How to Hook Up a VCR to an Old TV

By Alan Donahue

Updated February 10, 2017

Connect a VCR to an old TV
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Televisions today feature multiple inputs like RCA cables, HDMI cables, S-Video cables and even wireless connections to the internet. If you still have an old television in your house, connecting a VCR to it is a lot easier than it seems and in many cases, it requires a lot less cables than a newer television. Depending on the type of VCR connection, there are two standard ways to attach the device to a television.

Coaxial cables

Connect the incoming cable line into the “Input” cable port on the VCR connection. This cable line usually comes from the wall or floor of the house or is plugged into a coaxial cable outlet in the wall.

Connect the incoming cable line directly into a cable box or satellite television box, if you use one with your television set up. Use a separate coaxial cable to run the cable from the cable box “output” port and into the VCR “input” port.

Connect a coaxial cable from the “output” port of the VCR and into the cable port on the television.

Tighten the cables so all the connections are secure. If the cables are loose, use a small piece of duct tape to tighten the cables and prevent any picture loss.

Test the connection by turning the VCR and seeing the picture on the television. Insert a tape into the VCR and push "Play".

RF Modulator

Use a RF modulator to connect a television to VCRs that have no coaxial inputs or outputs.

Connect a set of RCA cables from the RCA “output” of the VCR. Generally there are two audio cables (red and white) and one video cable (yellow.) Plug the matching color cables into the colored inputs on the RF modulator.

Connect a coaxial cable from the “Output” port of the RF modulator and into the back of the television.

Select the input on the RF modulator, if it includes it. If the RF modulator comes with a power adapter, plug the adapter in and power on the RF modulator.

Turn on the television to test the connection. Place the RF modulator on top of the television or VCR for easy access to the cords and power switch.

Items you will need

  • Coaxial cables

  • RF modulator

  • RCA cables