Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
Magnavox Player Works with Analog TV's
on November 14, 2012
Our Panasonic VCR died a few weeks ago and we needed to replace it. The TV we used it with is a 25-year old GE. This player works with our old TV and we can play VHS tapes, record VHS tapes and watch DVD's. I am using a cable box from Comcast. This unit does not have a tuner, so you will need an external one like a cable box. Also, your TV MUST have RCA jacks on the back: 3 colored sockets--yellow (video signal) and red and white for the audio. You will need to purchase another set of RCA cables if you plan on recording.
A few things you need to know to get today's progressive scan players to work with an analog TV.
1. You MUST turn progressive scan off. On this player there is a small light on the front labelled P Scan. If that light is illuminated, progressive scan is on. To turn it off, press and hold the play button on the DVD side until the light goes off.
2. There is no TV/VCR button on the remote or front panel. So, to view a tape you must switch to video input on your TV. How you do this depends on the brand of TV you have. For my GE, it amounts to setting the channel to channel 91. This can be done using your TV's remote or by just pressing the channel up button on the front of your set if you are using a cable box. With Comcast's boxes, the channel controls on the TV are limited to 4 and 91 on my set. I suspect that even if you do not know how to switch the video mode, just pressing the channel up button will probably toggle through your options. To find out more about your specific set, download the manual for this player. Go to Google and type magnavox dv225mg9 in the search box and click on the manual. Download it and go to p. 6 where they list the various TV models and ways to switch the video input. Once you have switched the video input, you never need to change it again. My Comcast box works fine with the TV set to channel 91 instead of channel 4. If you find that you suddenly don't see your tape playing, it's likely because the video input was reset somehow, just switch it back and all should be well.
3. Now set the date and time. Using the VCR's remote, press the Setup bottom, which will bring up a menu and the familiar blue screen. Follow the manual instructions.
Hooking the Unit Up--Recording and Playing
1. I recommend hooking up your TV directly to your cable box using the coax. Then use one set of RCA cables to go out of the cable box and into the VCR's input jacks.
2. Use the second set of RCA cables to connect the VCR's output to the video input on the back of your TV.
3. VERY IMPORTANT--you must use the rear inputs on the VCR to allow it to record, the so-called L1 input.
4. Pages 12-13 of the manual describe how to program timer recording. You will note that part of the process involves selecting the input. You must choose L1 if you want to record something on TV.
5. It may seem obvious, but the cable box MUST be on. Some of Comcast's boxes are always on like the simple analog-to-digital converters. But the on-demand boxes can be turned off and if the box is off, all you will record is snow, like you lost your cable connection, which of course you have!
6. To activate the program you just entered, you must press the Timer Set button on the remote. Toshiba also works like this. This locks you out of viewing VHS tapes and only allows viewing DVD's.
7. Finally, make sure to turn off the power to the VCR. It will not record if you leave the power on. It must be able to turn itself on.
Hooking up the unit for playback only:
1. If you are not interested in recording TV shows, then the set of RCA cables supplied with the unit will suffice. I suspect that since this unit has no internal tuner, that is why only one set of RCA cables is included.
2. Hook one end up to the VCR output jacks on the back of the VCR and hook up the other end to the matching color jacks on the back of your TV.
3. Make sure your TV is set to video input and you should be good. Whenever you want to playback a VHS tape or DVD, just press Play on the VCR remote and your selection will be viewable on your TV.
4. You can skip setting the clock, etc. since you will only be playing back and not recording.
I only rated this unit a 4. Although I am very pleased that Magnavox's manual addressed the compatibility early in the manual and that the manual is available online, so you can check it out before buying the unit, I am less impressed with the design. The visibility of the unit's front panel controls and the remote buttons are rather poor. White lettering on a sliver background does not make for easy reading. Be prepared to have to use a flashlight to read the front panel controls. The lack of a display means you'd have to check the time on the unit before using the timer record function, unless you just want to cross your fingers. For me, to rate a 5, Magnavox would have to make 4 changes: make the controls on the front of the unit and on the remote more legible by changing the color of the background and/or characters, include a digital display which not only displayed the time, but also acted as a time counter when playing back VHS tapes or DVD's.
It took me about 2 weeks of research to figure out how to make these new VCR's work with our perfectly functional, albeit antiquated TV's. Hope this info helps others with the same problem we faced.
Questions, just ask. I personally have learned so much from Amazon's customer feedbacks that I really want to share what I can to help others navigate the tech swamp.