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How to Connect 2 VCRs

2 Panasonic S-VHS VCR's connected to a Phillips 25" television. Although this looks complicated, it follows a simple, logical pattern.

This Quick Guide shows you how to connect two VCRs together so you can record from one to the other.

You will need:

There are many variations on these simple systems and it can get a bit confusing for those who aren't natural at this sort of thing. However once you get it connected you'll find that it all follows a logical pattern.

For this Quick Guide we'll use the example of connecting two Panasonic VCRs (one NV-FS88 and one NV-HS1000) to a Phillips television. The connections and leads are fairly standard but your own equipment will obviously have some variations.

Note: The same basic method of connecting this equipment applies to any type of VCR, from Betamax to broadcast formats.

We'll be connecting the two VCRs as shown in the diagram below. One VCR will become the "source" machine, the other will become the "record" machine. The tape you wish to copy (or edit) goes in the source machine, and the tape you wish to record onto goes in the record machine.

edit system using two VCRs and monitor.

Before going further, decide which of your VCRs will be the source and which will be the record. If you are adding a second VCR to an existing setup, it will be easier to make the new VCR the source. In this case the record VCR and TV will probably be connected already and you can ignore those parts of the instructions which follow.


We will cover two different methods, based on the type of connecting leads you use. You can use either or both methods, although AV is recommended:

  1. Using RF Cables
    Pros:
    - Requires fewer cables.
    - Uses common types of connections which should be available on all TVs and VCRs.
    Cons:
    - Requires the TV and VCR to be tuned to each other (this can be tricky).
    - Lower quality recordings.
  2. Using AV (Audio-Video) Cables
    Pros:
    - Doesn't require any tuning and can be easier to use once it's set up.
    - Better quality recordings.
    Cons:
    - Requires more cables.
    - The TV and VCRs need to have the correct connections available.
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