tv/cable/pip hookup prob

Old 03-29-01, 01:01 PM
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I recently got a cable box and am having a problem getting my picture in picture to work with it. I have heard that this will only work with basic cable. if that is the case, how do i set up my system so that i can switch back and forth from cable to basic? pip works fine with just tv/vcr/ and direct cable(no box) feed to tv.
I have an rca pip model f36676et, a cable box and a vcr. i think i need some wiring help, as i have never used audio/video wires to set up my tv/cable&vcr. thanks!
Old 03-29-01, 02:20 PM
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Good evening, asmith3366:

The fix is relatively simple. Your cable box only puts out one channel to the TV set (usually Channel 3 or 4) so that you do the actual channel change on the box and not the TV set.
The PIP (picture in picture) uses its own tuner in the TV set to scan the channels on the cable. But, the set is only seeing channel 3 or 4 with the cable box. Hence, the PIP doesn't work.

Stop by Radio Shack and pick up one of their small 3 dB TV signal amplifiers (usually about $15). The amplifiers have an F-59 cable connection input from the antenna/cable and two F-59 cable connections for output.
Also, pick up a device called an A-B switch and three (4)
coaxial cables about three feet long with F-59 connectors on each end.

Now, you install the amplifier (plug it in, of course) and connect the cable TV coax to the input of the amplifier. Take one of your 3' coaxial cables and connect to one of the outputs of the amplifier and the other end to the "A" position of the A-B switch.

Take another 3' coaxial cable and connect it to the second output of the amplifier and the other end is connected to the cable box input (where the cable usually connects).

Take another 3' coaxial cable and connect it from the cable box output to the "B" input of the A-B switch.

Take the last 3' coaxial cable and connect it from the output of the A-B switch to the antenna input on the TV set.

Now, push the "A" button on the A-B switch and your set is running directly on cable. You PIP will work just fine.

If you desire a premium channel that the cable box provides, push the "B" switch on the A-B unit, set your TV to Channel 3 (or 4) and use the cable box to select the channel. The PIP will no longer work.

So, what you have is an "either-or" installation. When you want the PIP to work, the switch will set your input to the TV so that it will function. I assume this will be about 90% of the time.

I have advised you to install an amplifier instead of a "two set" coupler because I do not know how strong your cable signal is in your area. A two-set coupler will decrease your signal to the box and the set by one-half. This could put your into "snow". A small amplifier will double your cable signal strength and, if it is too much, the cable box and TV will compensate for it electronically.

Good luck and happy viewing. This change will cost you about $30-$35. I have one just like on my set for all the reasons you came to us at

Come back and visit us often.


[Edited by Smokey on 03-29-01 at 05:32]

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