugged in.


With the item on the left the hookup just got made simpler. Basically you connect a HDMI cable between your HD receiver/DVR and the down-converter and another HDMI cable from the down-converter feed through port to your HDTV. Next you go through an on screen menu setup and connect the A/V cables (yellow-red-white) or s-video to your VCR/DVD recorder and you are set to record any programming on your VCR/DVD recorder. It will be standard definition, of course, but of the higest quality SD will allow.

Not only can this device used to connect a VCR/DVD recorder, but often people wish to slave a SD TV in a kitchen or some other room and a SD output is needed. If this was accomplished with a coax using the RF output of the previous SD receiver/DVR, with the addition of a RF modulator, this device will accomodate that hookup as well.

Here is a diagram to show a possible hookup:

Depending on your VCR or DVD recorder’s capabilities you would connect its output with either a HDMI cable or component cables with stereo audio cables as shown. If your unit does not support the upconversion outputs, then just hook up the A/V cable between the unit and the TV.

Some combination DVD recorder/VCR units will not convert the VCR tape output to the HDMI, s-video or component outputs and for those units the A/V cable and the HDMI/Component cables must be connected to get full function of the unit. The TV would then have the A/V input selected for viewing the VCR and the HDMI or component input selected for viewing the DVD.
Here is the factory link:

6 Responses to “Hooking Up A VCR To A HD Receiver”

  1. HD Newbie connection HD signal to HDTV using coax - High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource Says:

    [...] problematic. One solution is to get a second SD cable box for the recorder. Another would be this: Hooking Up A VCR To A HD Receiver __________________ http://www.highdefinitionblog.com [...]

  2. connecting an old vcr to an HDTV using antenna - Page 2 - High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource Says:

    [...] another tuner for the VCR or get a HD signal to composite video adapter to hook up your VCR. See: Hooking Up A VCR To A HD Receiver __________________ http://www.highdefinitionblog.com [...]

  3. chris Says:

    Hey! Nice job here! I’ll be dropping by from time to time :)

  4. VCR to DVD Converter Says:

    Can I use my laptop computer to convert a VCR tape to a Digital video disc?

  5. admin Says:

    @ VCR to DVD Converter:
    If you get a capture card for your laptop you could play the VCR into the laptop. Then I would use convertXtoDVD software to master the DVD.

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