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As stereo sound, RGB picture and widescreen signal is the best possible combination for digital television viewing, it is vital to use a SCART lead between any set-top box and the main television.
The composite video picture with stereo sound is the best combination for a VHS video recorder. If your set-top box has two SCART sockets, it is likely that the one marked TV will carry RGB picture information and the other will not.
If your television has more than one SCART input, you may need to choose a special one (marked RGB) if you want to use RGB from the SCART cable.
On most set-top boxes it is possible to turn the RGB output on and off. This can be used to test the RGB input function on the television ? the picture quality appears blurred when it is disabled.
If have a DVD player, rather than a VHS recorder, you can attach this to the set-top boxes second SCART connector. The signal from the set-top box will normally be overridden by the DVD player when it is on, usually in high-quality RGB.
Some very cheap SCART cables do not have all the pins connected. They may not provide RGB and widescreen picture signals. SCART cables are normally no more than three metres in length.
The UHF lead is a lead that you would traditionally associate with television signals. They can carry:
up to 45 (but normally only five) analogue television channels
You can't avoid these cables if you are going to use Freeview, as these cables are the only ones that you can use to distribute Freeview signals around the house.
Where you have an integrated digital television (an idTV) you just need to get the signal from the aerial to the television with one of these cables.
If you are using a Freeview set-top box, you will need to get the signal from the aerial to the set-top box using this aerial lead, but for best results connect the TV to the box with a SCART cable.
You can also use a UHF lead to connect a set-top box to a television somewhere in the house. Your set-top box will require a RF (radio frequency) modulator. Note that "RF passthough" is another way of saying there is no modulator. You will be able to "tune" the second television into the picture showing on the set-top box.
Some boxes (all Sky boxes) have the ability to connect a remote control receiver to the second TV end of the interconnecting cable, so you can change channels.
The set-top boxes, whilst providing a reasonable quality picture to the second TV, will always provide only mono sound via a UHF lead.
The step-change in picture quality obtained by switching to RGB on a SCART is far greater than any obtained though spending any more on a gold-plated SCART cable.
Satellite or cable TV cable
These cables are usually very stiff, and have a very basic screw connector on the end. Usually they will provide an unbroken link to the satellitedish. At the dish end they plug into the device on the end of the arm, the LNB.
Don't try to disconnect these cables when the set-top box is on. Usually there is a small voltage that will cause dangerous sparks.
If the cable connects to a satellite dish, there is not much you can do with the cable. Each receiver in the set-top box needs it's own wire to the LNB. With a personal video recorder (such as Sky+), or a multi-room installations there are two cables to the four-output LNB on the dish. If you want more rooms, each will require it's own cable.
If the cable is providing cable TV, then it is possible to use inexpensive "Y connectors" to link the incoming signal to various set-top boxes, cable modems, or - via an adaptor - directly to the back of a TV.
Composite video cable
This is the most simple and basic video connection you can get. It carries:
a single picture from a set-top box
The picture will be in colour, and of comparable quality to a analogue broadcast station. However, there is no sound. For that reason this cable is often found joined to a stereo audio cable.
These signals are quite robust and can be carried for many metres. Often modern television sets have a single yellow photo input on their front input panel.
You also use an identical cable to carry digital stereo (SPDIF) sound.
Stereo audio cable
These cables carry the left and right channels of sound on two joined cables. They are usually required when a SCART cable is not being used, as the SCART cable already carries stereo sound.
If you are connecting your set-top box to an external stereo system, a separate stereo audio is used.
There is no real practicable limit to the length of these cables, but excessive length will degrade the quality of the signal.
The S-video standard is not well supported by most UK digital TV boxes, and very few have a S-video socket. If you need one for a particular analogue camcorder, use it, but avoid S-video with digital television. If you are using what appears to be a monochrome picture from a SCART lead, it will certainly by an incomplete S-Video signal and you should change to the RGB input.
This is the cable you will use to connect a computer to a old style monitor, and some modern LCD screen too. Most modern LCD TVs will have a VGA input too.
If you want to connect a set-top box to a LCD monitor, you can buy a conversion box from around 60. However this will not result in a better picture than using an existing SCART socket if there is one.
The only way to get higher than normal television resolution is to use a VGA in conjunction with a personal computer or modern games console.
If you want to get the very best out of a television or monitor use a digital video interconnect (DVI) cable.
This will be the only way for most televisions and monitors to receive high-definition pictures from a computer, and some set-top boxes.
