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This is most likely due to a failed Pause / Play switch and can be repaired fairly inexpensively. However, it's not a user serviceable problem and will need to be repairedby a qualified service technician.
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I also have a Canon ZR-- left of the lens and the built-in microphones, there is a small panel that opens to reveal several ports. The middle yellow one is the AV In/Out. You can plug in the cable that came with your camera. One end looks like a microphone plug, the other has 3 RCA type plugs- red, white and yellow. These get plugged into your VCR's OUT plugs on the back of the VCR. Place a tape in the camcorder, open the LCD panel and push the REC PAUSE button. On the VCR, press the Play button. When the tape reaches the point you want to begin recording, press the camcorder's Play/Pause button. When you want to stop recording, press the Stop button on the camcorder. This is also detailed on page 82 of your manual, manuals are available online at Canon.com. Your specific manual is at: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=174&modelid=9739#DownloadDetailAct Hope this helps.