Every tape I instert into my Toshiba SD-V392 DVD/VCR immediately starts playing. If I try to record, it ejects the tape. It obviously thinks the record tab is missing, but it's not. This happens on dozens of tapes, tapes which CAN be recorded on in other VCR's
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looks like the drum head needs to be cleaned. use a cleaning tape and try after that if color is ok. if not then propably you need to replace the head with a new one. this is a typical symptom when head gets worn out...
You might try downloading (free) VLC Media player; it has dealt with a variety of formats that others don't:
If it works for you, comment back here (to this thread) for the benefit of others-
This may be a bit late but I just ran across these posts. All these problems can be caused by bad tapes. Commercially-made tapes will usually play properly. But home recorded tapes, or very worn tapes, may not play back properly in every VCR. If the VCR isn't getting the right information off the tape for proper playback, it's muting the sound and the screen so you don't see any snow. It's also possible that the VCR heads already need a cleaning. It takes just one worn-out or defective tape to clog up the heads and cause the "no picture" problem, although in this case sound isn't usually affected.
At the back of all tapes, there is a plastic tab. To make the tape read only, you break out the tab.
All VCRs have a sensor (usually a simple switch) that checks to see if the tab is broken. This sensor has gone bad.
Put a tape in. Unplug the unit. Take the top off and look where the
tape is. Find the location of the tab. You should see the sensor there.
It will be a switch, and may use an actuator to "poke in the tab hole".
Make sure the actuator is good (that it doesn't look broken or out of
alignment). At the other end of the actuator should be a switch. You
can try to spray some cleaner into the switch, and then work it. If
this doesn't work, you could replace it but you would need to know
soldering. Also, you might be able to get it to work by shorting the
switch leads together (50:50), but you also would likely have to use
solder. You might be able to twist a piece of bare wire around the
switch leads. These solutions would cause the unit to think all tapes
are recordable, even if the tab has been broken out.
If the sensor is not a switch, but an IR pair (a U shaped sensor) then
there might not be much you can do. Make sure the actuator is working
(it will usually have a flat piece on it that will fit into the U
shaped sensor to block the infrared light, make sure it moves freely).
Again, if you knew which side of the sensor is the transistor (it might
be marked on the curcuit board with E and C) you could drop some solder
on it to turn it on all the time. Again, this is 50:50.
the vcr is on threshold of belt life. try replacing (or cleaning with alcohol) the take-up reel belt. The vcr has a built-in time-out feature to protect the video tape. if it takes too long for things to happen, shut-down occurs.