Question about Panasonic PV-V4523S VHS VCR

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I have sound but can only see snow

While watching a video, we put it on pause to leave the room for a few moments. When we returned and tried to resume watching, we were only able to see snow, or faint horizontal bars. Sound is fine. Tried dry head cleaner to no avail. What can I do?

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Sounds like the heads need to be cleaned by hand

Posted on Mar 23, 2008

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Chances are the video head needs cleaning. You can buy a head cleaning tape or you can do it manually. To do it manually you will need to buy a can of Servisol Video 40 (you can get this online or from electrical parts shops). You remove the top cover only of the VCR. You can now see the video head. Spray the Servisol on the video head surfaces. You don't need a lot and you can turn the spinning head by hand to get full coverage. You can also spray and clean the surfaces that the tape touches. If you don't know which, with the top cover off insert and play a video and watch which parts touch the tape. You can use a cotton bud to clean hard to get places or if you see visible dust or dirt. Once done leave the surfaces to dry. You can then try a tape. Pick an old one, but not one with damage on it. If you see sparkles, on the picture clean the head again. It will take a lot of cleaning if the room in which it operates is a one where a smoker lives. It should operate for several months before needing another clean.

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You just have a dirty main video head. You can get a head cleaner tape or you can buy a tin of Servisol Video 40.
To clean with the Servisol, remove the top cover of the VCR. You will see a big shiny video head. Spray that head with the cleaner. You can also wipe it over with a cotton bud if it is very dirty. It's a good idea to clean all the surfaces that the video tape touches. If you don't know which, when you first take off the cover with the VCR on power, put a video tape in a press play then watch where the tape runs. Eject the tape, then clean with the spray and a cotton bud. You can even spray the cotton bud and then clean with that if you are not happy just spraying into the unit.
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It was fully dry before you tried it?
You need to see what's happening to a tape. So leave the top off and watch it. If the tape does not feed around the head or even leave the cassette, then you could have damage to the holder. Another thing that plays up is the mode switch. Sometimes a spray with video 40 will spring it back to life.

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I assume you have had this player a while and I assume that all the programs that work without snow are ones that you recorded using that VCR to do it. Right?

If so, it is a compatibility issue where the last time you had it fixed, the repair guy did not check for VCR to VCR compatibility. I had a shop for 15 years and this is common.

Do you have a Tracking control? try adjusting that. It is either a physical control or part of the menu, depending on that specific model.

Last...last is to open the unit and you must be very very careful. Put in a tape that is from another player that plays snow and identify the shinny rotating head if you can physically see it. It sits at an angle and the RCA is typically in the back middle, about an inch in a half in diameter. While playing press your finger very very lightly in the middle of the shinny exposed video tape for like 4-10 seconds and maybe the snow will go away.

Your video head may be worn or dirty. Do not attempt to clean the heads the are verrrry delicate.

3. Try finding an old VCR cleaning tape. It does the same thing as your finger.

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1. Is the VCR coming on in the timed mode and recording? Make an experiment- set up a timed record for just a few minutes in advance. Have a tape in the machine- then wait a few minutes & see if it indeed comes on and records. This should for sure help you diagnose your problem.

Note: When a timed record is set up, some VCRs must be turned off, or a particular button pushed to activate the timed record mode, where it will wait for the specified time and come on by itself..

2. Video source set correctly? If all you get is a blue screen, or a moment of snow, then the timed recording is happening, but there is no signal present.

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it could be the tape has dirt on it and it tranfers to the head of your vcr. take it apart and play a vhs take q-tip and hold it on the head, dont push to hard use alcohol and the vid should start to clear up just dont use alot of alcohol or get it to wet

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