How to Set Up the PIP Feature on a TV

By Robert Vaux

PIP stands for "picture in picture," which creates a small window in the upper corner of the TV screen carrying a different channel than the one on the rest of the screen. It allows you to watch one channel while monitoring another--handy for skipping commercials, scanning for different shows and watching New Year's bowl games. PIP functions are sometimes called "Twin View" or "Double View" functions. Different TVs require different set-up functions, but the basic steps are similar on most models.

Things You'll Need

  • TV with PIP feature
  • Cable box or VCR
  • RCA cables
  • Coaxial cables
  • Two-way coaxial splitter (optional)

Step 1

Check the back of your television. You should see two pertinent series of input jacks: a coaxial jack labeled "In" or "In From Antenna," which will be round with a milky white plastic center and a pinhole in the middle, and a set of three small, round RCA jacks color-coded yellow, red and white. You'll need both to activate the PIP.

Step 2

Check the back of your cable box or VCR; you need one or the other to operate the PIP. You should see a set of jacks similar to those on your TV: two coaxial jacks labeled "In" and "Out," and a set of three RCA jacks labeled "Out."

Step 3

Connect the antenna or cable connection to the "In" or "Antenna In" coaxial jack in the VCR or cable box. Then connect one end of a coaxial cable to the "Out" or "Antenna Out" jack in the VCR or cable box and the other end to the "In" or "In From Antenna" jack on the TV.

Step 4

Use RCA cables to connect the "Out" jacks on the VCR or cable box to the RCA "In" jacks on the TV.

Step 5

If you have both a VCR and a cable box, use a coaxial cable splitter to unify your system. Connect the cable input jack to the splitter, then run one coaxial cable from one side of the splitter to the TV and another coaxial cable from the other side of the splitter to the cable box. Both cables should go into the "In" jack of their respective components. Run a third coaxial cable from the "In" jack of the VCR to the "Out" jack of the cable box. Finally, run RCA jacks between the TV and VCR as in Step 4.

Step 6

Turn on all of the components and activate the PIP feature button on your TV remote. The TV should now allow you to use the feature as normal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Specifics vary depending on the kind of TV you are using. Check your owner's manual for any further instructions for setting up a PIP function. Some newer TVs permit PIP features without using a cable box or a VCR. Simply press the PIP or Twin View button on the remote (as indicated in your instruction manual) to activate the function.
  • Turn off the TV, the VCR and the cable box before connecting any cables. Otherwise, you run the risk of a short.