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Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD


Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

Hello everyone!  We had the AT&T tech out here on April 26 to install our U-Verse system.  However, none of our components (i.e. VCR, DVD player, stereo receiver, or stereo speakers) were hooked up yet (they weren't unpacked).  He just installed the AT&T receiver to our HDTV.  We have a brand new Phillips 42" HDTV.  The VCR is a late 90's Sony SLV-N71.  The DVD player is a 2005 Sony DVPN5V57P.  I have these hooked up to a Technics SA-EX300 receiver from the mid-90's powering some 901 Bose speakers which have their own equalizer.


As you can guess, there are many wires everywhere.  On top of that we have an early 90's Fisher cassette player/recorder.  They all worked fine when we had Comcast basic service (no set up box). 


My boyfriend is losing his mind and I'm losing my patience because he cannot get this setup.  He bought one HDMI calbe and tried to connect it from the TV to the AT&T receiver and he put the source for the TV to HDMI1 and the TV flashes the picture for a split second and then, shows what souce it's on.  He tried it on HDMI 2, then 3 and it does the same thing. 


He cannot get the VCR and DVD connected either.  Can someone provide a step by step connection guide since AT&T is worthless and they want to send someone out here for $300 to hook it all up.  I would really appreciate your help.  Oh, and the book provided by AT&T doesn't help.  Obviously, otherwise we wouldn't have a bunch of people coming on this message board asking for assistance.





Message 1 of 57

Accepted Solutions

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD



Philips HDTV: Very nice TV.  You'll enjoy it.


Sony DVD: A bit older, but a nice DVD player.


Sony VCR: Well, if you still have tapes to watch, then you have to have one.


Technics AVR: OK, this is the equivalent of trying to put a watch together with stone knives and bearskins.  This AVR is the component that is stopping you from getting this all hooked up in a good way.  It's also very outdated as far as what kinds of audio (moden digital codecs, surround sound, etc.) it can play.  Seriously, replace this thing with a modern AV Receiver at your earliest opportunity.  Current popular brands are Onkyo, Pioneer, Denon, Sony, and Yamaha.



But if you want all this hooked up, I recommend the following setup.  Each numbered item is one set of connections.  The proper cable from is linked to at the end, all cables are 6 feet long.





1. Sony VCR to Philips HDTV: Use a Composite + L/R Audio cable (3x RCA connectors, yellow/red/white) from the VCR out jacks to the Philips HDTV Video 1 In jacks.  The Video 1 in jacks are on the back of the Philips TV, they're labeled #5 in your manual on page 28.  Monoprice Composite+L/R Audio Cable.


2. Sony DVD to Philips HDTV: Use an S-Video + L/R Audio cable (2x RCA + 1x S-Video, red/white/black) from the DVD output jacks to the Philips HDTV Video 2 in jacks.  The Video 2 in jacks are on the side of the Philips TV, they're labeled #10/#11 in your manual on page 28.  Monoprice S-Video + L/R Audio Cable.


3. U-Verse to Philips HDTV: Use a Component + L/R audio cable (5x RCA, red/green/blue/red/white) from the U-Verse DVR output jacks to the Philips HDTV Component in jacks.  The Component in jacks are on the back of the TV, they're labeled #6 in your manual on page 28.  Abandon the HDMI cable and connection because HDMI does not help you due to your audio setup.  In fact, it will hurt you because of a black level problem within the U-Verse system.  Component connections work better for your situation.  Monoprice Component + L/R Audio Cable.


4. Philips TV to Technics AVR: Use a standard L/R audio cable (2x RCA, red/white) from the Philips TV audio output jacks to the Technics AVR VCR1 audio input jacks.  The audio output jacks on the Philips TV are on the back, shown as #3 in your manual on page 28.  Note that your manual has a misprint, it calls these "Audio Input Jacks" -- they are not, they are output.  Monoprice L/R Audio Cable.


5. Fisher tape deck to Technics AVR: Use a standard L/R audio cable (2x RCA, red/white) from the Fisher audio output to the Technics AVR Tape in jacks.  (Use same type of cable as #4 -- so you will need two of those).





