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VCR picture I have an older RCA vcr. Some tapes are perfectly cleal others are all snowy. I have used a head  cleaner and nothing changes.Is it the tapes or the machine? they, the tapes don't have that problem on other machines. Can you please advise. Thank you

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  • robandme Jul 26, 2008

    They are all older tapes and the TV reception is fine (without  the vcr tape playing) These same tapes play fine (all of them) in another VCR


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It has to be the machine or the TV. Have you purchased a new tv? The old vcrs seem to last forever and run fine. And if some of the tapes work and others don't, that is a bit strange. Is it the newer tapes that work?

Posted on Jul 25, 2008

  • Gayle Ashbach
    Gayle Ashbach Jul 26, 2008

    The VCR must be malfunctioning then. You might try a good vacuum job with a teeny computer vacuum if you have one, or you might just try blowing dust away from inside like with a hairdryer on cool.(Unplug the VCR first!) When I know something is a goner, I'll try most anything. It could have a lot of dust inside or some tiny object.You might want to look around at a "Junk" store to replace it, since so many people are giving theirs away. At Goodwill you can return it if the tags are still on it. So you could try a used one to replace it and see what happens. I can't give up all my old tapes. I have so many that I love, and I'm afraid I will run out of anything to play them on! Good Luck to you.

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You need to clean the video head. Though you can buy a tape head cleaner tape, it's much better to take the top cover off and spray the head with Servisol Video 40. Make certain it's dry before putting a tape in.

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here is a old tip your vcr has a snowy picture and has audio.problem is dirty heads if you don't want to take it apart put a movie in and press play then rewind search and let it go. you will see the pic. come back in revese the tape is cleaning the video heads

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If there is snow from the VCR only when the tape is being played, it is possible that there is a head clog or dirt on the heads.

If the head is clean and there is still snow from it, this means that most likely it is faulty.

A service tech who is experienced at servicing VCR's can connect a scope to the pre-amp test points, and run his calibration tape. With this he should be able to look at the signal carrier envelops on the scope and see if there are any faults.

At the same time, he will also see if there is a fault with the head pre-amp area. I've rarely seen any faults in the pre-amp area.

An experienced tech who works on VCR's can change the head for you. This is time consuming because he will have to go through all the guide and tracking alignments with the scope and test tapes.

A problem with most VCR models, unless it is a high end industrial model, most manufactures are no longer supplying replacement parts. They are telling the people to buy a new machine.

In reality, it may not be cost effective to service your VCR. You may end up buying a new one.

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We had that same problem. Try a VHS head cleaner. Worked for us.

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