I created a VHS tape while in Japan using a camcorder that naturally used the VHS coding technology found in Japan. When I tried playing the tape on my VHS player back home in the United States it was scrambled because I understand we have a different coding technology for VHS. Is there a way to convert the tape to the American VHS coding standard? How?
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Re: VHS code compatibility
The video standard in Japan is PAL while it is NTSC here in the USA. You should be able to locate a VCR than can play both. If you'd rather not purchase a new VCR, some locations that create DVDs from VHS tapes can usually also read PAL tapes.
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Possibility of mechanism fault inside the VCR, which might include tape damage. Can't answer directly about the 03 code, without knowing make or model number as they all use different fault codes.
Taking the top cover off might show up what's happened.
First, you should keep away from the T-160 tapes as they are thinner and more likely to jam. The T-120 or less sizes are better. Next, use high quality name brand tape - not the off-brands found in the bargain bin.
Do the regular maintenance. All tape is "dirty" (including cassette, 8 track, reel to reel, etc.) and will deposit dirt on the tape heads and "transport" mechanism. Transport consists of capstan and pinch rollers that push / pull the tape in and out of the housing. when dirty, they slip and interfere with the "pick up" of a quality picture from the tape. Use of a quality wet cleaning system at regular intervals (or whenever picture quality deteriorates or tapes jam) is highly recommended. Here are some googled results for wet VHS cleaning systems:
VHS-C and S VHS-C are two different animals. Super VHS-C will have much better video resolution than standard VHS and uses better videotape. A standard VCR will not play the Super format. You need a S VHS VCR. You would need not only a S VHS VCR but also a S VHS-C adapter. Yes, Not even the adapter is the same as a standard VHS-C adapter cassette.
You can send out your few S VHS-C tapes to a video conversion service. That might be the least expensive way to get them on DVD. Otherwise you could look on E-Bay.com for either a compatible camcorder (S VHS-C) or the S VHS VCR and the S VHS-C adapter.
http://vhs-to-dvd.com is one video conversion service that should be able to get your tapes on DVD for you. You could also look locally for a video service that does conversions to DVD.
I have an important question; Are you watching a VHS tape you recorded of another VHS movie? In other words did You rent Ben Hur and record it and then tried to watch the recording? If you did that's your problem. VCRs in the late 1990's (1997-1999) began to employ MacroVision circuitry in all VCRs, and DTR. MacroVision Circuitry makes the VCR record tapes with MacroVision in such a way that the horizontal and vertical sync pulses are not at the proper amplitude, and the AGC (Automatic Gain Control) is tricked into over compensating thus creating the scrambled picture. There is a way around this. You need to buy a video stabilizer SIMA makes such devices and some other companies do to. You feed the signal from your VCR into the unit and it corrects the video image by readjusting the video signal.
I had a similar problem with a Panasonic VCR. It would not eject the tape and gave an error code. I found that the door does not quite fully open, so that the top of the tape hits the door and cannot eject. If I turn off and then turn on the VCR the error code disappears. Then I press the eject button and simultaneously hold the door fully open with one finger until the tape starts to eject and clears the door.