You will select which device you want to watch on the HDTV by changing the TV input (use the Source button on the remote)


Sony VCR: Video 1

Sony DVD: Video 2

U-Verse: Component


For the Technics AVR, you will leave it on VCR1 to listen to anything except the Fisher tape deck.  To listen to that, switch the Technics to Tape instead of VCR1.  Switch back to VCR1 to listen to anything else.





U-Verse DVR:


1. Menu -> Options -> System Options -> Aspect Ratio -> Set to 1080i on high-definition screens.

2. Menu -> Options -> Audio/Language Options -> Digital Audio Output -> Set to Stereo

3. While watching TV, hit Enter (key below the 9 on the remote) -> Use L/R arrows to go to Zoom, set to Normal.

Philips HDTV:


1. Change the picture format to Normal (use Format button on Remote).

2. Menu -> Picture -> Auto Picture -> Set to Standard

3. Menu -> Sound -> TV Speakers -> Off



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Message 4 of 57

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Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

Yay, SJ!  How you can do all that in your head with no equipment in front of you, just amazes me!!!

Message 31 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

spd2demun wrote:

Yay, SJ!  How you can do all that in your head with no equipment in front of you, just amazes me!!!


User manuals downloadable in PDF format.  Greatest thing since sliced bread. Smiley Wink Smiley Very Happy



Message 32 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD make it sound easier than it is. Smiley Wink

Message 33 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

I'm utterly amazed at how you can do this as well.  I know you are looking at the manuals, but how to make sense of some of it?  Are you an audio guru? 


My boyfriend read your instructions and said, "Ahhhh, now it makes sense."  The only question he had was about his equalizer for the Bose speakers.  He said that they have to have the equalizer.  But, he'll try your connections and see what happens.

Message 34 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

The Bose 901s (like any speakers) have a non-linear frequency and phase response.  The equalizer that they come with is designed to compensate for the non-linearities so that the speakers end up producing a nice flat frequency response.  The equalizer also adds some punch to the low end.

In your setup, the Onkyo's Audyssey 2EQ will perform the same function by compensating for the speaker non-linearities and will compensate for the room acoustics as well.  After that if you want to add some low end, you can do that with the audio adjustments on the Onkyo or through one of the listening modes.


These newer receivers that have this calibrated microphone automatic equalization are incredible.  My Pioneer VSX-1018 has this same feature (they call it something different but it does the same thing).  The equalization is so good that it has literally devalued speakers as an item category.  With the computer-perfect equalization, you don't need $3000 speakers any more for audiophile quality, you can make a $400 set sound identical.


Audio guru?  I dunno.  Audio snob?  Probably. Smiley Very Happy  I've spoiled myself by having a finely-tuned 5.1 system in my house for years as well as an ISF-calibrated HD TV, etc.  So I'm probably also a video snob, computer snob, coffee snob, ... the list goes on.  Just kinda snobby all the way around. Smiley Wink Smiley Very Happy


Message 35 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

Well, he was able to get everything connected.  VCR does not display anything on the screen, but we get sound.  Same with the DVD player.  Also, the DVD player doesn't have a progressive/normal slide switch on it.  He had to put it on the other tv and go to the menu in order to change it to Progressive.  We only get sound, no picture.  He's messing with the connections now.


He's a little disappointed in this receiver because it seems to only work well with "newer" components like the CD player.  The tape deck works, but you have to crank the volume higher than normal in order to hear the tape.  I guess when you get an HDTV and want to connect everything to the receiver, you also have to buy all new components too!


My phonograph won't connect unless we purchase some kind of additional module to plug into it.  I'm sure they don't make HDMI tape decks or phonographs, do they?  Smiley LOL


Here's another problem.  We setup the TV according to the instructions from SomeJoe and the picture isn't being displayed full screen.  We have to go to Zoom and put it on Stretch.  But, then the words at the bottom (i.e. show description, time) are getting cut off.  What do we need to change?  Thank you!

Message 36 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

I don't think you've gone through all of my settings yet. Please completely go through all of the settings I noted above on all of the components (especially the Onkyo and the U-Verse receiver).
Message 37 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

He reset the entire receiver and is going to start again from the beginning.  We ordered a Blu Ray DVD player and HDMI cable for it. 


