How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Russell H. Your Own Question
Russell H.
Russell H., Service Tech
Category: Home Theater-Stereo
Satisfied Customers: 10780
Experience:  8+ years of professional experience
Type Your Home Theater-Stereo Question Here...
Russell H. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have an older model RCA TV which is hooked up to a Directv

Customer Question

I have an older model RCA TV which is hooked up to a Directv receiver box. Now I'm trying to connect a Magnavox MDR 161V vcr/dvd player/recorder. I'm not sure of the connections I've done & once you get that done it says to find the external input channel on your TV. I do get a channel on the TV to watch, but to get a screen to set up the dvd recorder I cannot get anything. I don't know what to do ?
JA: Sometimes things that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix. The TV Technician I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Is there anything else the TV Technician should be aware of?
Customer: I'm thinking, but I cannot think of anything at the moment. I'm just so confused. which wires to use & what ports to put them in to which machine. Like I say, I cannot get to do the set up screen for the dvd recorder because I don't understand what an external input channel is.
JA: OK. Got it. Last thing - JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the TV Technician about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Home Theater-Stereo
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

To get the VCR/DVD player hooked up properly, one usually uses a cable type called 'coaxial'... or 'cable-TV cable'... and connects it in this case, from the VCR/DVD to the cable TV input jack on the TV.

Then with your remote, go in the Menu of the TV to your Source settings, and choose among them - or on some remotes, just press the SOURCE button, after selecting the TV, and one by one, slowly (so as to give the picture time to appear, if there is or will be one) go through the input sources until you get the screen you need, from the VCR/DVD.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Russell. So what you are saying is that I need a coaxel cable & hook it from the vcr/dvd recorder to the TV? The coaxel cable is different from the RCA cable (red, white, yellow) that was supplied in the box that came with the vcr/dvd recorder? I will try things today & let you know.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.

Well... does your TV has a coaxial cable input? Does the VCR/DVD box have a coaxial cable input and a coaxial cable output ? if 'yes' to both, do try hooking the coaxial output from the VCR box to the TV's coaxial cable input, with a cable TV or coaxial cable.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.

(Yes, coaxial is different from RCA-type. Coaxial is usually either sheathed in white insulation, or sometimes in black. The end of the cable has one wire, protruding, in the center.)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I tried adjusting the RCA red, white, yellow cords in every which way imaginable between the old TV, newer Directv receiver, & the new dvd recorder. It did not work. Also I cannot use a coaxel cable because the coaxel input is different on the older TV than the Directv receiver and the dvd recorder. So, either the dvd recorder is faulty or I need a new TV. The TV I have is 25 yrs old & still going. I will just have to try to do each one myself with a certain program which will take longer to do.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.

I think the problem is, simply, that your TV is too old. No coaxial input on the TV? wait a minute... you said the coaxial input was different!

Why not try a coaxial adapter, and do that hookup? try it, that way.

Do you need help finding a coaxial adapter? I can do that for you, if you have not given up on my advice altogether. If you still need help, either photograph the coaxial input on the TV, and I will look up the specs for the DVD/VCR... or, you could tell me the TV's model #, please.