How to Hook Up a VCR to a Digital TV

VCRs can be hooked up to a digital TV the same way they can be hooked up to an ordinary TV. The only downside is that they can't send a signal with the same level of clarity that a modern DVR or DVD player can. Most VCRs were made before the advent of digital broadcasting, and the cables they use simply can't carry the large amount of information entailed in a high-definition broadcast. The good news is that you can still get a solid signal out of your VCR: We watched those signals for decades, after all, and didn't seem to complain much then.

Step

Find the RCA cable jacks in the back of your VCR. There should be at least two sets: one labeled "In" or "In From Antenna" and one labeled "Out" or "Out to TV." RCA cables consist of three separate wires. The yellow one conveys the video image, the red one conveys the right-hand audio signal and the white one conveys the left-hand audio signal . The jacks in the VCR are small and round and will be color coded to correspond to the three RCA cables.

Step

Locate a similar set of cable jacks in the back of your digital TV. They may be labeled "In" or "In From Antenna," but they look just like the ones in the VCR: one yellow, one white and one red. High-end TVs may have multiple sets of RCA cable jacks. That's fine. Just be sure you note which set you intend to use, so you can tune the TV to them when you're done.

Step

Connect the "Out" jacks in the VCR to the "In" jacks in the digital TV with a set of RCA cables. Match each cable up to its corresponding color and make sure the connections are secure.

Step

Connect the antenna or cable box to the "In" or "In From Antenna" jack on the VCR. With a cable box, you should be able to do this with another set of RCA jacks. If you don't have cable, use the coaxial cable jack on the VCR--it has a white plastic center with a pinhole in the middle--and plug the antenna directly into it. (Some older cable boxes may require the use of coaxial cable as well.)

Step

Turn on the digital TV and find the "Input" or "Set-Up" button on the remote. Press it and set the TV to receive signals from the set of jacks connected to the VCR. You should now be able to watch and record shows on the VCR normally.