I own several dvd players,vcr's and bluray players. The other day I put a vhs tape into one of my dvd/ vcr combos and only got audio. Picture was snow. Tried new av cables. Didn't help. I switched to a vcr only unit I own. Same problem. Tried another dvd/ vcr that I own. Same problem. A dvd played fine,but the tapes would not. I tried several different tapes including one I had just watched a week ago. All had same problem. I decided to switch to a different television ( both tv sets are old analog sets, not digital ). Still,just audio on the vhs tapes. The only part of the equation I never altered was the outlet. Both televisions and all the players I plugged into the same outlet.
If anyone can explain what might be happening,please let me know.
I'd suggest a thorough cleaning of the video heads and tape path, a wet cleaning tape may work and I would not suggest a try tape, they generally don't work very well and can cause video head wear.
Like maybe something may be causing gunk to get into the spinning head so it can no longer read the video singal, or have jammed the spinning head so it doesn't spin any more. (The audio is picked up by a separate head close to the spinning head, so the only thing it needs is for the tape to go across it at the normal speed.)
My very humble setup:
Clean the head. BUT in my experience with my Sony VCR I have to open it up and get at the head, capstan roller, pinch roller etc with a Q-tip and iso-propanol. Wet or dry cleaning tapes will not work once this level of snowing starts. Forget dry cleaning anyways since it is useless.
I presume your inputs are fine since audio is working.