HELP! Connect Roku to an Analog TV with Time Warner Cable

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HELP! Connect Roku to an Analog TV with Time Warner Cable

Postby julsee » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:46 pm

I connected my brand new Roku player to the composite inputs on the back of my old analog TV and hardwired it to my router. I get no picture, no set up screen, nothing but my cable TV. So, I called Roku costumer support tonight. The operator insisted that I should have an A/V button on my TV remote. There is no such button. He then had me manually check every single channel on my TV (0 through 99), to see if I could get the Roku set up screen. I got snow on every channel but channel 3, where I get my cable output. He insisted again that I should have an A/V button and I explained again that there was no such thing on my remote or the TV itself. I spent close to 30 minutes on the phone with him, at the end of which he essentially shrugged and told me there was nothing they could do and I should try calling my cable company. Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable is notoriously unhelpful when it comes to devices that don't belong to them. Before I spend another 30 minutes (or longer) on a phone call with a call center operator who is just reading a script, I figured I'd come here and see if I could get some real advice to get the Roku working.

Here's my set up:

Magnavox analog TV (circa 1993)
Time Warner Cable Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 Cable Box/DVR
Netgear WGR614 v7 Wireless Router
Time Warner Cable UR5U-8400 Universal Remote

Besides plugging into the back of the TV, I also tried plugging directly into my cable box, but that doesn't work either. I have some inkling that maybe I could use one of the inputs (DVD, VCR or AUD AUX) on the remote through my cable box in order to get it working. The problem with that is obviously Time Warner doesn't have any 3-digit codes for a Roku player and I don't know which device input I would use (DVD? VCR?).

So, I know this is a really long message, but I figure the more info you have, the more likely I'll be to get the box working. I really do want to keep it because I do use the instant play function on Netflix a lot and would like to have that on my TV screen. Disappointed by the indifferent and useless customer service. Based on the other user posts and the "official" customer service post I saw earlier, I'm not alone, which is a bummer since the produce potentially has a great deal of value when it's operational.

Please Help! Thanks!!!
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Postby KennyJ » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:53 pm

They were right, you should have a button that says something like "Input", "Source", "Video 1" or something.

If you get the model # on your Magnavox, we might be able to find the manual online and tell you exactly what to look for. But if you are connecting the Roku to inputs on the back of your TV, your TV has to be able to switch to those inputs -- and nearly every TV, even one made back in 1993, should have an input select button on the remote.
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Re: HELP! Connect Roku to an Analog TV with Time Warner Cabl

Postby kumasuki » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:54 pm

julsee wrote:Here's my set up:

Magnavox analog TV (circa 1993)
Time Warner Cable Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 Cable Box/DVR
Netgear WGR614 v7 Wireless Router
Time Warner Cable UR5U-8400 Universal Remote

Besides plugging into the back of the TV, I also tried plugging directly into my cable box, but that doesn't work either. I have some inkling that maybe I could use one of the inputs (DVD, VCR or AUD AUX)...


The remote with the alternate AV input button would be the remote that came with the TV originally - NOT the TimeWarner or any other remote.

You do NOT want to connect the Roku to anything but the TV itself - copy protection will prevent you from getting the Roku to work if you connect it to a DVD player, cablebox, etc.
Last edited by kumasuki on Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HELP! Connect Roku to an Analog TV with Time Warner Cabl

Postby KennyJ » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:54 pm

kumasuki wrote:
julsee wrote:Here's my set up:

Magnavox analog TV (circa 1993)
Time Warner Cable Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 Cable Box/DVR
Netgear WGR614 v7 Wireless Router
Time Warner Cable UR5U-8400 Universal Remote

Besides plugging into the back of the TV, I also tried plugging directly into my cable box, but that doesn't work either. I have some inkling that maybe I could use one of the inputs (DVD, VCR or AUD AUX)...


The remote with the alternate AV input button would be the remote that came with the TV originally - NOT the TimeWarner or any other remote.


Good catch!
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Postby julsee » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:53 pm

Thank you all for the quick response. It made me go back to my TV again. No, there is no A/V button on my TV remote. Neither is there an obvious button on the TV itself. HOWEVER, on the front of the TV (doesn't exist on the remote) if I click the display button and go through all of the menu choices (brightness, contrast, etc.) I finally get to "input" that lets me choose between VCR/AUX and antennae. So, I have to manually switch by going through the display menu on the front of my TV. However, the good news is, I immediately got to the Roku screen, was able to set up the device, connect it to my Netflix instant queue, Amazon On Demand and Revision3 and I'm now watching a back episode of DiggNation!

But, one question remains. Can anyone think of a work around so that I don't actually have to go over to my TV to manually change the input back and forth when I want to use the Roku player or watch TV? Is there anything I can connect directly to my TV that will allow me to do this more easily? If not, I guess I will just deal with it until I get around to buying a TV that was manufactured in this century. I did buy the Roku HD in anticipation of that day...

Thanks again!
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Postby KennyJ » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:09 pm

I'm really surprised they didn't put the option on the remote itself. That is bizarre. Are you using the original Magnavox remote?

It might be possible that a universal remote might be able to send the command to get to the display screen -- but if they didn't program that into the original remote -- then it's very unlikely.

The good news it -- TVs are getting cheaper.

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_1010 ... x272xTier3
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Postby julsee » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:41 pm

KennyJ wrote:I'm really surprised they didn't put the option on the remote itself. That is bizarre. Are you using the original Magnavox remote?