If you can use either a VGA cable or a DVI cable, choose the DVI option.
If you want to get the very best out of a television use a HDMI cable.
This will be the only way for most televisions to receive high-definition pictures from set-top boxes.
Kelly T: One SCART from the T to the set-top box's SCART marked TV, the other from the set-top box SCART marked VCR to the DVD/VCR. Put the set-top box into standby mode to access the DVD/VCR or press PLAY on it.
I have an idtv, a vcr and a set top box. How do i connect them so I can record freeviewchannel using the set top box to the vcr, thus allowing me to watch a different freeview channel using the tv's digial tunerat the same time?
JacquiB: Use a SCART to connect the set top box to the VCR. Connect it from the SCART socket on the set-top box marked VCR to the SCART on the VCR marked AV1. Then connect the SCART socket marked TV on the set-top box to the Tv SCART. To watch the VCR, either press PLAY or put the set-top box into standby mode. You might find a Personal Video Recorder (like Freeview Playback) much more convenient, however.
I'll give it a go. I know a PVR would be a lot easier but I sometimes record programmes using vcr in living room and end up watching them in, say, the bedroom and I like the portability that recording on a video tape gives whilst, I think, a pvr is tied to a set tv and isnt portable?
I have recently purchased a Thomson Top Up TV DTR. I have got everything connected, but I want to be able to archive some of the programmes that I have on the DTR to DVD to watch again at a later date.
Please bear with me here as I am not very technically minded!
I have the TV, my freeview recorder, a DVD recorder and a VCR (only needed to play the kiddies old videos these days and not record).
I can use the DVD recorder to play DVDs if the freeview recorder is off, if it is on then the freeview recorder picture appears on 2 of the AV channels and I cannot get the dvd picture up. If the freeview recorder is off and the DVD player is on then I get the DVD picture on 2 of the AV channels.
I have 2 scart sockets on the back of the TV, I have tried utilising both of them and connecting one to the dvd recorder, but then the picture through the dvd recorder turns black and white, so I have gone back to only using one.
I have input and output scart sockets on the back of the DVD recorder and one scart socket on the back of the VCR
Could any clever person please tell me what sequence I should have all of these connected in to be able to receive the freeview picture through the dvd recorder to enable me to back up onto a disc.
Currently I have the scart from the TV going into the DTR, the DTR is also connected to the DVD recorder and the VCR is connected to the DVD recorder. I have the rf lead from the aerial going into the DTR and from the DTR to the TV
Sarah Q: Just connect the TV to DVR using a single SCART from the TV's SCART socket 1, to the SCART on the DVR marked "TV"; then a second SCART only from the DVR to the DVD machine. Then a single SCART from the VCR to the TV. If you want to watch a DVD, press PLAY on the machine and the DVR will pass the signal though, or you can put the DVR into standby mode. Only connect the RF lead to the DVR.
Please can someone help?
I can no longer see DVDs on my television. I have a freeviewbox, TV and DVD player (the TV has one scart connector which is going to the freeview box, and then the DVD player). It used to play DVDs on the AV channel once the freeview was switched off, but now, although the DVD player shows that it is playing the DVD I can't find where the picture is - and I have tried all the AV channels.
I haven't changed anything about the set up but I do have a young baby who may have pressed something... help!
Pat: Use three SCART cables. The first goes from the TV's first SCART to your Thompson PVR. The second goes from the TV's second SCART to the Skybox's SCART marked 'TV'. The third from the Sky box's SCART marked 'VCR' to the DVD player. Then to watch a DVD, either press PLAY on it, or put the Sky box into Standby mode.
I have a free view box and a video recorder with scart sockets and an old tv with noscart socket Irmember buying a n extra cable to link it all up because of this lack I have recently had to disconnect it all to move all to another room and I cannot remember where this extra connector has to go when I put it together again I am nearly 80 and do very well with technology but this has beaten me
Could really do with some help. I've been give a HITACHI 42PMA500 plasma TV with no remote. Its go an analog input(like a jack plug),an analog input - RGB 2-PC which is 15 pin and an RS-232c 9 pin connector. I have linked it up the PC using the PC slot which is fine and all looks good but it's a little big to be used as a pC monitor!! My real problem is i would like to use it as a TV. Ive tried connecting it to an old " On Digital" box which has a 9 pin serial connector on the back but no picture comes through, it says "no sync signal" goes into power save and turns off.Could this be because the Freeview box never had the serial connection activated( and theres no setting in the menues to do this) How can i connect this TV to my freeview box or DVD recorder when it doesn't have any scart lead input only the connections mentioned above
Can you lead me in the proper direction please?I have a thompson top up box and am having virgin media tv installed.Can I get the top up box to record from virgin or do I just leave it set up to record off freeview?
