Help Configuring Home Video Solution
July 30, 2006 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Home Theater Question: I have a LG 32LX1D LCD TV, Tivo Series 2, Sony DVD player with Component Outputs, and a Comcast CableCard, and an old-school VCR, all of which I would like connected. (No special audio considerations, for now).

What's the best way to do it? The Tivo does not have component outputs (not HD-compatible) so I'd like to run S-Video and Composite Audio to the TV. Can someone help me figure out how to wire this?

And, how does the Comcast Cablecard work? I realize it plugs into the TV, but is there a cable running from the Cablecard to the TV? Or to another device? Thanks for the help!

posted by seinfeld to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
The CableCard is a PC Card that plugs into your TV. No wires. There are no cables involved. You watch TV by cycling the TV inputs to the TV. You can then plug the Tivo into the s-video connection and the DVD player into the component. The old school vcr can go into another component input. You cycle through them to select the input you want.

The audio can go through the toslink audio out from the TV to your stereo when you're ready for that.
posted by birdherder at 12:53 PM on July 30, 2006

Cable Card plugs directly into the TV, no cables necessary

You might want to consider a powered coaxial (cable) splitter if you want to use both the Cable Card and the TiVo because as far as I know Tivo's don't work with CableCards. Or if you use a splitter you can watch regular cable on your TV via the Cable Card and Tivo on another input.

DVD Player --HDMI/DVI--> TV
VCR --Composite--> TV
TiVo --S Video--> TV

Simple enough? Then you can use RCA cables to output from the TV to the VCR if you want to record from TV->VCR.
posted by jckll at 1:06 PM on July 30, 2006

Yeah, what you have is actually an insanely straightforward setup, assuming your TV has enough inputs to accomodate everything; just plug it all in.

If your TV has a feature which allows you to name inputs, (e.g., 'PVR', versus 'INPUT 3') , that would be worth doing, as well.

Things would get more complicated if it didn't have enough inputs, or if you wanted to wire everything up to a home stereo setup.
posted by blenderfish at 1:27 PM on July 30, 2006

1. As cklennon stated, you will need a coaxial cable splitter to accomodate all of your devices with tuners (the TV, the cable card, the PVR, the VCR), (I would think an unpowered one will probably be fine, but you could upgrade later.)

2. Your TV will have, on the back, a lot of different inputs; usually these are grouped into different 'boxes', and each labeled like 'INPUT 1' 'INPUT 2', etc. Some of these inputs may have multiple video connectors (like a composite AND an S-Video.) The rule is one device per box, even if more would fit.
posted by blenderfish at 1:35 PM on July 30, 2006

Response by poster: So how does the Cablecard get a signal from Comcast? It plugs into the TV, and then how does the cable card communicate with the Comcast service? Must the coax be plugged into the TV from the wall for the Cablecard to work? Are you saying I do not need component cables w/ the cable card?

posted by seinfeld at 4:55 PM on July 30, 2006

Here's an article on cablecards.

Looks like they don't need an external connection.

But, looks like you're forced to have the cable company to send an on site technician to 'install' it, anyway.
posted by blenderfish at 7:33 PM on July 30, 2006

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