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Thread: VHS static

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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2014
    Location: Singapore
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    Hi, as shown in the picture of this thread are static lines, coming from a dirty VHS, isn't it?


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    Because at one point of time while playing the VHS, the blue screen with the text "VIDEO HEADS MAY NEED CLEANING PLEASE INSERT HEAD CLEANING CASSETTE" actually appeared. So, i was wondering as to whether this method is the right one to get rid of those static lines?
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  2. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    I'm not so sure it's the VCR or tape that's dirty. Sometimes a VCR gives out that warning simply because it doesn't like a tape.

    At any rate, you have three options if you do indeed want to clean your VCR:

    1-(OK IMO) You can use a cleaning tape (but many have varied opinions on this, dry and wet cleaners)

    2-(BETTER IMO) You can try cleaning the VCR by playing a brand new blank tape for an hour (depending on the tape length, this could be good for a couple of separate cleanings, but dispose of the tape after done).

    3-(BEST IMO) You can actually open up the VCR and go through a few tutorials on YouTube on how to clean your VCR, which are also very similar to that link you posted. So yes, IMO, I think this is the best method.

    If cleaning doesn't help, and you know AviSynth:

    If you can adjust the tracking where it's not so bad, just a few random white streaks, this is easily corrected by capturing the tape three times and using median methods with AviSynth.

    If your tracking works best on one part of the picture, and another tracking scheme works best for the other parts of the picture, then you can capture it with each tracking scheme, and combine the pictures later with Avisynth and StackVertical and/or StackHorizontal.

    Or, with tracking, if you can get the fuzzies to be in a small part and edge of the picture, just crop them off after capture.
    Last edited by PuzZLeR; 25th Jun 2014 at 14:41.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2014
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    Hmm.. As to the link i posted for my method to get rid of the static lines, i think i recalled somewhere that it's possible to use Baby wipes / wet tissues to clean a dirty VHS head?
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  4. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
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    Originally Posted by freedom-strike View Post
    Hmm.. As to the link i posted for my method to get rid of the static lines, i think i recalled somewhere that it's possible to use Baby wipes / wet tissues to clean a dirty VHS head?
    I would worry first if it leaves residue behind (lint, shreds, etc) or scratches.

    But, I've even some tutorials use a business card for cleaning on the big head drum. Strange.

    As for liquid, usually Isopropyl alcohol is sufficient, and safer than using water, or anything oil-based, etc.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2014
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    I assume this would work?



    But replace the cotton with baby wipes instead?
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  6. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Ok, confused me here. I thought you wanted to clean your VCR first.

    But the VCR is the first thing you should consider in this case. Did you clean the VCR first? Did you try the tape in other VCRs with the same problem? Is the tape visibly dirty or do you know for sure?

    Just because a tape doesn't play well on one VCR doesn't mean the tape, or even the VCR, needs a cleaning. Cleaning a tape is really a last resort since this is your video source, and a rather extreme measure, and only should be done if there's no other solution.

    As for baby wipes, not sure, but doesn't sound like a good idea when dealing with magnetic wares like tape itself. Hopefully someone has a better answer on this for you if you indeed decide to clean the tape.

    If you really need to clean the tape I'd suggest you try this first, for experiment, on a tape you do not love to see what happens.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
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    NEVER use Baby Wipes!
    There is crap chemicals in there that will ruin a VCR. For example, Aloe.

    Never clean a tape unless properly trained. You'll probably just mess it up -- it's VERY easy to do!

    The first course of action would be to simply try another VCR.
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