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  1. I have a standard VHS tape that I'm ultimately trying to capture to my PC, but I'm having trouble just playing it back on a standard VCR. The tape was recorded on a camcorder and has several recorded sessions, all made from early-mid 2001. I don't know the brand or model of camcorder used, although I might be able to get that information if it's really necessary.

    The first session is relatively OK, but does suffer from tracking noise/lines across the screen during some parts.


    The second session is the most problematic and is the reason for this post. The audio and video will completely cut out every other second or so - i.e. I will get 1-2 seconds of playback, followed by a second of black screen + no audio. It's as though the signal is being completely lost, as a window will pop up on my LCD TV to inform me of the currently selected source. Normally the TV only does that when a signal is first received. This cutting out behavior happens throughout the entirety of this recorded session.


    The third session cuts out occasionally, but also has the horizontal tracking noise.


    The fourth session is more or less OK.


    What could be causing the signal to keep dropping and coming back in the second session? I have already tried a different tape in the VCR to verify that the problem is with my tape and not the VCR. Is there anything I can do to fix this?


    The VCR is a Panasonic PV-7450 if it matters.


    As far as I know, the tape has just been sitting in an air conditioned room since it was made in 2001. It was not actually in my possession until now, but I was told the tape was simply sitting on a shelf in an air conditioned room the entire time. The last time I watched it was probably sometime between 2003-2004 and it worked fine then.


    Any ideas or am I pretty much out of luck here?


    If you need any more information just let me know.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2010
    Location: Canada
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    Tape is damaged.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2008
    Location: United States
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    Perhaps worth trying a second VCR to play it back.
    If you haven't done so already, FF to the end, then rewind it all the way back to repack the tape.
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  4. Originally Posted by dvdsham View Post
    Tape is damaged.
    After doing some other Google searches I'm thinking the same thing. I found a few tape repair places that allow you to mail your tapes in for evaluation. I think I'll try one of them.
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  5. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Yank in Europe
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    Originally Posted by Special K View Post
    Originally Posted by dvdsham View Post
    Tape is damaged.
    After doing some other Google searches I'm thinking the same thing. I found a few tape repair places that allow you to mail your tapes in for evaluation. I think I'll try one of them.
    Just hope it's not one of those places that keeps your precious family memories "hostage" while badgering you to agree to their special "restoration" services.
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  6. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    I've had tapes like that. From my experience, what's happening is that your tape is emiting a harsh signal, and throwing off your capture device. Results can vary each playing.

    This can happen with even "very good tapes", so whether it's damaged or not is relative, and moot. It could also be your VCR - maybe the tape is not a good "fit" for it, and the signal gets distorted to your capture setup, which is why some of us use multiple VCRs for such a project.

    If your capture setup is dropping frames, then maybe you would need a TBC to clean the signal. Many of us wouldn't be without one, and many of us believe it compulsory.

    For starters, you can try a different VCR or even try playing it on a TV to see what happens as well.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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