Setting up new Panasonic tv with VCR and DVD

  Carafaraday 12:26 16 Nov 2006

I've just bought a new Panasonic DVD recorder DMR-EX75 and Toshiba 32WLT66 tv. Everything is working ok and the reception seems fine but I'm not sure I've set it up in the most intelligent way.

I've set up the aerial to the DVD, then scart from DVD to tv and aerial from DVD to tv. The aerial is split 'at the wall' and from there I have lead another connection to the VCR which is also connection to the tv by scart.

Would it be possible to do away with the aerial splitter (which I believe can weaken the signal)and connect aerial to VCR (which is incidentally 20 years old), then aerial to DVD .............. or what? Maybe scart between VCR and DVD? If anyone can suggest the best way of going about this I'd be very grateful. I'd really like to have as few wires as possible.

  De Marcus™ 13:20 16 Nov 2006

With your equipment I would connect as follows:

Aerial into DVD Recorder and from DVD recorder into TV. Bypass the VCR all together. (let's face it, your VCR won't need an aerial plugged in any more as you have a dvd recorder).

Then I would connect the VCR scart out to the DVD recorder scart in. That's the only scart cable I would use.

Your DVD recorder has an HDMI output and your TV also, another option is to connect via component, both methods give a better picture than scart, especially if the dvd recorder can output a progressive signal over the component connection (and a quick check of the manual states that it can). I wouldn't use any scart connection between tv and dvd as in your case both units are HD compatible.

  Carafaraday 13:47 16 Nov 2006

Thank you for taking the time to reply. You will need to forgive me for not fully understanding what you say. Our last tv was over 20 years old and the VCR is about the same so all this new technology is a bit of a shock.

1. If I don't connect the VCR to the aerial and only by scart to the DVD will I still be able to record on the VCR? I know it's unlikely that I would need to given the new DVD, but I'd like to retain the possibility - at least in the short term as I'm not completely confident about setting up the DVD although so far it has worked ok.

2. I'm not quite sure what you are saying about the connection between the DVD and tv. What do you mean by 'component'? Presumably I need to buy new cabling for either the HDMI or 'component' connections?

3. One other question, if you wouldn't mind. It's clear that you are someone who is very clued-up about these things. Is it theoretically possible to record two programmes at the same time onto the HDD? This seems unlikely, but so does the fact that I can watch programmes from the beginning while the end is still being recorded and I've found that works!

Sorry for being so dim.

  De Marcus™ 13:57 16 Nov 2006

1. If you really want to continue using the VCR to record then you'll have to feed it an aerial, which you can then pass through the dvd recorder and then onto the TV. I have a similar setup and find that splitting the aerial at the wall socket and feeding the (in your case) TV seperately (without looping through the VCR and DVD recorder gives a better picture. Some people would use different methods but it's best to experiment.

2. With regard to connecting the DVD and TV, my first choice would be a single HDMI cable, this carries audio as well as video in a high definition format therefore taking advantage of your new tv's capabilities, component is the next option (essentially these are just phono leads) and there are 3, they're are coloured red, green and blue. Both HDMI and component give a much better picture compared to scart. This of course is only noticeable if your watching DVD's, standard TV broadcasts will all look the same regardless of how you connect.

3. I don't know, but I'll check, it's dependent on whether the DVD recorder has more than one tuner installed.

  De Marcus™ 14:03 16 Nov 2006

3. Your DVD recorder has a single tuner therefore you can only record one thing at a time albeit you can start viewing the program before it has finished recording (only when recording to Hard disk and not DVD).

  Carafaraday 14:09 16 Nov 2006

Thank you very much for all your explanations. I have phono leads and will try them instead of the scart from DVD to TV.

To recap : you suggest aerial split at wall with one bit going direct to TV and other to VCR and onwards to DVD. No aerial connection between DVD to TV but try phono leads instead of scart. VCR and DVD should be linked by scart as well as aerial.

I hope that's right.

Thanks again.

  De Marcus™ 14:13 16 Nov 2006

Yes. (experiment with your aerial connections to get the best picture, I've often found that a great signal is degraded once it's passed through a VCR or DVD player and onto TV)

Good luck.

And so you can appreciate the difference between scart and component, try a dvd played back through both connections.

  De Marcus™ 14:14 16 Nov 2006

Oh, and don't forget to turn progressive scan on when your connected, the screen will flicker like mad otherwise and until you do.

  Carafaraday 14:20 16 Nov 2006

Justwhen I thought I understood!! What is 'progressive scan' and why do I need it? Is it needed for the component connection?

  De Marcus™ 14:22 16 Nov 2006


It's buried in your DVD recorder menu and should be enabled from there. If you need help finding it let me know and I'll dig round the manual again for instructions.

  Carafaraday 14:24 16 Nov 2006

Thank you. Will the progressive scan have to be turned off again if I revert to scart or change to HDMI, or can it just be left on?

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