Making connections

Connection diagram from Philips digibox manual.

Today’s major domestic task was to connect up the various AV equipment in the living room (or ‘lounge’ if you prefer that term). As you can see from the diagram above it was a simple case of connecting cables to ports.

To be honest I didn’t find the above diagram, from our Philips digibox, particularly helpful. I think it’s the cross-over dashed-lined SCART cable that confuses matters.

But that was okay as I also had this diagram to hand from our Goodmans VCR:

Connection diagram for a Goodmans VCR.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t helpful either. Back to the explanation in the Philips manual beneath the first diagram:

  • Plug your aerial lead plug into the “AERIAL IN’ socket of your digital receiver.
  • Connect the “RF OUT” socket of your digital receiver to the “ANT IN’ socket of your VCR by means of the RF coaxial lead supplied with your digital receiver.
  • Connect the “ANT OUT” socket of your VCR to the aerial input socket of your TV by means of a RF coaxial lead.
  • Connect the “TV” SCART socket of your digital receiver to the “EXT1” SCART socket of your TV by means of the SCART lead supplied with your digital receiver.
  • Connect the “VCR” SCART socket of your digital receiver to the “EXT1” SCART socket of your VCR by means of a SCART lead. Alternatively, if your VCR supports the Easy Record feature, connect the “VCR” SCART socket of your digital receiver to the “EXT1” SCART socket of your VCR as shown on the second diagram.
  • Plug all your equipment, excluding your digital receiver, into the mains.
  • Switch on your TV and select a channel.
  • Plug your digital receiver into the mains. Your digital receiver will display the SETUP screen (the green LED will be illuminated).
  • Proceed to chapter 3 to continue with the channel scan of your digital receiver.

Anyway, despite all that I managed to get it all set up. Now the TV, Freeview digibox and VCR are happily co-existing on SCART #2 on the TV, while the less greedy DVD player is plugged into SCART #1.

And all just in time for Jane to record the hilarious Green Wing on Channel 4.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

16 thoughts on “Making connections”

  1. 😐

    I was always told if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. I’m sorry that you found my life yesterday quite boring. From this end it was quite an achievement to get everything connected without too much bother. 🙂

  2. Coincidentally, I’ve just been through such Scart turmoil!

    Ok, I have a TV, DVD-Recorder, VHS deck and FreeView box. I also had a second “cheapo DVD player for the kids” but it had to go to make all connections possible.

    These diagrams are GOLD !!!

    However, in the end I had to make do with the VHS going “in” to the TV via channel 36, preset 8 – as it used to do before Mr Scart came along.

    Most important – given where I live in West Shropshire with poor reception – was the FreeView box and DVD-Recorder using those two TV scarts.

    Thanks for airing such a “closed-door” problem no self respecting “Man” likes to admit failure at!! :))

  3. It’s not a “man thing” at all! I have been having the same problems. these posts are quite helpful. Thanks! I’m amazed at how little there is online expalining how to do this!



  4. You’re very welcome. It’s one of those things that should be explained more clearly in manuals — and WHY to connect these in a particular order in order to get the best results, both in terms of audio and video quality.

  5. Have been footering about trying to find the correct connection order for an analogue TV/Freeview box and DVD/HDD recorder. First try worked, after a fashion, but the Freeview was appallingly slow to respond.

    I found your blog helpful, reducing my Scarts from 3 to 2 and increasing the RF cables from 1 to 2. This seemed to eliminate the background audio from TV filtering through to the HDD playback.

    The only thing is now the HDD does not automatically switch the TV to EXT1, I have to do that from the remote. The Freeview automatically switches the TV to EXT2.

    So while this may be boring for some, I am glad there are folks who take the trouble to share their learning processes with others.

  6. having just moved house and after carefully labelling every lead and scart only to find when opening the box at the new house that every label had come off , the information given is pure gold. Boring? only if you`e patronising.

  7. That second diagram and the instructions came in mighty handy when I was requested to sort out a friend’s TV/Freeview/DVD/video connections — ta very much for sticking this on the web!

  8. Those diagrams are very helpful. but its important to know which AV device is in charge at any one time.

    As well as picture/sound information, the Scart connector of an AV device has control lines. These lines enable Freeview boxes and other devices to take control of the system.

    Control lines tell the TV to switch from its normal analog input (RF co-ax) and get its picture/sound (composite or RGB) from the Freeview box’s Scart, once the Freeview box is switched on.

    The Video/CD can be made to take control so that playback overrides off air TV. Some Freeview boxes although on standby (red light) are still providing video for the video recorder to use. The video recorder must be set up with its I/P selected as the AV1 or 2 that the Freeview box is connected to. You can watch analog TV at the same time.

  9. I’ve just printed out your diagrams and propose to try things out tomorrow while I have the house to myself – no interruptions or comments.
    If all goes well I will be a happy man.
    Problem is my set top box has only one scart, may have to invest £20.00
    in a new one.

  10. I hope that helps. As I think I implied from the article, I’m no expert and primarily put the diagram up so that I could refer to it again without having to find the real thing. If I have time I’ll create a better version of the diagram.

    I guess if you have only one SCART socket in the set-top box you’d go:

    set-top box -> video -> TV

    RF Co-ax
    Aerial -> set-top box -> video -> TV

    I think that’s what happens with our wee telly setup. To be honest, I’ve no idea why it needs the co-ax too. Anyone?

  11. Oh joy! Just what I was looking for… Trying to reconnect my TV, DVD, VCR and Freeview box (original Ondigital) – I found that two extra aerial leads were plugged in but with nowhere to go, so to speak. I had also tried a creative variety of scart lead connections (some quite imaginative) as desperation set in. In the forest of wires and cables, nothing made sense any more.
    I should mention in my defence that I had originally set everything up and had the wretched things working perfectly last year, but after a house move, I obviously lost the plot… Now, thanks to your blog insights, light begins to dawn, and I shall now return to the fray!
    Thank you!

  12. how do you connect if your TV has built in freeview( 2scarts & 1aerial in),DVD Recorder( 2 scarts- one labeled VCR-STB & one labelled CONNECT TO TV one RF IN and one RF OUT),and a VCR (2scarts AV1 and AV2/DECODER RF IN & RF OUT). I ask as I can’t record freeview

  13. Well I am just printing your diagrams out and wishing that I had spotted your web page first, yours is the first one that looks anything like similar to the pile I have in my room in front of me. Thanks. Wish me luck, I am going in soon.


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