How to Record From a TV Using a Camcorder

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Recording television onto your camcorder is fairly easy. It essentially consists of reversing the flow of video from the way it usually travels (camcorder to television). You even use the same cables to do it, but in different jacks or potentially routed through the VCR. The following is an easy walk-through of the process.

Things You'll Need

  • Camcorder
  • Television
  • Locate your camera, television and the appropriate cables. For most setups, these will be red, white and yellow audio/visual RCA cables. If your camera or television is lacking in these, you may have an RF adapter which (for this case) will function the same way.

  • Attach the cables to your audio/visual input jack on your camcorder. If you don't have an input jack on your camcorder, you will not be able to record information put out by the television or any other electronic source.

  • Attach the cables to your audio/visual output jack on your television. Alternatively, you can connect the cables to your VCRs output jack if your television's signal is routed through it. Only do this, though, if your television has no spare output jacks.

  • Turn on your television. Tune it to the channel that you wish to record, but do so with at least 10 minutes before you want to begin recording to allow for the rest of the setup.

  • Turn on your digital camera. Check the viewfinder to make sure you're receiving a signal from the appropriate television channel and, if not, check to make sure you've got the cables in the correct jacks mentioned above.

  • Do a test recording. Record a few seconds of the channel you wish to record by pressing the "record" button on your camcorder. Stop the tape, rewind and review it to make sure it is effectively recording.

  • Rewind your blank tape to the beginning and press record as desired. Stop the camcorder when you want the recording to end.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always allow plenty of time for setup and a test recording.
  • Check and re-check that you've got the appropriate cables in the appropriate jacks.
  • If you route through the VCR, make sure there is not a tape in it. You don't want to accidentally tape over something else.
  • Don't forget to stop your recording, unless your camcorder has a timer feature that you're comfortable using.

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