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I had a similar problem with a Cannon Optura PI and had to send it in. It was better, but I still have problems on occasion. If your intent is to transfer all the tapes to media, I would suggest purchasing Toshiba's DVD Video Recorder/Video Cassette Recorder. Model: DVR620KU.
I use a VHS-C Cassette Adapter to play my VHS-C tapes in and the dubbed them to a DVD. Works great. Unfortunately, there is no 8mm/VHS Adapters, since 8mm, Hi8, miniDV are different formats with different technical
characteristics than VHS. These formats were never developed with the
intention to be mechanically compatible with past or current VHS
technology. Your best bet would to borrow a HI-8 Camcorder and then dub your tapes to DVD's using the Toshiba machine.
Here is a link to the Toshiba machine. http://www.testfreaks.com/dvd-players-recorders/toshiba-dvr620/
Check the tape and make sure the record tab is still on the tape and has not been removed. If the record tab has been removed then use a new tape for recording as the unit will not record. This tap is usually on the lower left end of the back of the tape. When the tap is present it closes a record mode switch letting the system know the tape is able to bv recorded on..
The following Models can be used as a recorder to record from a VCR, TV or another Camcorder.
2004 - SC-D107
2003 - SC-D5000, SC-D27
2002 - SC-D180
Recording In Player Mode
1. Connect the camcorder to the VCR or TV with the AUDIO/VIDEO cable (provided) (to the A/V Outputs on External Device)
2. Set the power switch of the camcorder to PLAYER mode.
3. Turn on the VCR or TV.
4. Insert the blank tape with protection tab closed into the camcorder.
If you want to record from a connected VCR, insert a recorded VHS tape into the VCR.
5. Press the MENU button, turn the MENU DIAL to highlight A/V and press the ENTER button.
6. Turn the MENU DIAL to highlight AV IN/OUT and press the ENTER button to select AV IN.
"AV IN" and picture appears on the LCD monitor.
OUT : Releases the INPUT mode.
7. Press the START/STOP button to set the camcorder to REC PAUSE mode.
"PAUSE" appears on the LCD monitor.
8. Select the TV program or playback the VHS tape.
9. Press START/STOP button to start recording.
If you want to pause recording for a while, press the START/STOP button again.
10. To stop recording, press the (STOP) button.
* Recording from an analog VCR to the camcorder is only possible when the VCR is playing back at normal speed.
* If you want to see the camcorder picture with a TV, set AV IN/OUT in the menu to OUT.
Yes, if the camera is a US camera then it is NTSC. That would be your problem, you are trying to record an NTSC signal to a PAL video. THe frame rates and resolutions are all wrong. I am even surprised that it is playing back on your TV okay...