How to Record TV Programs From Digital Using a VCR?

by Patrick Nelson

Extra audio and video equipment can be connected to your digital cable or satellite. DVD recorders and VCR's can be connected directly to the digital video recorder, or the receiver provided by the digital programming provider. DVD players and games consoles connect to the television inputs instead. Sometimes you might want to archive TV programs that you've already recorded on a DVR, or you might want to record a TV program directly from the receiver. Both these tasks can be accomplished by hooking up a VCR to the outputs.


Connect the yellow, red and white plugs from an AV composite cable to the color-coded "Output" on the digital DVR or receiver --- the device hooked up to the satellite or cable digital programming provider. Connect the other ends of the cable to the same color-coded "Input" jacks on the VCR. Look for the "Output" jacks on the DVR or receiver, and the "Input" jacks on the VCR.


Connect the similar cable between the "Output" on the VCR and the "Input" on the television. Again, use the color-coded plugs.


Insert a tape and start the "Record" function on the VCR. Press "Play" on the DVR, or choose the live program on the receiver. Allow the recording to take place. It will end when the tape is full, or end the recording by pressing "Stop" on the VCR.


  • check Intellectual property laws cover the distribution of television programming. In most cases you can't legally record from digital to your VCR unless it's for your own private use. Copy protection built in to HDMI cables may distort the image.

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About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.

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