To set a VCR to record a cable TV show, connect the VCR to the cable, insert a recordable VHS cassette tape, then set up a recording according to the particular VCR's instructions. Various models of VCRs have different auto-record features, so consult the machine's user manual or follow the instructions on the on-screen menu.
To connect a VCR to cable, disconnect the cable from the television set or cable box and plug it into the VCR's input port, usually labeled "IN." Then use a second coaxial cable to connect from the VCR's output port (labeled "OUT") to the television's or cable box's open port. To watch TV, turn on both the VCR and the television, tune the television to the cable's channel (usually channel 3 on most sets), and change channels using the VCR's remote control.
To program a recording, use the remote and the onscreen menu to set the VCR's clock to the correct time and date, then set a timer to record. Enter the correct channel, date and start and end time for the show. Most VCRs allow a limited number of recordings to be set, provided no show times overlap, as a single-cassette VCR can only record one channel at a time. Before the recording starts, insert a VHS tape with an attached write-protection tab to record the show.