When I "record" the camera appears to wrok OK with the tape counter going round and stuff, but when I either check recording or go to playback mode, the screen just goes blue??? I've studied the manual at length and although I haven't used the thing for a while, it always used to work OK.
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Problem with the tape transport mechanism; could be the rollers are not contacting the tape itself or it could be the springs in the transport. Sounds like an older model. Could clean the rollers with alcohol and swap and if you can open it a like observe what happens with the rollers when you place in playback. These are rather delicately adjusted machines. I would again 1) try cleaning as best you can and very light oil in moving joints/gears aferward. 2) check adjustment of springs when moving from stop to playback. Once you have that whipped the record mecanism may start working as well.
If your Sony DCR-HC14E shows fine picture in playback of old tapes and does not give live view in camera mode to record then its CDD Imager problem that Sony will repair free of cost. Click Sony CCD Imager Support for details.
If the recorded tapes playback ok on the camera and not ok on another devices, you need to readjust the playback on this camera using a tape which playbacks fine on the other devices.
This means that is a small difference on the tape transport.
So when the supply and takeup post rollers readjusted and the audio and video playback are good, then your camera is fine.
You can see an image in a camcorder viewfinder any time the camera's actually on in record mode, whether or not the camcorder is actually recording. So that's no guarantee.
Assuming the obvious (you have the right kind of tapes, they're not in write-protect mode, you rewind before playing, etc). I recommend that you borrow a tape of the same kind from someone else and check it on playback in your camcorder. This should lead you know understand if you have a playback problem or a recording problem.
a sony cleaning cassette may clear the gunk from
your friend ' s possibly ? bad tapes ( do not
rewind it - or the gunk will be redeposited ) ;
if still no video , get an estimate to have your
heads and guides cleaned . . . professionally ;