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If you are not getting video from a VCR, 8MM camcorder, or Digital Video recorder camcorder but get audio, do the following:
1. Use a brand new tape - right out of the package and insert it into the drive.
2. Perform a record on the tape - set it to do a RECORD (not playback).
3. Allow it to complete through the entire tape without stopping.
4. Upon completion - allow it to rewind.
5. Insert a known good prerecorded tape and play - observe the image. If it's good, then the head was just dirty and is now clean.
You may perform the above as often as necessary without any damage to the device.
Best to get the service manual, this will explain the best way to get the tape out of the machine without causing further damage to the drive system.
However if you can't find it, take the top off and remove the tape very carefully. Try and determine how the tape can be removed without force, possibly by moving the mechanism by hand.
The video shuts down to prevent the problem causing further damage.
Tape damage can occur anywhere in the VCR. If the edge of the tape is crinkled, then the cause is a worn capstain roller. Bad chewing is often caused by the tape not being pulled back inside the tape before being ejected, which has a wide range of causes.
Without more detail, we can't help with anymore than just general comments.
you posted 2 different problems here... to answer this one ". The tape is stuck, won't eject and I'd like to get it out without damaging the VCR unit."...open unit, find motor that moves tape ejector and spin that motor by hand (power off)
the other problem, "the VCR will not insert a tape. It keeps rejecting it."...open unit and fully turn ejection motor until home position is reached...this is a home sensor switch not being activated.