Right now we have another problem and he's dealing with that.  Then, he will go back to the TV and go through your steps again.  Thanks again!

Message 38 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

We received the Blu Ray DVD player yesterday.  Boyfriend has everything hooked up, but cannot get the Blu Ray player to work.  SomeJoe, I'm not sure if there are other settings on the receiver that he has to do?  He's not getting a picture in order to do the setup screen that the Blu Ray player says should automatically come up when you turn on the tv. 


Also, it seems like the volume has to be turned up so high in order to hear the tv program.  Are there adjustments we can do on the A/V receiver to fix this issue?  It wasn't like this before when he inititially hooked everything up.


Here's another issue I have.  You said to turn off the speakers to the TV.  Is there any way that we can still have the TV speakers on?  During the setup and following your instructions, he turned off the tv speakers.  But, if you try to turn them on now, you can't.  I'd like to have the option of watching TV without the receiver on and also having the TV speakers on with the stereo speakers.


Thanks for all of your help!  I'm sorry that my boyfriend is so audio/video challenged.  Sometimes I wonder if I should have just did all of the work on hooking this stuff up!  I'm more technologically inclined, I'm discovering, than he is.

Message 39 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

Unfortunately, I only have the user manuals of the equipment that you posted that you have to go by. At this point, because you're still having problems configuring things, it's not really possible for me to do anything else without putting hands on the equipment, which is impractical.

The best bet for you at this point is to have someone who is local to you who specializes in A/V setups to come to your home and get everything hooked up and working. I hesitate to recommend any of the consumer services like Geek Squad from Best Buy, because they sometimes have people who really don't know what they're doing.

I would recommend you ask at the location where you bought the Onkyo Receiver for a recommendation as to who to go to.
Message 40 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

To add to what SJ said, try a high end stereo store for help. 

Message 41 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

No need for the professional installers. 


He was able to get it all working using Some Joe's instructions.  Since we purchased a new Blu Ray DVD player, he had to modify the instructions from Joe.  Now he's going to reconfigure the speakers because the sound is strange with the one center speaker that we have (however, we have no subwoofer or surround sound system).  The voices are coming out of that center speaker while the background noise/music, etc. is coming out of the two Bose speakers.  He's going to disconnect the center speaker and reconfigure the Bose speakers. 


Thanks to everyone here for all of your help.  Some Joe, if there was a way to get you out here to help set everything up, you can bet your hat that I would pay you to do it!

Message 42 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

Sweet! Smiley Happy  Glad that you did finally get everything working!


The dialogue coming out of the center speaker is normal -- this is the way that 5.1 audio is supposed to work.  It centralizes the dialogue right near the screen so that background sound effects, music, etc. take advantage of the stereo effects of the front left/front right speaker placement.


I would advise not removing the center speaker since it is designed to work that way, especially since you now have a Blu-Ray player which will have extremely good audio on most discs.


Also, don't test the audio using a U-Verse SD channel, since those are only 2-channel audio.  Test with a 5.1 Blu-Ray disc or at minimum, a U-Verse HD channel that has 5.1 audio.  Those will illustrate how the system is processing sound.


Message 43 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

He's already in the process of changing it and removing the center speaker.  I guess we shall see how it sounds.  Yeah, I know that's how it's supposed to work with the center speaker as my boyfriend said the same thing as you.  But, it bothers me and hurts my right ear.  I also cannot understand what the people are saying that well when it's coming out of the center speaker. 


Maybe my ears are strange or {Inappropriate content removed}, but I also have problems with surround sound and I cannot stand how the sound is in a movie theatre when it's coming at all different directions.  I can't stand surround sound!!!  I know, I'm weird.  LOL


He's going to kill me if I tell him to change it back with the center speaker.  He's doing the setup with the microphone thing that you put on a tripod in the center of the room right now. 

Message 44 of 57

Re: Help Installing VCR, stereo receiver, and DVD

Update.  We bought a 7.1 surround sound system by Onyko and my boyfriend will be hooking the speakers up today or tomorrow.  He and I agreed that it would be better to have this receiver work at what it was intended to do and that is to provide a home theater experience.  I can't wait to see how it sounds!

Message 45 of 57
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