How to Hook up an Old VCR to a New TV

By Chris Blake

If you look on the back of a new television, all of the output ports can be intimidating, especially if you're an amateur who is just trying to get all of your components to work. The average person wants to hook up the equipment, turn on the power and enjoy the show. While all of the options on the back of your television can be confusing, hooking up an older VCR to a new television isn't that hard if you know what you're doing.

Things You'll Need

  • Television
  • VCR
  • 2 RF cables or 1 AV (RCA) cable

How to Hook Up an Old VCR to a New TV

Step 1

Determine whether the back of your television has an RF port or an AV port. An RF port will be a single female port that a cable can be screwed into, while an AV port will have two female ports for an audio visual cable. Most new televisions have audio visual, or AV, ports, and therefore an AV cable will be needed.

Step 2

If your television has an AV port, simply hook the AV cables into the back of your VCR and the back of your television in "AV In" port. You will have to change the "Input" mode on your television's remote control and choose the appropriate mode in order to see the picture. Most televisions have a VCR selection.

Step 3

If you have digital cable, the cable coming from your wall should be connected to the "RF In" or "Antenna In" port on your digital cable box.

Step 4

There should be an empty "RF Out" or "Antenna Out" port on your digital cable box and an empty "RF In" or "Antenna In" port on your VCR. Connect your RF cable to each of these ports.

Step 5

Run a second RF cable from the remaining open port on your VCR that should be labeled "RF Out" or "Antenna Out" to the open port on your television labeled "RF In" or "Antenna In."

Step 6

Plug the VCR into an electrical outlet and turn the VCR power on. You should be able to view VHS tapes on your VCR.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some televisions and cable boxes require a television to be on channel three or four before the picture can be seen.