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romr2009, Electronics Engineer
Category: Consumer Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 1782
Experience:  32 years practical systems experience: computer/phone, automotive, appliance, & electrical control
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I have a 1999 Emerson combo 9 color tv and video cassette

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I have a 1999 Emerson combo 9" color tv and video cassette player Model VT0950. TV works great but won't go above channel 13. VCR will not accept a tape. Can this be fixxed? Is it worth fixing?



This 10 year old combo is probably not worth fixing. For less than 1/2 the price of a repair (The repairman needs $100 profit just to break even) you could get a DVD/VCR combo.


The channel issue is fixable if you have the original remote control to run the setup program.




Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I accept your decision on the VCR not being worth to repair. I do have the original remote and it seemsto work just fine. Please advise how i can use thhis remote to get the rest of the available channels. I will be out of the hose all day and will see your response later today. I will then release the deposit. thanks for your help.


If the Emerson TV/VCR is connected to an antenna you can make it rescan the airwaves to remember any available analog channels.

Using the Emerson remote control, point at the tv and
  • press the "TV POWER" button (top left) to turn on the tv
  • press "CH.SET"
  • press "AUTO"
  • the tv will automatically scan and remember any channels it sees then stop at the lowest channel
If the tv stations in your area have gone digital, you will only see stations that are still carrying analog signals -- eventually those stations will abandon all analog signals because it costs too much to support both systems. You will need a digital converter box too see the digital-only stations and change channels.
All new tvs have digital capability built-in.

If you are using satellite or a cable box you cannot scan channels because the satellite/cable box controls the available channels.


Edited by romr2009 on 10/10/2009 at 12:10 AM EST
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Romr: Sorry for the delay in replying. We are having a very busy weekend. I followed you instructions with the remote with no success. Chanels #2 thru #13 all come in perfectly. Some of the chanels between 13 and 40 come in with a lot of snow and little or no audio. The rest are all snow. The TV is connected to our local cable provider, Charter Communications. All of our other older TVs, some about 20 years old, were able to convert to the digital without a problem, even though they were not built for any digital. I am curious why this one will not. It's probably a lost cause, but I am curious to know if there is an answer to this question.

On most TVs there are two sets of channels.
  • The original set was designed before cable TV was invented: broadcast Channels 2-13 were on VHF (very high frequency) and broadcast channels 14-40 were on UHF (ultra high frequency).
  • There is a huge gap between VHF and UHF that was already being used for other purposes (CB radio, aircraft, etc.).
  • When cable TV came along, a second set of VHF TV channels (14-120) were available on the VHF frequencies above channel thirteen but below UHF because cable is not broadcast over the airwaves and does not interfere with the other (non-TV ) FCC regulated services.
It looks like your TV only has the original set of channels 2-13 VHF and 14-40 UHF.
On the better TVs, the VHF tuner could tune channels to 14-120 in addition to the original 2-13 VHF. Your remote control does not have a menu button where other TVs have an option between broadcast (antenna) channels or cable (CTV) channels. The poor channels you are seeing between 14 and 40 are not from the cable company but are broadcast signals just leaking into the system from the airwaves.

The analog/digital issue is a completely different matter. The government-mandated conversion only affects the original 2-13 VHF. (They wanted to sell those frequencies to private industries -- cellular, etc -- because they easily pass through buildings and are perfect for two-way communications.) Since you are not using an antenna to receive broadcast signals the conversion does not affect you.


Edited by romr2009 on 10/10/2009 at 6:14 PM EST
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Romer: Thanks for the education. Looks as if this is a lost cause, so to speak. I appreciate your input and acceot the solution.