Some VHS tapes only show black screen when importing to PC


Hi all

I have recently imported around 30 VHS and VHS-C tapes, digitally to my PC. Yet 3 tapes only show a black screen and no sound when I playback and try to import. I need help in figuring out what the problem is.

My equipment:
  • Grundig SE 9106 HiFi/NIC VHS player
  • Pinnacle Studio 500 USB capture device
  • Composite cable, with a scart adapter to the VHS player
  • Pinnacle Studio 24 software
  • Ryzen 3600, 16GB, SSD, computer
The three tapes that have a problem are
  1. TDK HD-X pro E-180 VHS tape
  2. TDK HS VHS tape
  3. A VHS-C tape, no branding
My logic tells me is, that the problem lies in the three tapes, since the other 30 tapes had no problem, besides some image noise.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



Distinguished Member
If all the rest of the tapes playback okay but these 3 give no signal, logic dictates they’re either blank with nothing recorded on them or they're shedding oxide and beyond saving.


The software detects the VHS machine is giving an input signal.
And when I press the record button in the software, it starts the same way as with the functional VHS tapes.
Then I can see a popup in the corner of the software, that the import is in progress, just as with the functional VHS tapes.
But it also says "Could not import. The mpg file seems to be of a type or size that cannot be accepted"
But screen is black.

The three VHS tapes are of different ages. Even some of the functional VHS tapes are older.


I actually have not tried via a TV. Should that be necessary? I mean the PC software simulates a TV, right? And I can see on the VHS player, that the tape is playing - playback time is progressing on the display


Well-known Member
Just to prove if the tapes play back anything (picture/audio). Maybe the copying hardware can't get a sync lock? At least observing it first hand, via a direct output to a display device will clarify things?

Could these tapes have been recorded on an S-VHS machine?


I'm not sure what to answer regarding sync lock, I don't know what that means or how to look into this in the software I assume.

They may have been recorded on an S-VHS video recorder machine. But I don't know, it is so many years ago :) But if that were the case, then I would need an S-VHS video player to get a signal and to import them, correct?

I tried to playback the tapes on my Samsung TV, via a composite to HDMI converter, just to see if I can see anything, as you recommended. But after trying several HDMI connections, I can't get a signal, even with VHS tapes that I recently imported digitally.
My Samsung TV tells me there is no signal, but briefly, I can see on the TV that the signal tries to be 720x480 60i. It's a 2016 Samsung TV with a smart connect box. I even tried the little 720/1080 switch on the converter box, nothing changes. I don't know how to solve this.




Distinguished Member
What's the model no of your Samsung TV?
you shouldn’t have to use any video convertor as most Samsung TV's have Composite video/audio input either via RCA Phono sockets on the rear or a short cable with a 3.5mm multiway plug one end and RCA Phono plugs/sockets at the other which plugs into a socket on the rear.
These adaptor leads were often thrown in a drawer by the owners when unboxing the TV's and forgotten about.
Last edited:


Distinguished Member
Of course it would be the model with the one-connect box without the composite/component inputs.


Active Member
A bit old-school but presumably the VCR has UHF-out; does the TV have an analogue tuner that you can tune in, like we used to in the old days, pre-SCART etc... picture won't be great but should get something I'd have thought?


Distinguished Member
Yes, that would work, it's the worst type of connection in terms of picture quality but it should give you a picture.
All you need is a coax flylead
Amazon product
The female end plugs into the socket marked RF out on the VCR and the other end into the TV's antenna socket.
Enter your TV's setup/tuning menu and with a known good tape playing (or the VCR's menu) select Analogue auto-tuning and the signal should appear around RF CH36.


I found a guy who had an S-VHS player. And it could playback the 3 tapes. So they were recorded on an S-VHS recorder. Problem solved. Thanks all for your help.

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