My thinking is that I link via a scart, the virgin box to top up box, then from top up box to tv then my second scart from top up box to dvd recorder then to tv
am I correct?
steve: The Top-Up TV box is only able to record the internal digitalsignal from Freeview, it cannot encode an analoguepicture from another source, even if that was digital (like Virgin Media). You can get a V+ box from Virgin to do this, if you need to record from their service.
Brian help !!!
I have looked at your answers to some problems on here..
here is mine..
I have a top up box which I connected to tv via 1st scart (socket connection tv to tv0. Then I connected from my 2nd tv connection to virgin box marked tv, Then I connected from virgin box marked vcr to dvd recorder marked tv, is this correct because I cannot get the dvd to show on screen no matter if I turn virgin box off or top up box. I did get it going previously by wiring up to a scart extension but this looks like too many wires..
Brian concerning my last post, I had the scart in wrong slot on dvd. However the dvd recorder box will not tune into any channels despite the fact I have a scart in virgin box leading to dvd recorder..
will I have to put arial wire into recorder and one from it to top up box?
brian you say I can only record from scart channel in virgin box, yet my dvd recorder/player does not pick up the channelshowing from the scart, so I cannot record what I am watching on virgin. If I put the scart in the other vacant place, I get no picture at all.
It IS SIMPLE yet I am struggling to see it..
I have a scart from virgin to tv, another from top up to tv and one from virgin to dvd. My arial wire goes to top up box, yet if I use virgin my dvd will not pick up the channel being watched on virgin box, yet I can play and watch a dvd??
Hi i have an lg lcd tv with intergrated freeview, a virgin cablebox not v+, and an lg dvd surround sound system. and i want to purchase a hdmi dvd player/recorder with a usb input so that i can watch and listen to music video from it taken from pc. can anyone send me a diagram of the very best way with the least amount of connecters to connect all of these, keeping in mind i would like to use the surround sound with the cable, and both dvd systems and also the intergrated freeview and the standard tv signal.
steve, bedworth: If the DVD recorder is a 'general purpose' one, it will have an AV1 input or similar. If it an integrated digital-only one, it may not be able to encode analogue signals from the SCART. What is the make and model of the device?
M: Would it not be just easier to connect the PC directly to the TV? You can use Windows Vista Media Center with both surround sound and HDMI outputs and a Media Center remote. USB isn't really a good solution.
hello again brian,
my dvd recorder is a proline dvdr700
at the back of it is two scart spaces, one for connection to tv and the other to an outsource like decoder..which is the one I have my scart plugged into.
It then goes to my virgin box.
I know it has worked being connected to my tompson top up box yet it does not seem to want to pick up the virgin box??
first of all I sorted out my little problem with myd vd and virgin box.
Basically My top up tv box goes to tv direct, while my v box goes to dvd via a scart, and one from dvd to tv. it works !!! I can now record whatever I am watching on virgin..
My next question is this.. I am due to have a v plus box fitted on saturday, do they just fit it to the existing cable? or will I have to ,move furniture again to fit new cable?
hi i have just bought a samsung series 6 lcd tv + a samsung home cinema system but i cant get sound through the cinema system when watching normal tv/dtv . i olso have a skybox + video recorder but cant tape dtv but can tape sky + analog tv.please can u help cable diagram would be verry much apresiated
Hi, I have read all the answers on this page and have been trying hard but to no avail... please would you be able to help me?
I have a freeviewbox, a phillips dvd recorder and a wharfedale telly. I am unable to connect them all up properly. All I can do is freeview to telly and dvd to telly but not all three together.
The telly has built in freeview but when I connect to the dvd, it only picks up teh standard channels and none of the cable ones. This is why I brought a separate freeview box but I am not having any luck with that either. Please could you help? Thanks.
Barbara Fryer: I would estimate that your aerial is pointing at the Fenton transmitter, which is a very weak Freeview transmitter at the moment, but a powerful analogue one. You will probably have to get a rooftop aerial pointing at the Winter Hill transmitter. You would probably find it easier and cheaper to get a Freesatbox and dish as you would need a massive aerial to get good Freeview reception.