Columbia ISA
Audio – Video



There are dozens of cable TV set top receivers available from your providers although your local provider may not offer but a few options. You may have a choice of DVR models or a non DVR model. Still, some people want to record to a VCR. Many cable TV set top boxes have a DVR to record TV shows. Even so these boxes may still have analog output ports.

If you get a set top box with analog output ports such as the RCA cable connections, and the service provider has not de-activated these ports, you can record to a VCR.

Many digital cable TV boxes have the yellow, white and red analog outputs on the rear panel. These are available for older analog TV sets but you can also connect them to your VCR. Yellow RCA cable connection for video (picture) and white and red RCA cable connections for audio (sound).

RCA Cables

Coaxial cable RG-6

Even if the digital cable box has only the HDMI output, you can still connect to a VCR to record cable TV shows and view on your TV. You just have to get a converter or switch, which outputs RCA or HDMI.

Spectrum Cable TV Boxes

Comcast Xfinity Cable TV Boxes

Cables needed for hookup:

RCA cables (yellow and white/red) can be bought at an electronics store or online.

VCR and cable hookup diagrams

TVs often use a hybrid video input which accepts either yellow video or the green (Y) cable video portion of the component video. So if you wanted to connect the VCR to a modern TV using RCA cables, connect the yellow video cable to the green RCA video input on the TV and the white and red audio cables to the white and red audio inputs on the TV. The disadvantage here is you cannot use a component video connection to the TV once the yellow cable is connected. Of course HDMI could be used instead of component video.

For playback, switch the TV source to the AV input, so the VCR can be viewed on the TV. Use the TV remote control. Another option would be to connect a RG-6 coaxial cable from the VCR coax output to the TVs antenna input. Then select channel 3 or 4 on the TV. To record, select the LINE input on the VCR. Use the VCR remote control or the front panel switch. Each VCR has a different method for selecting the LINE input.

Many TV sets today still have the analog tuners for analog channels 3 and 4 but you may have to add these channels when scanning for digital channels.
The reason for still having channel 3 and 4 capability is so older video games, older devices and the older VCR can still be used on the newer digital TVs.

For older TV, modern cable boxes that may have only HDMI output, use a hdmi to rca converter, connect to VCR to record and view on channel 3 or 4 on TV.

VCR and HDTV connections:

A VCR cannot record in high definition, only analog standard definition. If you have a cable TV or satellite TV receiver box and the box outputs standard definition over a yellow RCA composite video and white and red RCA audio ports, then you can record to the VCR. You can even record a high definition TV show but only in the standard definition conversion available through the yellow video and white/red audio outputs. 


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You can record the current cable box channel to the VCR. Select the Line input on the VCR.

For playback, select the TV input for the VCR using the TV remote.

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