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SET the CLOCK on a VCR
How to set the clock on a VCR

Your VCR has a clock function and the time is displayed on the VCR's front panel. However, you must set the clock to the correct time or use the "Auto Clock Set" feature built into many VCRs today. Every brand and model of VCR is a little different in the way you set the clock but basically the process follows the same main idea which is to toggle up/down and forward thru the on-screen menu to get the day, date, year, hour, minute and AM/PM indicator setup. You may need to set the clock on your VCR after a power failure or when Daylight Savings Time occurs during the year.

Auto Clock Set
Some VCR models have a AUTO CLOCK SET feature which allows you to skip the set clock procedure entirely if you live in an area where you can receive the local PBS TV station which broadcasts a signal containing the data which gives your VCR the ability to set the clock automatically. This is called the XDS or extended data service and is usually available from your PBS station and/or your pay cable TV provider.

Many VCRs have a menu item labeled "Auto Clock Set" and two choices. One for AUTO and one for MANUAL. By selecting AUTO and setting it to "ON", the VCR will attempt to set the clock using the XDS signal when it is received. This should be within 15 min. or less. Some VCRs have to be powered off in order to receive the signal and set the clock. Most large cities will have a TV station or a pay cable TV provider sending out this signal. DBS Direct Broadcast Satellite pay TV providers do not send out this signal. If your VCR does not have the Auto Clock Set feature, then you need to set the clock manually using your VCR remote control and the TV.

Most remotes have a button on them to bring up the on-screen menus on the TV screen. This button will be labeled MENU or GUIDE or PROG. Consult your VCR owner's manual or look at your remote for the VCR and find this button.

If you experience problems bringing up the menu on the TV screen, check your cable hookup (VCR to TV) and check that your TV is set to the proper input and powered ON. Also toggle the VCR/TV button on the VCR remote. Make sure the VCR is powered ON. Consult the VCR's owner's manual if required. If your TV is connected to the VCR using a RF coaxial cable, your TV may have to be set to channel 3 or 4 to get the VCR signal.


Your TV may have a button labeled TV/VIDEO to select the different TV inputs or try using your TV remote to select different inputs. The remote control should have a button labeled VIDEO or INPUT SELECT to change the inputs. Consult your TV's owner's manual if required. If you have had your VCR hooked up to your TV for years and have been watching video tapes then you should have no problem seeing the menus on the TV screen.

After you press the MENU button, the On-screen Main Menu is shown on the TV.

The MENUS are presented in a cascading style. That is to say, each item that can be selected will present sub-menus until all your choices are exhausted. You will use your remote control arrow keys to navigate to your selections. Use the UP/DOWN arrow keys to move to the CLOCK SET line. Then press OK or ENTER or FFWD depending on your model of VCR. Basically you move up, down, and right, left using the arrow keys. When you put the cursor on the item you want, press OK, Enter, or FFWD to get the next menu.

Arrow buttons UP or DOWN to select menu items and arrow buttons LEFT or RIGHT to change/adjust value of items.

Your VCR's menus may look a little different but the same information will be there, namely, YEAR, DATE, HOUR, MINUTE, AM/PM

To set the clock, use the arrow keys to move to each item (right/left) and then UP/DOWN to increase or decrease the value of the item until you have the value you want.

For Example:

  • To set the YEAR, move right or left if required until the YEAR item is blinking/flashing/hilighted. Then press UP or DOWN key/button until the correct year is shown.
  • Next, move to the following item which could be MONTH, by pressing the RIGHT arrow key on the VCR remote.
  • Press the arrow UP or DOWN key/button until the correct MONTH is shown.

Continue changing each item in this way until you reach the last item and correct it's value. Change the HOUR and the MINUTES to the current time of day.

If you make a mistake or need to return to a previous item, press the left arrow key/button on the remote and you should see the item blink or be hilighted. Then you can press UP/DOWN button to change the value to the correct one.

When all the items have been set to the correct numbers or values, press MENU again to EXIT.

If done correctly, you should now see your VCR's front panel clock displayed with the correct time.

    Every VCR will be slightly different but the concept is the same.


    How can I access the main menu?

    Use the remote control to set all on-screen programming, and press the menu button. If the main menu does not appear, make sure the TV is set on channel 3 or 4 and the VCR’s RF switch (3 / 4) is corresponding on the VCR's rear panel. Also check for the "VCR" indicator on the front display. Hookup VCR to TV using RF coaxial cable from VCR ANT OUT jack to the TV VHF Input jack.

    How can I put the VCR in line mode?

    Press the [Line In] button or [Input Select] button on your remote or VCR front panel.

    How can I timer record?

    Your VCR can record on a specific day or every day, Monday through Friday. Daily and weekly programs remain in the timer until erased. A single program is erased after the program records. Make sure the clock is set. Press the program button on the remote. Respond to the appropriate questions and fill in the information and turn the TV and VCR power off.

    How do I set the time on my VCR?

    Access the VCR’s main menu, select ‘Clock set/adjust’, select ‘manual’ if available, enter month, year, time and day. Press MENU to exit.

    I don’t receive any audio or video from my VCR on my television, what could be wrong?

    Before having the unit serviced, verify that your hook ups and connections are correct. If the VCR is connected to the TV through the RF output, verify that the television is tuned to the VCR’s output channel (3 or 4). If the VCR is connected to the TV through the A/V outputs, verify that the TV is in the ‘Video’ or ‘Auxiliary’ mode. Also, make sure that the VCR is in the VCR mode.

    I lost the remote control for my VCR, will a universal remote control work?

    You can probably get a universal remote control to operate the VCR’s basic functions such as power, change channel, stop, play, rewind, but it may not operate all the menu functions.

    My VCR only receives up to channel 13, but I have cable. What should I do to get all my cable channels?

    In the VCR’s channel set up menu, select Cable, not Antenna or Air, then select Auto channel memory to scan and memorize the channels.

    The incorrect time or date is shown

    • A power interruption may have occurred and Automatic Clock Set was not turned on or did not work properly. Check the time zone and Daylight-Saving settings in the TIME menu.

    • Make sure the VCR or cable box is tuned to the time data channel (check with your cable service provider for information about time data).

    • Auto Clock Set is not supported in all areas or by digital satellite receivers. Set the time and date manually.

    The time did not adjust for Daylight-Saving Time
    • Make sure the "Daylight-Saving Time" feature is set correctly in the menu.

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