splitters - hooking up many components

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Old 01-12-09, 07:40 PM
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splitters - hooking up many components

I have many components hooked up to our incoming cable, but can no longer use the vcr to record, so am hoping to figure out what cord goes to what component. Can anyone tell me what gets connected to what?

This is the scenario: The living room has a TV and a VCR; the bedroom room to the left of the living room has a computer; the bedroom to the right of the living room has a computer, a small tv, and a vcr.

The computers are networked together (not even sure that is the correct lingo) and I believe are joined by a DLink box.

Also, I recently got a digital cable modem so that I could get more TV channels. So now, in the living room, there is the DLink box, a cable modem (cable internet), and another modem (digital cable modem).

I am feeling really confused as to what goes where... When I got the digital cable modem a couple weeks ago, I thought I connected it the proper way. Apparently not, because now the vcr in the living won't record, and I can't figure out what I've done wrong and why the vcr no longer records. That just doesn't make sense to me that it no longer works. I'm just feeling really confused now and am hoping there is an easy way to figure out what goes to what.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

p.s. Does price matter when it comes to splitters? I recently bought a new one, but it was fairly cheap. Does that matter? It is a 4-way splitter, and on it, it says "5 - 900 MHz". Will it work fine (once I get this all sorted out)?
 
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Old 01-13-09, 05:25 AM
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Does everything else work except the VCR in the living room? What about the TV & VCR in the bedroom? How many digital cable boxes do you have?

In the living room, if you have the cable going to the cable box first, and then it splits to the VCR & TV, you'll only be able to record what you're watching. Channel switching is done by the cable box, not the TV or VCR. If that's the case, put the splitter before the cable box so it feeds (1) the cable box (and then to the TV) and (2) the VCR. The VCR's outputs also need to be connected to the TV. Use RCA cables from the VCR to one of the TV's AV inputs.

You won't be able to record digital channels on the VCR, but you may be able to record the old channels. However, some cable companies shut off the old channels when you switch to digital cable.
 
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Old 01-13-09, 02:08 PM
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Thanks for your reply!

Re the digital cable box - I only have one, and it is in the living.

Re the tv/vcr/computer in the bedroom - Yes. Everything works.

So if I am understanding what you're saying (and I could be way off here), I should have:

Main cable into house, going into a splitter.
From that splitter:
- one cable should head into the bedroom with the tv/vcr/computer.
- one cable should go to another small splitter.

From that splitter:
- one cable should go directly to the VCR in the living room.
- one cable should go directly to the digital box.

Then a people of cable cord goes directly from the VCR to the TV.

Is that correct? Will I then be able to record the regular channels on the VCR? (Is there any way I can set it up so that I can record the regular channels, plus the digitals channels, on the vcr?)

But if the only cable going to the TV is the one from the VCR, doesn't that mean I won't be able to view any digital channels on the TV (since the orig. cable is split to go to the VCR and digital box separately, rather than from the digital box, to the vcr, to the tv)?

Oh boy - I'm starting to confused myself here again. This is way more confusing than I anticipated.

I did try calling the cable company, but my confusion seemed to rub off on them, so I didn't get anywhere.

On another note, when I was looking at splitters, the only options seemed to be cheap or expensive: either $2 or $37. Would the $2 work just as well?
 
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Old 01-13-09, 05:51 PM
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You have it right except for the cable box to the TV. My suggestion would be to connect the digital cable box to the TV using the yellow, red & white RCA connections. This will give you better picture quality for digital cable. You'll select Video or AV as the input on the TV and use the cable box remote to change channels.

When you want to watch a tape, use the TV's remote to switch it to the Cable input and set the TV to channel 3 or 4 to see the VCR. The VCR will then work as it always has, by allowing you to record one channel while watching another.

You can record off the digital cable box, but you wouldn't be able to watch a different digital cable program while you're recording. That's because the digital cable box only gives you one channel at a time. (Which is also why you have to use its remote to change channels.)

There is a way you can record digital cable while watching another channel. It will involve some rewiring.

As to the splitters, the bandwidth is important. Typical splitters for digital cable are 5 megahertz to 1 gigahertz (1,000 megahertz). 900 megahertz is usually good enough for most cable systems. If you're receiving all of the stations you're supposed to, your 5 - 900 is working fine.

I wouldn't waste money on expensive splitters. Very good two-way splitters can be had for less than $10.

Lastly, don't use a four-way where only a two-way is needed. Every time you split the signal you lose signal power. A two-way loses 3dB. A four-way loses 6dB, whether or not all of its ports are connected. Use as few splitters as you need to get the job done.
 
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Old 01-14-09, 10:35 PM
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Thank you so much. I really appreciate your reply.

Now off to hook it up......

Thanks again.
 
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