Pictures on videotape, CD and DVD, selecting VCR input for dubbing, Onkyo CD player comments

Week 25, 2007

I am a teacher and have taken a lot of digital camera photographs this year.   I would like to transfer those digital pictures to a VHS tape to play on a VCR at school.   How would I go about doing this?  

-Jenny Angelo, Beaumont, Texas

A) If you check the archive on my website, you will find a column where I describe how to transfer digital pictures from a camera to videotape.   Though it is easy to transfer the pictures, there is another solution that is much easier.   The pictures will look much better when you show them on the television, too.

Some newer DVD players have a JPEG reader feature that will display digital JPEG pictures direct from a burned CD.   You can get an Apex brand model that will do this for around $50.   This is really your best option for several reasons.   First of all, it is much easier to burn a CD with your computer than transfer the pictures from the camera to a VCR.   The pictures will also look much better when displayed, and you can navigate through them quickly using the DVD player’s remote.  

Q) I have been having great difficulty dubbing a videotape. I connected the RCA plug connection wires from the output of the VCR with the original tape to the input jacks on the recording VCR. I then pushed play on the original and record on the other. But, when I go to play it I just get a blank screen. Where did I go wrong with my hookup?

-Kelly Jones, Churchville, NY

A) Your hookup is fine.   It sounds like the signal is going in to the VCR, but the VCR does not “see” it because it is looking in the wrong place.  Are you selecting the proper video input of your VCR so the signal is received?   You need to do so, or your VCR will record off of the built-in television tuner instead of the input jacks.  

How you select the proper input depends on your VCR.  On most you can select the input by using your remote (the button is usually labeled TV/Video) or turning the channels down below 2, where you will get L1 or L2, standing for Line 1 or Line 2.  (Line-level is the term for the RCA inputs.)  If your VCR is like most others,  Line 1 is in input on the back of the VCR and if you have a front input, it would be Line 2.  If you have a front input it will usually have a number next to the connection jacks.

Q) I have an Onkyo DV-C601 DVD changer . It’s about 3 years old and is only used 3 to 6 hours a month.  The changer will not pick up a disc and cycles through all 6 discs and then sends message of no disc.  I took cover off and cleaned the lens but this did not help. I have made sure all discs were clean too. It is too nice of a DVD Player to just throw it out.   Can this machine be repaired or is it junk now?
-G. Archer

A) I myself own an Onkyo DV-C601 and it is indeed a very nice DVD player, especially in terms of sound quality when playing DVDs and CDs.   Unfortunately, according to many owner reviews the unit has suffered from quality control problems and the “no disc” error is quite common.   If you check the DV-C601 review at, Onkyo has approved a one-time out-of-warranty repair for some owners.   Check the website, then call Onkyo for help.

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