Sounds like the belt is slipping or broken. You should first listen with your ear near the cassette door to see if the motor trys to work. Many units use the main belt to work the lift mech. for the heads, If that doesnt have enough grip the motor will spin(Which you can hear lightly) and the unit does nothing.
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Someone will have to open the unit to see what is happening---either tape is not loading all the way or when FF or Rewind hit not moving the reels----could be as simple as a belt or a bad drive idler (most use either a rubber wheel or gears to move the tape in Play, FF, and Rewind.
In order to maintain tape control and tension the reels always pull lightly in opposite directions during PLAY mode. The capstan moves the tape in the desired direction at a precise speed. If the capstan doesn't engage the tape BETWEEN itself and the pinch roller you'll get the reels battling over control of the tape. Check the tape routing.
It sounds like the drive belts on the deck have broken (not allowing playing, FF or REW) and/or the tape got "eaten" meaning the tape itself has wound itself around the rollers and cannot free itself. I strongly doubt this is an electrical issue. Definately sounds mechanical.
As far as the door not opening, there's usually a hook that holds the door closed. If the unit is mostly disassembled, look near one of the sides of the door for a metal hook. It's normally spring loaded and can be moved manually. That should free the door. If your tape was eaten, it might take some gentle persuasion to unwrap it from the rollers.
Possibly the tape is wound too tight and is not actually playing when in play mode.
Also, tapes can be accidentally erased. If it is placed on a speaker or other magnetized surface it will erase itsself. The magnet draws something out of it.
I'm not sure exactly how it works but I know it happens.
Don't give up just yet. Check with your local video rental store... maybe they know a trick that will help you.
check your inputs on that machine. there are settings that you need to do. when you put a tape in the minidv, does it play fine? if it does, you need to check your input setting on that machine..good luck
This is a problem with the process called 'tape loading' - pulling the tape loop out of the cassette and wrapping it around the spinning video drum, engaging the capstan and pinch roller and reel rotation.
If you're NOT still under warrantee you should at least open the VCR and Check all the belts above and below the deck. Belts can appear to be firm but if they do not return immediately to their relaxed length when you stretch them 25%, they will need to be replaced.
With the cover off, observe the behavior when you hit play. (You may need to put a piece of cardboard over the cassette to block external light from interfering with the start/end tape sensors). Assuming this is a basic VCR (no instant start features), you should see:
1. The video head drum begins to spin.
2. the roller guides move smoothly on the tracks, wind the tape around the drum, and stop snuggly pressed against the 'V-stopper' at the end of the tracks.
3. The pinch roller moves into position and presses the tape against the capstan.
4. The tape begins to move and is wound up by the takeup reel.
5. The picture and sound appear on the TV.
With a 'rapid or quick start' (or it may be called something else) transport, the tape moves to a half-loaded position when the cassette is inserted.
This is at an intermediate position partially pulled out of the cassette but not wrapped around the drum. On VCRs with a real-time counter and/or index search capabilities, the tape will be in contact with the control head.
With an 'instant start' transport, the tape will fully load around the spinning drum when the cassette is inserted but the capstan will not engage and no tension will be applied to the tape until you press PLAY or REC. (After about 5 minutes, the drum will stop and it may unload to the half loaded or unloaded position.)
Note that for VCRs with a real-time counter and/or index search capabilities, the tape must be in contact with the control head (but not the video heads) for all relevant modes. These VCRs (which include many modern units) must therefore pull the tape at least partly out of the cassette.
In all cases, the completion of the sequence results in approximately the same mechanical configuration during PLAY.