Video playback mystery - AVS Forum
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homeentertainment 08:58 AM 08-10-2014
Hello, I wondered if anyone can advise me on something I've experienced with a VCR - I suspect it's one of the components.

I've been using an AKAI VCR to transfer VHS tapes to DVD, and I was having a problem with the playback.

The sound was fine, no problem, but there were wavy coloured lines across the picture.

I took the VCR to a repair shop and they said the problem was the upper drum assembly was worn out.
The picture was fine if you pause the tape, but when you play it you get those wavy coloured lines.
They said they couldn't repair it because AKAI had stopped manufacturing the upper drum assembly.
I know that's understandable considering it's age.

However, some VCRs enable you to record music onto VHS tapes using composite audio inputs, so since the audio was fine, I thought of giving the VCR a new lease of life and connecting it to my stereo.
It came with surround sound speakers which I'd only briefly used, so I decided to make the most of them.

To set those speakers up you need to hook the VCR up to the TV and follow on-screen instructions which I did. Then I tried a pre recorded tape in the VCR....and it played no problem, it gave a perfect picture and sound with no sign of the fault I had before.

Since it came back from the repair place it's been lifted and moved around and tilted on it's side, so I'm guessing maybe the problem was a loose connection that has been moved back into place by the vibrations.

Does anyone know what could have caused the wavy coloured lines on the screen and why it's now working just fine?

I would really like to know.

I have already given my most favourite VHS recordings priority and transferred them to DVD by the way.

Jack.

Rolls-Royce's Avatar Rolls-Royce 09:55 AM 08-10-2014
If the wavy lines were on your DVD copies (and if these were from commercially-recorded tapes such as movies), it's likely they're from the copy-protection that the tapes had. TVs handle the output signal from these tapes differently from recording devices, so by connecting the VCR directly to the TV, you wouldn't get the lines or other image corruption caused by trying to dub such tapes to other VCRs or DVD recorders.
homeentertainment 01:06 PM 08-10-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
If the wavy lines were on your DVD copies (and if these were from commercially-recorded tapes such as movies), it's likely they're from the copy-protection that the tapes had. TVs handle the output signal from these tapes differently from recording devices, so by connecting the VCR directly to the TV, you wouldn't get the lines or other image corruption caused by trying to dub such tapes to other VCRs or DVD recorders.
Sorry, the wavy lines on the picture showed when it was just connected to the TV (via RF or Scart), NOT when it was connected to the DVD recorder.

Plus I have a few VCRs and the same tapes played very well on them with exactly the same connections,

I understand what you are saying, but that wasn't the problem.

Jack
Glimmie's Avatar Glimmie 03:02 PM 08-11-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by homeentertainment View Post

To set those speakers up you need to hook the VCR up to the TV and follow on-screen instructions which I did. Then I tried a pre recorded tape in the VCR....and it played no problem, it gave a perfect picture and sound with no sign of the fault I had before.

Since it came back from the repair place it's been lifted and moved around and tilted on it's side, so I'm guessing maybe the problem was a loose connection that has been moved back into place by the vibrations.

Does anyone know what could have caused the wavy coloured lines on the screen and why it's now working just fine?

I would really like to know.

I have already given my most favourite VHS recordings priority and transferred them to DVD by the way.

Jack.
Loose connection inside. Internal mechanical switch cleaned it's self after being used a few times.

Doesn't sound like bad heads to me. But it's true that parts for VCR's are almost impossible to get anymore.

Standard Consumer VCR Service Procedure:

1) Replace the head drum, the most expensive part and the highest labor hours.
2) Then troubleshoot the real problem.
Tags: component , playback , tape heads , vcr
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