It might be possible that a universal remote might be able to send the command to get to the display screen -- but if they didn't program that into the original remote -- then it's very unlikely.

The good news it -- TVs are getting cheaper.

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_1010 ... x272xTier3


Yeah, it's the original Magnavox remote and I obviously was surprised too! A really really poor design decision. I was thinking that a universal remote specifically for the TV might do it, but you may be right. If it wasn't programmed into the original remote, probably won't be able to do it.

I know the TV prices are getting lower and I'm guessing one will be in my very near future! Thanks for the link.
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Postby kumasuki » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:19 am

julsee wrote:But, one question remains. Can anyone think of a work around ...


How does your cable box connect to the TV?? - via the antenna input? do you connect a cable from the TimeWarner box directly into the TV or use 2 screws with spade connectors? In either case perhaps an RF modulator switch box would do the trick.

These things look like this (and aren't expensive):
http://skycraftsurplus.com/videorfmodulator.aspx

In the picture you can see that both inputs (coax & RCA) are included and you can switch back and forth. The link is ONLY for the picture - can't endorse the vendor!
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Postby dag16 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:16 am

kumasuki wrote:
julsee wrote:But, one question remains. Can anyone think of a work around ...


How does your cable box connect to the TV?? - via the antenna input? do you connect a cable from the TimeWarner box directly into the TV or use 2 screws with spade connectors? In either case perhaps an RF modulator switch box would do the trick.

These things look like this (and aren't expensive):
http://skycraftsurplus.com/videorfmodulator.aspx

In the picture you can see that both inputs (coax & RCA) are included and you can switch back and forth. The link is ONLY for the picture - can't endorse the vendor!


not a bad idea, would be an easier way to switch for him.
He must connect via the antennae input if he watches the TWC feed on channel 3..
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Postby kb01 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:00 pm

I'm assuming the digital cable box has an option for RCA out (instead of coax). If it does, it might make life easier if you buy a cheap, push button AV switch, and hook both the digital cable box and Roku to it.

Then you can just leave the TV set to Video and not worry about cycling through settings every time you want to use your Roku.
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Postby robertm » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:18 pm

KennyJ wrote:They were right, you should have a button that says something like "Input", "Source", "Video 1" or something.

If you get the model # on your Magnavox, we might be able to find the manual online and tell you exactly what to look for. But if you are connecting the Roku to inputs on the back of your TV, your TV has to be able to switch to those inputs -- and nearly every TV, even one made back in 1993, should have an input select button on the remote.



Not necessarily. On some TVs you cycle through the inputs by using the channel up and down buttons. From channel 3 you probably hit the down channel button to see the first one.
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Postby KennyJ » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:46 pm

robertm wrote:
KennyJ wrote:They were right, you should have a button that says something like "Input", "Source", "Video 1" or something.

If you get the model # on your Magnavox, we might be able to find the manual online and tell you exactly what to look for. But if you are connecting the Roku to inputs on the back of your TV, your TV has to be able to switch to those inputs -- and nearly every TV, even one made back in 1993, should have an input select button on the remote.



Not necessarily. On some TVs you cycle through the inputs by using the channel up and down buttons. From channel 3 you probably hit the down channel button to see the first one.


I've never seen a remote without an input select when there were inputs available. Obviously, they make them that way though -- I was already proven wrong by the OP.

Either way, the Roku tech support had him/her try that and apparently their TV didn't even have that option.
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Postby robertm » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:59 pm

KennyJ wrote:
robertm wrote:
KennyJ wrote:They were right, you should have a button that says something like "Input", "Source", "Video 1" or something.

If you get the model # on your Magnavox, we might be able to find the manual online and tell you exactly what to look for. But if you are connecting the Roku to inputs on the back of your TV, your TV has to be able to switch to those inputs -- and nearly every TV, even one made back in 1993, should have an input select button on the remote.



Not necessarily. On some TVs you cycle through the inputs by using the channel up and down buttons. From channel 3 you probably hit the down channel button to see the first one.


I've never seen a remote without an input select when there were inputs available. Obviously, they make them that way though -- I was already proven wrong by the OP.

Either way, the Roku tech support had him/her try that and apparently their TV didn't even have that option.


KennyJ wrote:
robertm wrote:
KennyJ wrote:They were right, you should have a button that says something like "Input", "Source", "Video 1" or something.

If you get the model # on your Magnavox, we might be able to find the manual online and tell you exactly what to look for. But if you are connecting the Roku to inputs on the back of your TV, your TV has to be able to switch to those inputs -- and nearly every TV, even one made back in 1993, should have an input select button on the remote.



Not necessarily. On some TVs you cycle through the inputs by using the channel up and down buttons. From channel 3 you probably hit the down channel button to see the first one.


I've never seen a remote without an input select when there were inputs available. Obviously, they make them that way though -- I was already proven wrong by the OP.

Either way, the Roku tech support had him/her try that and apparently their TV didn't even have that option.


Not trying to prove you wrong it is just so happens I had a TV that had inputs without an input button for many years. I think the first TV we owned with a remote control we purchased in the late 80's. A lot more emphasis has been placed on their design over the years.
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Postby KennyJ » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:27 pm

No prob. I'm actually very surprised to see that. My son's little crappy TV in his room which I assume was manufactured in the 90s (it was hand-me-down) even had it. :)
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Postby robertm » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:38 pm

KennyJ wrote:No prob. I'm actually very surprised to see that. My son's little crappy TV in his room which I assume was manufactured in the 90s (it was hand-me-down) even had it. :)


I remember BEING the remote control.
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