Very bad image quality VCR (VHS) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-05-2017, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Very bad image quality VCR (VHS)

Hi all,
Ive watched all my VHSs except for one, which I wanted to see, though just then my VCR decided to stop. It wouldnt play anymore, but that is now fixed. It plays, and at the right speed also (audio is fine), though the video itself... image is flickering all over the screen, all sorts of colours, blocks, the image moves to the upper part, then the lower part of the screen... I tried to clean the video head, but it was of no use. All VHS tapes behave the same. Winding and re-winding causes troubles sometimes, and then it stops, so there is something wrong with the drive but since the audio is OK, I think I wouldnt touch that anymore.

Could you help me out?

Kind regards,
Ruben
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-05-2017, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruben112 View Post
Hi all,
Ive watched all my VHSs except for one, which I wanted to see, though just then my VCR decided to stop. It wouldnt play anymore, but that is now fixed. It plays, and at the right speed also (audio is fine), though the video itself... image is flickering all over the screen, all sorts of colours, blocks, the image moves to the upper part, then the lower part of the screen... I tried to clean the video head, but it was of no use. All VHS tapes behave the same. Winding and re-winding causes troubles sometimes, and then it stops, so there is something wrong with the drive but since the audio is OK, I think I wouldnt touch that anymore.

Could you help me out?

Kind regards,
Ruben
Are you opening the player and manually cleaning the pickups on the rotating drum or using a cleaning tape. Cleaning tapes are a joke if the head gap is clogged.

Other than that sometimes the guides posts at the beginning and end of the rotating drum come loose and rotate which moves the tape path out of alignment.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-06-2017, 02:18 PM
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It's also possible the tape has broken one or both of your video heads I had that happen with a crinkled tape, broke one of my video heads!
Lastly, if cleaning the heads manually, do NOT use a up and down movement over the video heads, they are VERY fragile, side to side is OK(but be gentle) but never up and down. You can scrub the actual drum any which way you want but not the actual heads.
The video heads are on the rotating drum, the audio heads may also be on the drum if the VCR is HiFi, there are also linear audio heads and those won't be on the spinning drum.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-06-2017, 05:29 PM
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Another possibility is that the guide pins aren’t engaging all the way. This would throw the tape off the alignment path. This is common with VCRs that have been sitting unused for a while. This can also happen when you stack electronic components on top of another.

Open up the VCR and watch the tape load – unload and try to gently help move the guide pins while loading unloading but don’t touch anything else. Caution this may cause your tape to be eaten so put in a tape you don’t care about and don’t touch anything else, especially near the power supply or you risk electric shock.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-06-2017, 05:52 PM
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Oh if it's a 4 video head(or more) machine I guess a way to test if it's the video heads is to use another speed, either SP or EP/SLP. If the other speed also doesn't work it might not be a head problem but if the other speed works you can eliminate all but probably the video heads for that speed.
Generally LP or the middle 4hr speed just uses the heads of one of the other speeds(SLP/EP) so if you normally use SP try EP or if your tapes are EP use SP for the tests.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-06-2017, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Many thanks for all the replies this far! I also found out the following: When pausing the video cassette, the image looks somewhat OK though grainy and black and white, at least the image isnt all over the place, or with cuts in it. The image quality of this VCR never was too good, so the grainy image on pause has always been, though not in b/w.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurtis Bahr View Post
Are you opening the player and manually cleaning the pickups on the rotating drum or using a cleaning tape. Cleaning tapes are a joke if the head gap is clogged.

Other than that sometimes the guides posts at the beginning and end of the rotating drum come loose and rotate which moves the tape path out of alignment.
Yes, Ive tried to use a cleaning cassette but that wasnt of any help so I opened up the player and cleaned the video heads manually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
It's also possible the tape has broken one or both of your video heads I had that happen with a crinkled tape, broke one of my video heads!
Lastly, if cleaning the heads manually, do NOT use a up and down movement over the video heads, they are VERY fragile, side to side is OK(but be gentle) but never up and down. You can scrub the actual drum any which way you want but not the actual heads.
The video heads are on the rotating drum, the audio heads may also be on the drum if the VCR is HiFi, there are also linear audio heads and those won't be on the spinning drum.
Thanks, I think I havent done much damage to the video head since the quality hasnt changed since cleaning (a tiny bit better perhaps). Well if it broke of a video head it's game over I guess :-)

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Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post
Another possibility is that the guide pins aren’t engaging all the way. This would throw the tape off the alignment path. This is common with VCRs that have been sitting unused for a while. This can also happen when you stack electronic components on top of another.

Open up the VCR and watch the tape load – unload and try to gently help move the guide pins while loading unloading but don’t touch anything else. Caution this may cause your tape to be eaten so put in a tape you don’t care about and don’t touch anything else, especially near the power supply or you risk electric shock.
It indeed has been unused for a very long time, we used this one as a back up since we got a newer one in 1998 or so, and when DVDs came along.... I will look what happens inside the player when it loads, I was a bit afraid of electrical shock so havent done until yet. To me the problem looks like an alignment problem the most, though what do I know about VCRs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
Oh if it's a 4 video head(or more) machine I guess a way to test if it's the video heads is to use another speed, either SP or EP/SLP. If the other speed also doesn't work it might not be a head problem but if the other speed works you can eliminate all but probably the video heads for that speed.
Generally LP or the middle 4hr speed just uses the heads of one of the other speeds(SLP/EP) so if you normally use SP try EP or if your tapes are EP use SP for the tests.
Im not sure it's a 4 head device, it's a VCR from the late 80s and although it one of the most expensive back then, I dont think it is any good actually. But I will try it too! Got lots of tape left.

Thanks again everybody for all the help.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-07-2017, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruben112 View Post
Many thanks for all the replies this far! I also found out the following: When pausing the video cassette, the image looks somewhat OK though grainy and black and white, at least the image isnt all over the place, or with cuts in it. The image quality of this VCR never was too good, so the grainy image on pause has always been, though not in b/w.



Yes, Ive tried to use a cleaning cassette but that wasnt of any help so I opened up the player and cleaned the video heads manually.



Thanks, I think I havent done much damage to the video head since the quality hasnt changed since cleaning (a tiny bit better perhaps). Well if it broke of a video head it's game over I guess :-)



It indeed has been unused for a very long time, we used this one as a back up since we got a newer one in 1998 or so, and when DVDs came along.... I will look what happens inside the player when it loads, I was a bit afraid of electrical shock so havent done until yet. To me the problem looks like an alignment problem the most, though what do I know about VCRs...



Im not sure it's a 4 head device, it's a VCR from the late 80s and although it one of the most expensive back then, I dont think it is any good actually. But I will try it too! Got lots of tape left.

Thanks again everybody for all the help.
If your VCR has HiFi sound it would have 2 pickups (heads) for the HiFi and 2 pickups for the video. This is the same no matter what speed it plays. The better players have 4 pickups for video. The extra 2 pickups have a different gap specialized for the SLP/EP mode. That is why JJEFF suggested trying a tape recorded at the different speed.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-11-2017, 01:51 AM
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Is possible to return the VCR to the store for the full price refund?
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-14-2017, 12:11 PM
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Is possible to return the VCR to the store for the full price refund?
Yes, with a time machine

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