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Connect 2 VCRs: AV Leads

This page shows you how to connect 2 VCRs together using separate audio and video leads. If your equipment doesn't allow for this you can use RF connections instead.

Note: If you haven't yet read the introductory page about source and record machines, do that first.

You will need:

RCA Cables

Before you begin, get your audio-video connecting leads ready. There are many different types of leads but we will be using the common RCA type pictured on the left.

Each connection in the chain uses three leads: One for the video signal and two for the audio (because it's in stereo). In total we need six leads: Three from the source to the record machine and three from the record machine to the TV.

Note: If your equipment doesn't allow for stereo audio, you will use one lead for the audio (it will be mono).

A common colour-coding convention is:

  • The yellow lead is the video signal.
  • The white lead is the "left side" of the audio.
  • The red lead is the "right side" of the audio.
AV ConnectionsAV Connections

The RCA connections on your TV and VCRs should look something like the ones pictured here. These examples have the same colour-coding as the leads above.

The first example includes stereo audio inputs and outputs.

The second example includes audio and video outputs.

Note: The other types of connections shown here are SCART (the big ones) and S-Video (the multi-pin round ones). Although they are a bit more complex they have some advantages and you may prefer to use them over the RCA connections if you can.

AV ConnectionsAV Connections

Step 1: Connections

Connect your machines like so:

  1. Plug the AV outputs of the source machine into the AV inputs of the record machine.
  2. Plug the AV outputs of the record machine into the AV inputs of the TV.

Step 2: Select Inputs

Select "AV input" (or whatever it's called on your equipment) on both the record VCR and the TV.

Now you should be able to play a tape in either of the VCRs and see it on the TV. If you have tapes playing in both machines you'll see the record VCR.

Step 3: Record

  1. Place the tape you wish to copy (or edit) in the source machine.
  2. Place your blank tape (to be recorded on) in the record machine.
  3. Press "Record" on the record machine and "Play" on the source machine.

See also: Connecting using RF leads

To learn more how to record and edit using this system, see How to edit with two VCRs.