How to Record TV Using a Digital TV Converter Box and an Analog VCR

by Contributor

You can record your TV programs without missing them, even after installing a digital converter box. If you have elected to convert your analog TV to digital TV using a converter box, you can still record your programs on your analog VCR while you're away from home. Note that you cannot watch a channel and record from a different channel using this method.


Unplug your TV and VCR from the power supply. Then connect the digital converter box to your antenna or rabbit ears, if it isn't already connected. Tighten the connections using pliers as needed.


Install the cable from the converter box, connecting to the "Antenna In" (RF) connection on your VCR. It is preferable to use a threaded coaxial cable to connect the system together.


Then connect the cable from the VCR "Out" to your TV. With the system connected in this order, the converter box sends the channel video signals through Channel 3 or 4 (whichever you have selected on the converter box). For the purpose of this instruction, Channel 3 will be used.


Plug the VCR and TV back into the power supply. You must change one of the converter box settings if the converter box is set to turn itself off automatically. Refer to the converter box instructions and change this setting so the converter box remains on the entire time. The remaining settings aren't affected.


To record a program using this converter box setup, let's assume you want to record Channel 5 on Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. while you're gone. Before leaving home, program the VCR to record from Channel 3 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday using an "Extra Play" (EP setting allows a 6-hour recording). The VCR must be set to Channel 3 to record the channel set on the converter box.


Turn on the TV and set the TV channel to "3" and the converter box to "Channel 5." Make sure the proper channel appears on the TV. Adjust the rabbit ears if necessary for a clear picture. Turn off the TV and the VCR. The VCR will record Channel 5 while you are gone. Remember to set each time the converter box for the channel you want to record before leaving home.


If you are frequently gone or watching another program on a different TV, you can program a second TV/VCR to record each weekday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Channel 3. Make sure the converter box is set to the right channel each night. Pressing the "Record" button on the VCR also works to record programs while you're home. This procedure can be used with an analog DVD recorder or DVD/VCR combo recorder instead of the VCR.


  • check Whenever the VCR is turned on, it must be set to Channel 3 to view the channel set on the converter box.
  • check For less confusion whenever the VCR isn't being used, turn the power off.
  • check If you are home and want to record a program, the VCR can be used and set manually.
  • check If you record something and the playback is empty or a blue screen appears, you most likely didn't program to record from Channel 3.


  • close Observe all safety instruction specified in the manuals for your TV, VCR and converter box before making connections.
  • close Never use electronic equipment where the carpet or floor are wet.

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