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The only real cure will be to clean the video head. If that doesn't work then I'm afraid that whatever recorded you EP mode tape was not set up well tracking wise. So other machines struggle to track the tape. Some VCR's will only playback SP or LP tapes and don't have EP mode. In which case you should check to see if these VCR's can play the EP tape and if they can't find one that can.
The vcr is fine.
buy a cleaning tape. people say dry cleaner tapes wear out the heads, but it fixed my problem when my vcr only showed snow. but try a wet tape first. follow the instructions that came with the tape and run it a few times.
sounds like bad connection or bad tuner in the tv - have you tried playing a DVD or VCR tape ( if available ) - more info would be needed to help you further -such as - are you on cable, cable box, satelite or antenna and do you hook up to your TV using the a/v or RF(cable) input.
It must be connected with the color circuit of your tv, a board connected to back end of the tube. Could be dust, cob web or carbon deposit shorting a transistor. Popping noise if loud enough can be attributed to high voltage circuit fault and picture tube.
The video head probably needs cleaning. Remove the top cover, and using a lint free cloth (like maybe a dishtowel) moistened by a bit of rubbing alcohol, or a specific for head cleaning product, clean the rotating head carefully. This head is about 1.75 inch diameter and sits toward the back of the VCR mechanism. It is motor driven and will rotate at a carefully regulated speed when a tape is inserted.
Note: Most late VCRs state they have an automatic head clean feature, but it doesn't always get everything, especially if you have a tape that is loosing oxide badly.