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Re: Playback quality problem
A couple of things could be causing the problem.
When recording, your movements with the camera could have been too quick or jerky. Try putting the camera on a flat surface or on the tripod and record for 30 seconds.
If the playback picture is still bad, then it's possible that the video heads are dirty or worn out. Consult your nearest RCA authorized service center for head cleaning or replacement.
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When was the last time you ran the "head cleaning" tape in the machine? As tape collects dust and dirt - it gets deposited on the recording and playback heads. This ruins playback and recording quality. Also, since tape is magnetic - they tend to magnetize the heads, too (just like reel to reel, 8 track & cassette player / recorders). Demagnetizing them will help too. Here are links to both products:
Do not use a head cleaner - they can damage the heads. Insert a brand new high quality tape and perform a record. Let it record through the entire tape. Then, play back an original prerecorded tape and check playback.
The video heads are dirty. Clean the heads and your picture should be fine. If a cleaning tape does not clear up the problem, try running a blank tape throught the unit from beginning to end in play mode.
If recordings are only blurry and snowy on playback on camcorder, but are OK on a different camcorder or on computer, then the problem is a dirty magnetic head.
Use a mini-dv head cleaner tape.
If recordings are blurred even on pc or on a different camera, then there is a fault.
Faulty CCD sensor, faulty digital board, problem with internal ribbon connector, and dirty or defective lens assembly can cause this kind of problem.
The problem is dirt, dust or even mould on the VHS tape. You should look on youtube for video's about cleaning a VHS tape. However if it's really bad there is nothing you can do about it. Commercial VHS were only recorded on SP so the quality of the tape means more signal, so less of a problem keeping the video tracked, even if the tape has patches of mould, likely if kept in a basement!
One possible cause is that normal recording could not be performed because the heads were dirty at the time of recording. Clean the heads, and perform recording and playback again. If normal playback can be performed, the heads are clean. Before an important recording, be sure to conduct a test recording to make sure that normal recording can be performed.
≥If the heads become dirty soon after cleaning, the problem may be the tape. If so, try another cassette.
≥During playback, the picture or sound may be interrupted momentarily, but this is not a malfunction of the Camcorder. (One possible cause is that the playback is interrupted by dirt or dust that momentarily adheres to the heads.)
You are on the right track, sounds like a noisy volume control. Can often be repaired with a squirt of cleaner spray into the potentiometer assembly.But I suggest you use crc2-26 contact lubricant spray, not silicone spray which is a great materials lubricant, but not electrical. Worst case, the Vol Potentiometer, may have to be replaced. Go for the CRC first and see how it goes. Good Luck, happy FixYa