One of my Panasonic PV-HD1000s no longer plays back D-VHS recordings. When a known-good tape is played back on it through a TU-DST50, only black is displayed. The "D-VHS" indicator on the front panel of the VCR lights up when the tape is playing, and all the usual VCR control indications ("Stop", "Playing", "No Cassette", etc.) are correctly displayed in the video output from the DST50--except that "D-VHS 1-1" is never displayed, nor is the recorded program.
However, it seems to be able to record from the STB without any problem. A tape recorded on it can be played back on another VCR/STB combo, but it can't play its own tapes (or any others).
I've localized the problem to this VCR: it won't play back tapes through any STB, and the STB it's usually connected to works fine with another VCR. I've tried multiple FireWire cables; they all work in other combinations but not when connecting this VCR to any STB.
I replaced the head cylinder a couple of months ago and the unit has been behaving very well since then (better than any of my others), but just to be sure I opened up the unit and made sure the head cylinder was securely seated and tightened. It made no difference.
Although it's not clearly visible, I suspect that the FireWire connection has become damaged in some way that permits recording but not playback. Is that plausible? I try to be obsessively careful when inserting and removing those FireWire cables, but the connectors seem so fragile nevertheless.
I don't feel comfortable tackling a repair like this myself (unlike the very simple head-replacement job that was described so handily for us by Roger), so it's off to Panasonic with it (for a couple of months, based on prior experience) unless anyone can suggest something else that might be worth trying.
I'm so sick of these things. There's always something broken or misbehaving in at least one of my units. It sucks a lot of the joy out of owning them.