If you have a home theater system that includes a home theater receiver (also referred to as an AV or Surround Sound Receiver), you have an additional option for adding a DVD recorder to your setup.
When connecting a DVD recorder to home theater receiver, you can connect it just as you would a VCR, through the VCR1 or VCR2 loop, with additional connection of the digital coaxial or digital optical output to the digital audio inputs available on the AV receiver.
Reminder - Make sure you still split the incoming antenna or cable signal so that those signals go to the DVD recorder and VCR separately.
Use the monitor output of the home theater receiver to supply the video part of the feed to the TV. In this type of hookup you have access to all the surround sound functions of DVD playback (of commercial DVDs) as well as the DVD recorder's recording and dubbing functions from other video sources (such as a VCR) connected to the AV receiver. Most DVD recorders also have front mounted AV inputs as well for the connection of a camcorder or other video source.
1. Refer to the owner's manuals provided with your DVD recorder. It will have several diagrams for a variety of connection scenarios for your television or home theater system.
2. Before purchasing a DVD recorder, determine whether or not your VCR is in good working order. If you have an older VCR, or one that is not functioning as well as it used to, you might consider purchasing a DVD Recorder-VCR Combination unit. This will simplify both the adding of DVD recording to your current VCR and Television set-up and also give you the easier access to DVD recorder-VCR cross-dubbing functions.
For additional information on DVD recorders - how they work, what they can and cannot do, and how they can fit into both your current and future video and home theater needs, check out my DVD Recorder FAQs