When I play VCD discs on two dvd players I have they play, but only black and white.
On a third player I have (a Philips VCR DVD recorder combo), the same VCDs do play in colour.
On one of the players that plays back and white (a Zensonic Z330) the start screen is black
and white now as well and never used to be. When I place a DVD in this unit it does play
colour but start screen reverts back to black and white when I remove the DVD disc.
The other black and white VCD playing unit is a Sony DVP-NS305. With this unit it did
play VCDs in colour but has now lost this ability but also still plays DVDs in colour.
Do I need to load in some firmware upgrades to make these units perform as they should?
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Usually black and white issues refer to a PAL<->NTSC mismatch between your player and TV. Maybe your VCDs are now NTSC and your player is sending out a signal that your TV doesn't understand. Maybe your TV can't display NTSC correctly. I doubt that firmware updates will help Check the TV output setting on your DVD players and try setting it to PAL instead of ANY or MULTI and see if that helps.
If those suggestions don't help, I guess you could try a firmware update.
Finally, did you change the connection between your DVD players and the TV? My old Philips DVP-642 is connected to my TV via S-video (really just for testing purposes here) and component video. I had to set the DVD player to output video over the component cables, but doing so makes the S-video output black and white. If I set it to output over S-video, it makes the component video black and white. I don't care and this isn't a problem because like I said the S-video connection was really for testing only the component is the only connection I really use on the player. But this is just to show you how black and white issues can be due to connections if you are sure that the DVD player is correctly set up and should be outputting a color signal.