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It is likely that the vcr tapes have a copy guard preventing you from dubbing, the store bought tapes that were more recent have this, and it is imprinted in the tape itself. The only thing I can suggest is try one of the tapes that were successful, at least this way we will know for sure.
There is a part that is called an idler wheel assembly that is critical for play, rewind, and fast forward, and may have stopped working. The second possibility is that the drive belt that runs the idler assembly has broken or come off.
Can you provide the model of DVD/VCR player? Not all models do this.
For the ones that can, you need to use the Dub feature. Put a blank DVD (or one with sufficient space) in the DVD tray; initialize the disc if you are using a rewritable disc (RW). Then put the VHS tape into the VCR (you may want to break off the write protection tab). Then set the unit to VCR mode and forwared the tape to the desired recording point (copy-protected tapes can't be copied). Then some models have a dub or copy button on the unit and/or on the remote (press it and follow the onscreen prompts to select VCR to DVD, recording quality and press Enter to start). The copying will stop when you press Stop or run out of space on the DVD. On some models, you need to do this with the on-screen menus. For those, the look for a Dub feature (where it is will vary in the menus - usually in the same submenu as timed recording) and then select VCR to DVD and the rest.
I hope this helps.
Cindy Wells (I'll be glad to provide more information if you provide a specific model. I've worked with several brands and there are some differences in the setup routine. My current unit is a Zenith with a Copy button on both the front panel and the remote.)
Use the Dub video feature. This will work if the source is not copy protected. Make sure you have a writable (or rewritable) DVD with sufficient space available in the DVD tray (closed) and put your tape to dub in the VCR.
Press Setup on the remote and navigate down (up/down arrows) to Recording and press OK. Then select Dubbing Mode in the next menu level and press OK. When the Option menu opens, highlight VCR to DVD and press OK. Press Setup to exit this menu. Choose a recording mode using REC MODE on the remote. Press Play and then Pause when you reach the point where you want to start the recording (press quickly if you want to dub the whole tape; you will lose a few seconds while the dubbing starts so include 5 seconds extra if starting later in the tape). Then press Dubbing on the remote. The duplication will start. Press Stop when you reach the end of the section to record.
I hope this helps.
Cindy Wells (only the Setup and Rec Mode buttons do not have a matching button on the front of the unit. The later steps (setting up the start point, starting the Dub and stopping it) can be done with the remote or the buttons on the unit.)
Strangely enough, the tape protection is more effective than the current dvd protection because it was analog. The tape is encoded with "bleeders" that distort the picture should you try to record it. You might be able to get a separate VCR and plug it into the dvd "in" as a work around. Also, you can buy used dvds of your favorite movies from Amazon for a few bucks each. Save yourself the time and headache and poor quality of that dubbing process.
Depending on the procedure you may be pressing the record button instead of the D.Dubbing or Dubbing button. When recording from VHS to DVD you must first, load the blank DVD and VHS home movies, then play the VHS movies, then PAUSE the VHS movie when you want to START recording... then the only the you have to do is pressing the D.Dubbing button or the Dubbing button. If your VHS tapes starts to play after the Dubbing button is pressed you have been successful in Dubbing.
I found that part #T5B was on the bottom of the VCR tape tray on the right side of the VCR tape bay opening and was spring activated by inserting the tape to allow the tray to retract into the player mechanism. Without a tape installed, part T5B prevents the tape carriage from retracting.
However, I still couldn't get the whole mechanism timed properly, and gears were skipping teeth, the mechanism was still binding, and shutting the power for the whole player down. Therefore, I removed the rubber drive belt that operated the VCR tray insertion/ retraction process, and disabled the VCR side from operating at all. This allowed the power to remain on and allow the DVD side to work properly.
This worked only for the Phillips DVP3150V/37. I cannot say for certain if other Phillips players are the same.
This is not a converting unit, it will play the format of the tape inside. To convert the signal you need one of the following:
1) A converting VHS player; they are fairly expensive.
2) A separate video converter (hardware); they run for about $200-$500; just put this between your VCR and the TV.
3) Capture the PAL on your computer using a software like Movie Maker via a Firewire cable. Than convert it to NTSC on your machine using software like Nero... do a search on Google for converting software. Or just watch it on our computer in PAL format, most computers do that... For this step I use a separate camcoder that has a passthrough feature. The VCR connects to it and the camcorder connects to the computer via Firewire.
4) send the PAL tape to a specialized shop for conversion. They normally charge $30-$40 for a regular 2h VHS tape.