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I have an aging S-VHS VCR, a Panasonic PV-S4580, that in the last few months has started getting too bright. It's like there's some kind of internal black level control that somehow got cranked up too high. It affects both input and output -- if I record a test pattern on the VCR and play the tape back on another recorder, the black level is too high. If I record a test pattern on another VCR (and verify that it looks fine there), again the black level is high when I play back on the Panasonic. And God help me if I record something on the Panasonic and play it back there; the result is completely washed out and blacks look like light greys. It even happens if I run a test signal through the video in and watch the video out, so it's nothing to do with the tape electronics.


The VCR didn't have the problem early in its life, so I'm hoping there's some way to adjust the brightness to compensate. I opened it up the other night to do a routine head cleaning; I didn't see anything that looked adjustable, but then I didn't dismantle it far enough to look at the entire main circuit board.


Any ideas, or should I ditch it and get a new one? My assumption is it'd cost more to take to a repair place than to replace with an equivalent model.
 
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