VHS Video recordings playback with a strange pattern all over the picture??

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by JTM555, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. JTM555

    JTM555
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    Hi I'm new here and looking for some help please. I am still using a VHS video recorder to record and watch tv every day. I have an Alba video recorder which has suddenly started having a strange pattern all over the screen when I play back new recordings. The only way I can describe it is like wire fencing. The recording is ok except for this weird pattern all over it which I have never ever seen before in all my years of recording. There is no pattern on the screen when just watching tv and it's not showing on any videos already recorded and played back, it's just on new recordings when played back. I've tried various tapes and it does it on all of them. It's so annoying, does anyone have any idea what is causing it and how I can fix it? All replies gratefully received.
     
  2. JayCee

    JayCee
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    Possibly the video recording heads are worn.
    Time for a replacement recorder I suspect which you should be able to source for buttons or free as your Alba won’t be economic to repair.
    Better still a Freeview recorder.
     
  3. John7

    John7
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    How is the vcr connected to the tv (scart/other analogue or rf)?
     
  4. JTM555

    JTM555
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    JayCee
    Thank you for your reply, much appreciated. Recordings have had a very good picture on playback until this happened, one minute they were fine and then they weren't. If the recording heads were worn wouldn't there have been a gradual deterioration rather than just from one recording to the next?
    I've been looking at used vcrs on ebay but wonder if they're any good. They aren't that cheap and I haven't come across any free ones. I've also been looking into a Freesat recorder as we have a dish and a sky box (non subscription) but not sure what to get and they are quite expensive. I also like to keep some recordings on video and have loads of old videos that I still like to look at from time to time, so would like to keep a vcr in use even if I get a freesat one.
     
  5. JTM555

    JTM555
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    John7
    Thank you for your reply too, much appreciated. The vcr is connected to tv with rf , I think it's called, it's not scart. It's quite an old tv but the picture quality is still very good. The vcr is also connected to a sky box with scart and rf(?)
    The way it is set up has always produced good recordings up to now and then this pattern on the screen appeared from one recording to the next and I haven't changed anything.
    Any more suggestions gratefully received.
     
  6. JayCee

    JayCee
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    As a test remove the RF out connection from the Sky box to the VCR's aerial in socket and try making a new recording from the Sky box.
     
  7. JTM555

    JTM555
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    JayCee
    I tried your suggestion to test it but the recording was exactly the same, with the pattern all over it. What is that connection for if it still records without it?
    I don't know much about any of this stuff but I enjoy trying to fix things myself and like to learn what does what on things. It's very satisfying when you get it right. I did set up all the connections myself but only following what I got off the internet.
    I didn't want to give up on this machine until I'd tried to find out what was causing the problem. Could the recording heads have dirt or an obstruction on them or something? The picture 'behind' the pattern still looks as good as it did before the problem started and as I said it happened suddenly from one recording to another. The picture looks like it's been recorded through wire mesh, it's so strange. Would I be able to see the recording heads if I opened it up to check them or wouldn't the untrained eye know if there was anything wrong with them? Mind you I wouldn't know where or what I was looking for if I did.
     
  8. JayCee

    JayCee
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    That RF connection from the Sky box isn't needed now as your VCR will be recording from the scart output of the Sky box (the RF cable was probably connected years ago to daisy-chain the aerial to the analogue tuner in the VCR but as there's no longer any analogue broadcasts it can be discarded).
    The recording heads may be dirty, old tapes shed microscopic amounts of oxide from the tape coating and this clogs the heads but I would have expected to see a poor picture on playback from all tapes not just new recordings...you probably won't see it with the naked eye. There will be plenty of tutorials on youtube etc on how to clean a VCR's head drum, you'll need a small piece of chamois leather and Isopropyl alcohol to do it correctly and after cleaning the heads you must wait a few minutes until the cleaning fluid has evaporated before inserting a tape otherwise the tape will stick to the wet drum and ruin itself and possibly break the fragile recording/playback head tips.
    Don't attempt to do this if you're not comfortable with handling electronic equipment and of course observe all safety precautions, remove the VCR's power plug from the mains power socket before removing the casing.
    Bear in mind this “pattern” on the picture of new recordings can also be caused by component failure in which case the machine is certainly not economic to diagnose and repair.
     
  9. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    I'm pretty certain the problem will not reside in dirty heads. That would show up in all aspects of playback.

    It is probably due to failure of filter components very deep in the record pre-amplifier ( probably canned) which as Jaycee has said makes it entirely economic and perhaps even impossible to repair.

    There is one other possibility. Interference picked up in the record preamp from a local source.
    If you have moved the machine or its wiring in recent times- or added another machine nearby - or any other electrical device this may be a cause of the problem.

    Try moving the machine as far away from the TV as possible - or any other device and see if it makes any difference at all to the recording problem.
     
  10. JTM555

    JTM555
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    Thank you JayCee and Gavtech for your replies, very much appreciated. I tried moving the vcr as far away from tv as possible , couldn't get it very far because of wires but it made no difference. The recording has got worse now and there is also a loudish noise on the recording and sometimes no sound at all, so I think I will have to give up on it. I am considering getting a vcr off ebay but am worried about getting one that doesn't work or if it does, then not for long before it goes wrong. And I am also considering a PVR. I've done a new post about advice about what to get, so hoping for some help there.
     

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