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The problem with universal remotes is that unless you enter the correct code for that model not all functions will operate. You need to try every Panasonic code in the code book, untill you find one that works the guide function. Otherwise the only real solution is to get the original remote.
There's nothing wrong with your VCR. Your remote probably set to control your TV. To fix that, simply press the VCR button on the remote, and you should be fine. The "T-U" really means "TV," but the designers at Panasonic wanted to use the standard seven-segment display to cut costs, hence "T-U" instead of "TV."
This is indeed a faulty IR sensor. If it's just the sensor, swap with your good one to check. From memory they are plug in - a little device behing d the smoked translucent facia (display panel). I have come across this several times with Panasonic VCRs. Check whether the remote works at night time with all fluorescent lights in the room switched off. If so, the IR filter circuitry is faulty. Same solution - replace IR sensor on VCR.
First, have you doublechecked the video hookup? It sounds like you are using the video/audio inputs to the TV, so make sure you have VCR video out cabled to TV video input, and the TV source/input selection set to that input (video 1 etc.).
If this checks out, check for a dirty video head on the VCR, though a dirty head usually results in a blank or blue video display (older VCRs, snow).
You could do a process of elimination by hooking VCR to a different TV and see what is displayed then.
Lastly, I assume you've tried multiple tapes, just in case a home recorded tape was incorrectly recorded?