Copying from Sky+ HD to VCR via JS RGB-Plasma


Active Member
I've just installed the JS Tech. RGB-Plasma converter and the results are great, however I now realize that I can't use my VCR (connected via SKY + scart) I assume this is due to the VCR switching off the RGB output when it's turned on.

Any ideas as to the best way of using the SKY + copy facility? i.e will I need a DVD recorder which has RGB scart? and will this work via the SKY+ scart connector or does it have to be connected directly to the Plasma screen?

Any ideas would be most grateful.



Stephen Wilde

Novice Member
I hope someone replies to this because I need the answer as well.
Heard that Sky+ only replays recordings if you still have a subscription. Does that apply to both VCR and DVD recordings ? Can you make DVD recordings ?



Novice Member
Not 100% sure I understand the problem but if you only want to record SKY programming onto VHS then the VCR scart connection is ideal since the composite output is perfectly acceptable for VHS quality. If you want to archieve to DVD then you will need to use the RGB scart output for best results either connected directly between the SKY+ and DVD or via hardware with RGB pass through.

If you do not have a SKY+ sub then you can not access anything you have previously recorded on the hard drive, infact all recording and HD functions will cease to work.
Subscription programming is cached onto the HD with it's encryption intact so you will also need a current/valid channel package subscription to access this encrypted data whenever you wish to view it.
SKY+ outputs the same content on all it's connections, doesn't make any difference if those outputs feed a DVD recorder, VHS or any other recording/viewing device.
If you record a program off SKY+ either live or streamed from the HD onto DVD or VHS then the programming has passed through the decoder and the DVD/VHS recording will be free of any encryption and can be viewed with no restrictions.


Active Member
Sorry if the original post was unclear. I have a subscription so ignore that part!!
Basically, after installing the JS RGB to Plasma converter, I cannot play anything from my VCR which is connected through Sky's VCR scart socket. Consequently I would imagine that I can't record any of the programmes that have been saved to the Sky+ HD.

I assume that as the VCR scart is outputting a composite signal rather than RGB it is switching off the RGB to Plasma converter.

Startburst, by hardware with RGB passthrough do you mean something like a DVD recorder with RGB scart will work using the Sky+ VCR scart socket?

Hope this makes a bit more sense!!


I record RGB onto DVD using the Philips DVR. The Sky+ Scart goes to the DVR, and thence to the JS box for the plasma. The Sky+ VCR scart is unused. PQ passed through the DVR is OK (I can't tell the difference), but I haven't done a careful comparison. Presumably your VCR could also pass through the signal.

(playback from the Philips DVR is another story; definitely inferior to moving the recorded disc across to the 868).

If your VCR won't pass-through the RGB, that's your excuse to upgrade to recordable DVD!

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello all

If you want your VCR to record from your SKY+ and its not an SVHS deck equipped with an S-Video input them once you set the SKY+ to output RGB you are limited to an RF connection to the VCR.

VCR's don't (in general) have RGB in or out and the Composite out on the SKY+ is not active once its in RGB mode.

As discussed you can look at a DVD recorder(DVR) with RGB or S-Video inputs to record from a SKY+ set to RGB and RGB or S-Video outputs to get the picture up to you plasma.

You can form an RGB chain of SKY+ to DVR to RGB converter to Plasma - though some will prefer to not always have the DVR in circuit for all viewing as it may well be slightly softer than the SKY+ direct to the plasma via the RGB converter.

The alternative is to have the DVR on the S-Video signal path as follows: SKY+ to DVR to Plasma; the S-Video out on the SKY+ is active when its in RGB mode.

You'll have to suck it and see with whatever DVR you go with in your own system before you can say which approach will be best for you.

Best regards



Well-known Member

sorry to disagree joe but the vcr scart on the sky+ box (unless its different on different boxes so please correct me if i'm wrong) does output composite even if the tv scart is set to rgb..... as Starburst said

however you wont be able to view the vcr through the RGB-Plasma converter your using....... i imagine you get a blank screen when you press play as the scart knocks the loop through on on your sky box so your signal (from vcr via skybox) is composite not rgb going into the convertor

however you should be still able to record the way you did before you got your convertor, you just need a composite signal out of the video straight to the plasma to be able to watch it back again afterwards



Active Member
Thanks for all your help guys. I've tried all the suggestions and actually you are all right in one way or another! The VCR is simply knocking out the RGB signal when it's switched on rendering the RGB to VGA converter useless.

I've ended up buying a Panny DVDR (which is proving invaluable already) and hooked it up using Joes/Starbursts method. The only question is whether the picture from Sky+ is now now not as good given that the DVDR is in the chain?

Perhaps Dr John could give me an opinion.

Joe - sorry but I don't quite follow your S Video solution, how would this help PQ using the VGA converter?


Active Member

Finally I've worked out the best way to get what I want, i.e. keeping the Sky+ box connected directly through the JS RGB-VGA converter to the plasma.

I've connected the DVDR directly to the plasma via scart (using an unused Scart board in the plasma) At first I still couldn't record from Sky until I tried turning the AV2 output in the DVDR settings from RGB to video. It now works perfectly.

This leads me to believe that the VCR scart socket on the Sky+ box is outputting a composite signal and not RGB - does this sound right? (my Sky+ settings are definitely set to RGB)

Anyway thanks again for all the help.


Novice Member
SKY digiboxes including SKY+ only output composite (PAL) on their VCR scarts, only the TV scart carries RGB (when selected from the menu).

A few pence saved by the manufacturers or a short sighted view by whoever laid down the digibox specs, wouldn't it have been useful to have RGB on both. We'll leave well alone the missed opportunity for more video connections on SKY+:)


Novice Member
Hi Guys,

sorry for being slow to this thread - now and again I've got to spend time designing new products!

Sky's VCR output is only composite. You only get RGB output via the TV SCART connector.

Two options for VCRs, first is if your VCR has two SCARTs, have one as an input from Sky and the other output to the plasma using the video input terminal. Even the SCART board would be fine for this, but keep the RGB to Plasma VGA unit for Sky and you'll get the best picture quality this way.

Second option if you only have one SCART on the VCR is a Y-cable. Essentailly, one cable with three SCARTs and the middle one being what would connect to the VCR. One acts as the input, and one acts as the output. This takes advantage of the fact that for composite video, a SCART can have both input and output concurrently. Now, you're going to ask me where to get such a lead.... Joe??

As for DVD recorders, these are easy assuming that they have RGB in and out. Simply connect these in the chain between Sky and the RGB to Plasma VGA unit. Keep the DVD recorder in standby so it gives you pass-through without compromising the picture quality.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.


Active Member
Thanks John

Do you think that the picture quality of your unit is compromised by having a DVD recorder in the chain. I found it hard to tell but imagine that if you can keep the connection to your unit via the digibox only this would provide the best PQ possible?

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