Connecting a VCR to my PC

By johnmr12
May 21, 2004
  1. I just signed up here at techspot and i have a question. Im probably the only person on earth who wants to output edited video to a VHS tape on my VCR. I have a video editing software program and a capture and output device from ADS Tech, but i cant get them to work together even though the software came bundled with the hardware. I have talked to the tech support people at both companies so many times i feel like theyre part of my family. So far, nobody can help me. So, i bought another video editing software program from Roxio, and it says in order to output to a VCR all i need to do is hook up a cable from the VCR to the computer. I just noticed what appears to be an S-Video connector on the back of my Compaq. Does that mean i just have to plug my VCR into that S-Video connector to make it work? Then it says to hook up a sound cable from the vcr to the sound card. Wouldnt the S-Video carry the audio as well? The only sound ports on my vcr are RCA Jacks, and as far as i can tell, the only output from my sound card is where my speakers are plugged in. The reason i havent just hooked it up and tested it is because my current VCR doesnt have S-Video, so i would have to go buy a new VCR, and i dont want to spend the money unless its going to work. What do you guys think?
  2. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    You have a TV-Out card on the back of your comp...get a S-Video to RCA cable from Radioshack to connect the video. As for audio, you'll need a special connector (I think it's called a Bose connector) to connect your headphones jack to your audio in port.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    S-Video doesn't carry audio.
    You can get a connector that has a headphone jack on 1 end (that plugs into your sound card) and then goes into a Y shape with left and right male RCA audio ends.
  4. johnmr12

    johnmr12 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot, i really appreciate the help. Im going to radio shack today to pick up the necessary cables. I cant wait to see if this works.
  5. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    for sound tell the boys at radio shack you need an 1/8th inch stereo headphone male to 2 rca males
  6. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    They probably won't understand...the guys at my store couldn't find an S-Video to RCA cable, so I had to do it myself.
  7. johnmr12

    johnmr12 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, i found an S-Video to RCA adapter at radio shack, and a PC to RCA audio cable. I hooked up everything and my monitor is black. Am i not able to have a TV and a monitor hooked up at the same time? Also, my software doesnt recognize the vcr. I expected windows to post a message saying it found new hardware, but it didnt. So what am i doing wrong?
  8. {{clewless}}

    {{clewless}} TS Rookie Posts: 26

    A description of your computer specs and operating system would be helpful. Sounds like your computer is outputting to your vcr just like you want. Without employing dual moniter support, you should be able to connect a monitor or tv to the outputs of your vcr to get your screen back.
  9. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    Try right-clicking on the desktop and choosing "Graphic Options --> Output To --> Intel display clone ---> TV and Notebook (or external monitor). That's the options my laptop gives me anyways, if you don't have an Intel output card, then You might not be able to do dual display.
  10. johnmr12

    johnmr12 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It turns out i can only enable one monitor at a time, so i enabled the TV and im able to output to the TV. But when i try to go through the VCR and then to the TV i cant get the tv to work. Ordinarily i would say since im only trying to output video to my vcr, i dont really need the tv. The problem is i cant access the video editing software if i dont have a display to look at. Is there any way to output the video to my pc monitor and TV at the same time? Im using windows XP on a compaq presario 6000. I have a 2GHZ processor and 512 MB memory with 120GB drive. When i right click on the desktop and then choose properties im able to get into the display area. I click on advanced and then display and i have a choice of my monitor or tv. It doesnt look like theres any way to choose both. I have my vcr set to channel 3. Is that where its supposed to be? Im running in and out of the vcr through the rca jacks, not the coaxial cables.
  11. johnmr12

    johnmr12 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, im not able to get the VCR to record the video from the PC. It shows the video on my monitor and it says its going to the VCR, but the tape is snowy. Maybe the video is formatted in a way thats not compatible with a VCR. Im back to square one.
  12. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Take my advice:

    If you are into video capture, look at making some kind of (at least 2 disk) RAID 0 array with some IDE hard drives. It really does produce good results, baring in mind that the hard drives and their speed is the weakest link in the video capture chain. If possible, look to making RAID from 2 SATA drives.
  13. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    Yes, why do you want to put digital video onto a video? Phantasm is right, I'd Raid a few HDs and possibly get a DVD burner (hack it to be dual-layer ;) )
  14. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    Make sure the vcr is on monitor or aux input- somtimes its a button and sometimes its a seperate channel also usually the highest or lowest chanhnel. This will also allow the video signal to pass through the vcr to you television.
  15. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Depends on the VCR, most of them use channel 0, AV, EXT or whatever it's called.

    Some graphics cards / chips also check from impedance if a TV cable has been connected or not, sometimes VCR doesn't 'interfere' enough with it so that the computer thinks the cable isn't connected. However, some drivers have an option to force a connection even when nothing seems to be connected.
  16. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    Sometimes you'll need a remote to set a VCR or TV to Input (just a thought). Or if you go down from 2 (that's what mine does). It may be easier just to get a DVD player and a burner (hint...hint). You could also plug your S-Video into your TV's RCA plug.
  17. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Yip, that's the ticket, exactly!

    -Video Capture Card
    -over 512MB RAM
    -at least 2 disk RAID 0
    -DVD burner

    Get all that and you will be in business. Remove some of these things from your rig and you may have problems with performance, or in getting the most from the video capture experience. Trust me, I capture every day.
  18. R3dJok3r

    R3dJok3r TS Rookie

    Same problem

    I have a presario 6000 with win xp home. ive read many threads and dont see anything remotly related to activating the tv out on my comp. ill right click desktop, or go through control and get to display properties, and ive ben through every tab. i see nothing. I have the cable hooked directly to my tv and am getting no signal. All i think i really need to know is how to turn on the tv out using xp home
    plz help
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