How to Use Modern A/V Equiptment With Old TV's

Introduction: How to Use Modern A/V Equiptment With Old TV's

If you have an old television set (pre 1980) that does not have A/V support, you can add Composite, SCART, S-Video, etc inputs onto it with no hassle. This project only costs about $40, or cheaper, if you shop around. I love my TV, and with AV support I can still use it when analogue is switched off in Australia and for watching DVDs.

Image quality of set appears low quality, but this is only because it is difficult to photograph an image on a CRT screen. Anyone who has tried taking a photo of a TV, computer monitor, etc, faces this problem.

And don't worry, this project does not require modding, hacks, knowledge of how TVs or AV works and requires no tools.

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Step 1: Know Your TV

If your TV is turned on, turn it off now.

Look at the front of the TV. What dials does it have? It should have a large dial with VHF on it. This is for channels 0-12, and if your TV also has a UHF dial, there should be a 'U' on the VHF dial.

If your TV has VHF and UHF, buy a 'UHF A/V Modulator'. Here is an example of one:

If your TV has VHF only, buy a 'VHF A/V Modulator'. I am unsure where you can find one, just search for it in Google. eBay is a good place to look too.

You can also buy combo modulators, that send both VHF and UHF signals. These are usually more expensive (about $80 USD, $100 AUD)

My Thorn 9000 is both VHF and UHF. If your TV has UHF, always buy a UHF modulator, as they have better picture quality and don't pick up interference as much.

In this project, I bought a DSE RF Modulator (L1507), which can be seen in the link above, or visiting Your AV modulator will no doubt only have 75ohm output. To use this with your TV, you will need to buy a balun, also known as a 75ohm-300ohm matching transformer. One is pictured in Picture 2.

Step 2: Attach the Balun/matching Transformer

This part is not hard at all. It simply screws on. Again, if your TV supports UHF, attach the balun to the 300ohm input for UHF.

Step 3: Setting Up Everything

Unpack your modulator. It will have a power cable. Connect this cable to the back. Also included should be a TV cable. This plugs into the RF out on the modulator and the other end connects to the balun. Plug your AV cables into the AV inputs. The modulator might have an antenna in. This is optional, and is not really needed as soon you can use a digital set top box on your TV! Turn on the modulator. Tune it to a channel that is not used for analogue TV in your area. The higher the channel, the better the picture. I tuned mine to CH69.

Step 4: Tuning the TV.

Turn on the TV, and turn on your A/V device (eg Xbox 360, DVD player, PS3, etc)

If your TV supports it, turn on the AFT (Automatic Fine Tuning) button. It should be on the front.

If you are using a UHF modulator, turn the VHF dial to the 'U' setting, and turn the UHF dial to the channel you selected on the modulator. The image should appear on the screen. If it's full of static, keep turning the dial till it gets better.

For VHF only TVs, turn the VHF dial to the channel you set the modulator to. If the image is fuzzy and broken up, turn the ring on the inside or outside of the VHF dial. You might need to push it down to adjust it. Keep turning the ring until the picture is clear.

Step 5: Finished!

Now you can enjoy modern luxuries such as DVDs, games and Digital TV on your old set!


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    9 Discussions


    4 years ago

    That's very cool!


    6 years ago

    Where may I find one like that


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Will this modulator work the other way around?? I want to hook my super nintendo to my hdtv.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    No, unfortunately. If you want to connect your SNES to a HDTV you need to get a Nintendo A/V cable (composite, the yellow/white/red cable). You can get one from a Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 or Gamecube, just look on eBay (Wii A/V cables won't work.).


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I had the exact same TV with my super nintendo when I was a kid. I was alway spinning the wheel to annoy my mom with the "cliuiuck" it does when you spin it. Lmao.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! The same set? That's amazing- I thought I had the only one in existence!