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Take the top off and spray the main head with Servisol Video 40. (image below) Also the tracking and audio heads.
Wait for it to dry before putting a tape in. In the future use only this it is much better and cheaper than cleaning tapes.
The chain of cabling that you have should go like this; First in line should be the wall supplying the cable box. Then, the cable box connects to the VCR, then the out of the VCR should go to the TV. Select whatever channel you desire, make sure that the VCR is on Channel 3 or 4, (Whichever the back of the cable box is set) then select 3,4 or line/AUX to see the results....accordianman
get a 2 A/V cords (yellow, white, and red plugs). Plug between the Satellites "video out" jacks and the VCR's "input" jacks. Connect the second cords between the VCR's "video out" jacks and the TV's "video in" jacks. Make sure the VCR is set to the input that you plugged the satellite cords into and make sure the TV is set to the input that you plugged the VCR's cords into.
And then you're done. To record, set satellite to channel desired, set VCR to record on the video input (instead of a channel number) and you're good to go.
The RF converter takes the Red/White/Yellow as INPUTS and converts them to either channel 3 or 4. You need to go the other way. You need a tuner or another VCR to convert from RF (channel 3 or 4) to a standard AV signal (Red/White/Yel).
1. Set tv to channel 4
2. insert a pre-recorded tape into vcr.
3.press play once to start playback.
4. after a few seconds press play on the vcr for 3 sec you will see a playback picture.
when a picture doesn't appear on the tv screen repeat step 4.
5. press stop to stop playback.
It sounds like possibly there is stray RF getting into your video signal from your DVD/VCR combo to your tv. Check that your cables are ok, but also, if you can, try moving the unit in relation to the tv, if it is underneath, try putting it on top or beside the tv, I've seen the effect you describe be cause by lack of sheilding in both the tv and DVD/VCR, and moving the unit could cure it.