How Do You Hook Up a DVD Burner to a Cable Box

How do you hook up a DVD burner to a cable box? The specifics vary depending on the equipment you're using. Are you hooking up a PC desktop DVD burner, or a stand-alone DVD burner? What type of connections does your cable box have? You need to narrow down your configuration before you can get into specifics.

Hooking up stand-alone DVD burner drives to a cable box.
Depending on your configuration, you'll likely be connecting DVD burner drives directly to the cable box output. This output typically goes to the TV, so you're basically adding your DVD burner in between the cable box and the television. This means that you'll need to connect your cable box outputs to your DVD burner inputs, and your DVD burner outputs to your TV.

First, determine what kind of connections you'll make between the cable box and the DVD burner. For the sake of getting the best possible picture quality, you'll want to use the highest possible cable output that your DVD recorder can accept. If your DVD burner drive can take an HDMI input and your cable box can output it, use HDMI. If both devices have component connections, you'll need to use the component red, green and blue cables, plus audio cables (typically composite) to connect the devices. If neither of those connection types are available, use standard coax cable to connect your cable box output to your DVD burner input.

From there, you'll need to use the highest-quality output from your DVD burner to your TV input. If your DVD burner and TV both have HDMI, use it. If component is the best connection type they have in common, connect both video and audio cables to carry the signal. Finally, use coax cable if neither of these options is available. If you run your cable box through a home entertainment system, you'll have the added step of connecting to the home entertainment system.

Hooking up a PC desktop DVD burner.
If you don't have a stand-alone DVD burner drive, but instead want to use DVD burner drives on your desktop computer, you can hook up your cable box to your desktop computer. This, however, might require a bit of additional hardware. Most computers aren't equipped to accept video inputs, so you may need to buy a TV tuner card or DVD capture hardware for your computer in order to accept an input signal. You'll also need software to recognize and record cable TV input, which you may need to buy separately.

Most TV tuner cards come with a coax cable input, but some also include composite video input, S-video input or other video input options. If you're buying a TV tuner card for your desktop, examine the input types, and select the input you'd most like to use. If you already have one, you're limited by whatever input options your device uses.

As with hooking up to a DVD burner drive, you should match the highest-quality video input with your cable box output. If both devices have HDMI, use HDMI. If it's composite, you'll need to connect the video cables and audio cables separately. Standard coax connections require only the coax cable. You'll typically need to run special software to view and record cable video, but once you've recorded the video, you can burn it to DVD using a standard DVD burner. 

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