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New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-01-2009

DVD/VCR unit not receiving digital channels

I just purchased an LG RC897T DVD/VCR combo-unit yesterday at BB (1/31). It is connected to a HD cable box via a coaxial cable and to a Samsung 32" LCD (purchased at BB 2 months ago) TV via Monster HDMI cable.  The TV and cable box are connected via the cable company-provided component cable (one cable with five connectors).  I also ran the supplied RF cable from the LG to the TV antenna-in connection (but I'm not sure why).

 

Going through setup of the LG unit, the auto-channel picked up 7 analog but no digital stations.  I experimented with connecting the coax straight out of the wall into the LG unit and went through setup again.  It then picked up 40+ analog and 60+ digital stations (much better, but not as good as the TV normally gets, plus the digital stations had weird station numbers like "121-12" ).  The LG did not 'remember' the stations when I put the cables back to the prior configuration.

 

If it has anything to do with it, both the LG instructions and the TV instructions said to set the TV for channel 3 or 4 for the LG, but there is no switch anywhere on the TV or the DVD/VCR player that I found.  The system plays DVD's and vhs tapes fine and will record (at least on tape; I haven't tried disc yet) the current TV channel.

 

Did I miss something?  How do I get the LG unit to pick up digital stations?

 

Thanks for any help.

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Registered: ‎11-10-2008

Re: DVD/VCR unit not receiving digital channels

Some cable channels on cable for the digital band are unscrambled, but be aware that their data tables change constantly and you may see some different channels come in you never seen before, and ones that you did see will go bye bye.

Best Buy Forums Super User since 2008. Please note I am not employed by Best Buy and I answer questions on my own time. If you find something helpful please add kudos to it. Should something solve your issue please remember to mark inquiries as solved.
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 3,445
Registered: ‎01-15-2009

Re: DVD/VCR unit not receiving digital channels

Is your TV CableCard-ready with a CableCard installed by your cable company?

 

That might explain why it can receive encrypted cable channels.  The LG unit, according to its specifications, only supports Clear QAM (aka unencrypted cable, which on almost all providers means "major broadcast networks only".)

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*disclaimer* I am not now, nor have I ever been, an employee of Best Buy, Geek Squad, nor of any of their affiliate, parent, or subsidiary companies.
New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-01-2009

Re: DVD/VCR unit not receiving digital channels

Hi.  Thanks for your input.  The TV was not modified or added to by the cable company.  They installed the HD cable box and connected it to the TV only.

 

Charter (the cable company) says to call LG, which I will do today.
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 3,445
Registered: ‎01-15-2009

Re: DVD/VCR unit not receiving digital channels

Ah, I just reread your post.  I somehow missed that you had the box.

 

The cable box's RF output may be only a passthrough, in which case the LG tuner will see what the box sees on its input (RF-wise), but since it can't decrypt it will be unable to receive a lot of channels that the box can.

 

You will probably need to run the cable box's S-video or composite output to the input of the LG unit if you want to record encrypted channels.

 

Keep in mind that for some channels the cable box may enable Macrovision protection on the output which will make the DVD/VCR unit unable to record the signal.

 

Also, you will be limited to standard def NTSC for recording.  There are VERY few solutions for recording high def analog inputs - the only one I know of is the Hauppauge PVR-HD (which requires a PC).

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*disclaimer* I am not now, nor have I ever been, an employee of Best Buy, Geek Squad, nor of any of their affiliate, parent, or subsidiary companies.