Cable TV "stuck" on Channel 3



I am a noobie as far as Stand Alone players, so please bear with me if I am asking a dumb question.

I just connected up my brand new Sony VCR/DVD recorder (Model RDR-VX500) to my vintage Magnavox television and a relatively new General Instrument digital cable TV box. For those of you familiar with the Sony VX500 I used the “Basic B” setup in the Quick Start Guide (the Basic A setup didn’t seem to work).

I found out that the only channel that my VCR/DVD system can work with (pre-set) is Channel 3. If I try to record a TV show on any other channel it won’t work, all I get is snow. You see, I need to pre-set my cable box to the desired channel (say for example cable box channel 26) but I have to leave the channel selector on my television set to Channel 3. So to record a television show I have to manually change the cable TV box to the desired channel prior to the recorder kicking in. The recorder thinks that it’s recording a show on Channel 3.

This is a hassle if I want to record several television shows on different channels. I have to remember to manually change the cable box to the desired channel or else all the subsequent recordings are on the same cable TV channel as the first recording, which defeats the idea of automatic recording, especially if I am recording shows that are on TV after I go to bed or when I am out of the house.

What am I missing here? It seems to me that I should be able to schedule the recording of shows on different channels and have the electronics do the work for me.

Thanks for your assistance.

Bob Shem


I don’t think you are missing any thing with your recorder. However, I believe it may be missing (read: not provided) a cable box IR controller. I haven’t got into stand alone DVD recorders myself so I actually know more about VCRs even though I don’t even use them anymore except for my D-VHS D-Theater for HD. Anyway, I do still have a S-Video model with VCR++ that includes an IR controller (basically a cable with an IR emitter on one end (like the one at the end of your remote) and a jack to plug into the VCR. Of course you have to ‘tell’ the VCR which cable box brand you have. With it, you set the channel and time on the VCR. Then, while you are away, the VCR actually turnes on the cable box and ‘tunes’ into the channel you selected, then starts recording. I personally don’t know if current and new DVD recorders and DVD/VCR combo recorders have this or not or how they deal with it. Hopefully someone else can chime in with more and better information.


More, sorry: forgot to mention that when the VCR finishes recording, it turns the cable box off too. Furthermore, I believe the VCR I have also as a IR ‘window’ bult into the top of it as well. This allows you to not use a cable if you can set your cable box on top of the VCR and it IR window lines up with the cable box’s IR receiver. Ah, going down memory lane.


Do you have Digital Cable, Analog Cable or Satellite?.


I have a similar problem. I just bought a liteon lvw-1101 dvd recorder and I have no idea how to setup the channels from the satellite receiver. Yea, I’m a little slow. It only picks up channel 3 when I select scan. I cannot select different channels from the satellite receiver from the dvd recorder. Any idea how to do this?


Shit that was dumb, I was gronked on home-grown on that reply.
Yea youre gonna need a IR Blaster for that setup.

:^> ~John


Welcome to the forum. :slight_smile:

Unlike recording from analogue terrestrial TV or Cable, Digital satellite receivers decode the tuned in channel and output it on a single broadcast frequency, when in your case happens to be channel 3. As agentcoooper and Wesley mentioned above, your DVD recorder would need some way of changing the channel on your satellite receiver such that it can record from the correct satellite channel. While I seen some VCRs have the ability to output an IR signal to change the channel on the satellite receiver, from what I’m aware of, the LiteOn DVD recorder series does not offer this capability, at least the LVW-5045 model I have. :rolleyes:

One way around this is to set up a timer on your satellite receiver itself, assuming your satellite receiver supports this. If it does, set it such that it changes to the correct channel and also matches the timer on the DVD recorder. For example, if you want to record from CNN from 7pm to 7:30pm and MTV from 8pm to 8:30pm, first set up a timer on your satellite receiver to turn on CNN from 6:55pm to 7:35pm (I usually add 5 minutes to avoid early/late startings), set up another to turn on MTV from 7:55pm to 8:35pm and finally set these same timers on your DVD recorder to record from channel 3 (where the satellite TV channel tunes on).

Unfortunately, as a satellite receiver can only tune in one channel at a given time, it is not possible to record one channel while watching another. The only exception I’m aware of is the TiVo / PVR based receivers which have two feeds (coaxial cables) from the satellite dish.

Finally, I would seriously recommend connecting your satellite receiver to your DVD recorder using SVHS (US model) or SCART (EU model) along with a twin RCA/Phono cable for the audio as this will ensure you get a stereo audio recording and a better picture.