Welcome to Iowa Public Television! If you are seeing this message, you are using a browser that does not support web standards. This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device. Read more on our technical tips page.

Iowa Public Television


DTV - Will my old analog VHS recorder still work?

posted on November 10, 2008 at 12:43 PM

So, you have your DTV converter on, and the antenna set up - now, will your old VHS equipment still work to record TV shows for later viewing?



Q:  Can I still use my VCR to record?

A:   VCRs (not the newer DVD/VCRs with digital tuners in them) have to be connected to converter boxes to receive the new digital signals.

Remember that the converter box outputs only on channel 3 (or 4 - let's choose 3 for simplicity), so the VCR will have to be tuned to channel 3 and left there to receive the signal.  The converter box will become the tuner.

If you are ONLY going to watch and tape the same channel that you are watching, then the VCR can feed the television set with its output and the you can watch or tape whatever you want.

IMPORTANT:  When programming the VCR it MUST be programmed to record CHANNEL 3 ONLY.  The converter box will determine the ACTUAL channel that is taped and must be preset accordingly.  If you tape programs on different channels, the VCR will still be programmed to channel 3, but the converter box will have to be manually changed between programs to the channel desired.

If you want to watch one program while taping a DIFFERENT program at the same time, you will need a converter box for the TV set (obviously, if it is not digital) and a converter box for the VCR.  The best way to connect the VCR to the television would then be to use the direct audio/video cables (Red, White, Yellow) from the outputs on the VCR to the matching inputs on the television.  Usually the television must be tuned to ‘Line 1’ or ‘Input 1’ or some similar setting to ‘see’ the direct video inputs on the back of the set.  This will either be a button on yourr remote or you can tune below channel 2 on the set and the set will usually go to the input.

Newer VHS/DVD/DVR recorders can have their own digital tuners - be sure to check the box for this if you're considering a purchase. 



Tags: dtv dvr Iowa recording television transition vhs


blog comments powered by Disqus

Comment Policy

Iowa Public Television encourages conversation and debate around issues, events and ideas related to program topics.

  • The editorial staff of Iowa Public Television reserves the right to take down comments it deems inappropriate.
  • Profanity, personal attacks, off-topic posts, advertisements and spam will not be tolerated.

Find out more about IPTV.org's privacy policy and terms of use.