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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Bedfordshire, East Anglia, UK
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    Hello, I am still new to this website.

    I'm having a problem with the picture from an AKAI VCR.

    It's one of the more modern VCRs with nicam sound, NTSC playback and a few scart/phono connections.

    The picture has moments when it rolls upward, then I wind the tape forward and back and the same footage plays back fine. Then it does the same thing at another point.

    A lot of the time it plays almost perfectly, then suddenly the picture rolls upwards again.

    I have another VCR, exactly the same model, which rarely, if ever, gives me the same problem.

    Does anyone know what the problem might be? I've tried cleaning the tape heads, that doesn't help this problem.

    Jack
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: England
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    Does adjust the tracking help? (if the rolling is intermittent/random, it may make no difference at all).

    Is the VCR directly connected to the TV? What connection method is used?
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Bedfordshire, East Anglia, UK
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    Originally Posted by mike20021969 View Post
    Does adjust the tracking help? (if the rolling is intermittent/random, it may make no difference at all).

    Is the VCR directly connected to the TV? What connection method is used?
    I have tried adjusting the tracking, this does not seem to help.

    The VCR is connected directly to the TV with a coaxial/aerial lead.

    Jack
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: England
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    Does the TV have a SCART connection you could try?

    I wonder if the rolling is caused by some (intermittent) sync problem somewhere along the line...

    (Is the tape itself damaged perhaps?
    Does it happen with all tapes?

    But after saying that, playback of the same part of the tape works without problem if you rewind a little).
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Bedfordshire, East Anglia, UK
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    Originally Posted by mike20021969 View Post
    Does the TV have a SCART connection you could try?

    I wonder if the rolling is caused by some (intermittent) sync problem somewhere along the line...

    (Is the tape itself damaged perhaps?
    Does it happen with all tapes?

    But after saying that, playback of the same part of the tape works without problem if you rewind a little).
    The TV itself does not have a SCART connection, however, I do have an RF modulator which would enable me to use the VCRs SCART connection to receive a signal from the VCR, which the modulator would adapt to an aerial/coaxial lead.

    How might this make a difference, do you know?

    The tapes aren't damaged, but the same problem happens with all tapes.

    Jack
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Bedfordshire, East Anglia, UK
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    Hello, I've mentioned I've got another VCR, exactly the same model.

    I've just tried one of the same tapes on that one and it plays without problem.

    This suggests the problem is the VCR itself, not the tapes.

    I think you are right about it being intermittent, it does seem to come and go.

    This morning I watched a whole half hour programme on it with hardly any problem, then the problems started again.

    Next I'm going to try the RF modulator and see if that solves the problem.

    Does anyone know if there are components in the VCR which control vertical hold? I know some TVs have these controls.

    Jack
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    I can't offer advice specific to your problem, but I want to point something out to you as you are new here and you seem awfully worried about getting some really old technology working.

    If you are going to soon have an epiphany and one day wake up and think "Hmm.... it's kind of difficult to deal with this old technology, so maybe I better start to save my precious video tapes to another format" you are YEARS late on that one. The really helpful articles on doing this are approaching 10 years old now and they recommend using VCRs that were never intended to still be used this many years later. Those 'recommended" VCRs are hard to find because everybody who realized before you that they better start saving their tapes already beat you to them and wore them out. Those "recommended" VCRs are VERY expensive and require frequent, costly repairs. At this point, most of us feel that it's better to just use any working VCR and as quickly as possible start to capture your tapes.

    A few weeks ago we had a guy, also from the UK, have such an epiphany and he said that he had over 200 tapes to record. That is just insane. I strongly suggest that you prioritize and get the really important ones first because whatever VCR you use, it may not last through the process and if it eats a tape, you're not going to be happy. Spending time to record video tapes that NOBODY is ever going to watch again doesn't make a lot of sense and if somebody has over 200 tapes to save, I'm pretty sure that more than a few of them are never going to be watched by anybody.

    In any event, if you do need to start saving your tapes, do it sooner rather than later. Every year you wait makes the task more difficult to complete as the inventory of VCRs decreases, even the non-recommended ones. They wear out and some people just throw them away when they do or they can't be repaired or it's not worth the cost. It's not unheard of with the "recommended" VCRs that some desperate people will buy 2 or 3 of them and then use those to get enough useful parts to get one decent one working, again shrinking the pool of VCRs as 2 or 3 broken ones are now 1 working model. No offense, but from your post it seems that you are viewing VCRs as being a perfectly good current piece of technology and as much as you fight against change, inevitably time will take this option away from you and at some point you won't be able to do this anymore. VCRs are unavailable in North America except as old equipment you have to roll the dice on. If it's not the same in the UK, it will be soon. Note that many people sell defective electronics as new because they are either dishonest or they gave the equipment a very quick 1 minute or less test and it worked so they proclaimed it in perfect shape. All it has to do is just last a few weeks or so and then it becomes YOUR problem since you bought it.

    Finally, you should give some info about your TV (ie. make, model and age) because it may relevant to solving your problem. You should also talk about the type of connection you are using from the VCR to the TV.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: England
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    Originally Posted by camcorderlover View Post

    The TV itself does not have a SCART connection
    Good lord. How old is this TV?
    Is it one of those B&W ones, or did you take the plunge and upgrade to colour?
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Bedfordshire, East Anglia, UK
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    Hello, after that last reply I think I should explain something.

    I have many different recording formats, including modern DVDs and .MP4 on a Dual Camera and a recent laptop.

    I have no problem using DVDs. For me, the big attraction was the facility to jump to points in a film without having to wind it back and forward, which was always tedious, whether you're a nostalgic vhs user or not.

    I have never had any problems transferring footage from VHS to DVD - I have a DVD recorder and I have already given my most favourite VHS recordings priority and transferred them to DVD already. You are right to say I will not be happy if my only recordings become damaged.
    Of course DVDs preserve recordings better.

    I have also transferred some VHS-C camcorder footage to DVD for a family who no longer had the right format camcorder to do it themselves. That footage showed one of their relatives who is no longer with us, and they actually cried with happiness to see them again!

    This is the main reason I have insisted on preserving as many formats as I can. VHS may have been technically outranked by the likes of DVD, but that's no reason to write it off completely if the equipment you have can still be used.

    I also have the facility on my laptop to connect any video source to the USB ports and create digital copies of footage, which I understand can be written to DVD. I have my own youtube channel which has a very creative James Bond trailer I was so impressed with I just had to include. Again, this is from a VHS tape. As I'm sure you can guess I am nostalgic and I also have the UK documentary "Who Killed Saturday Night TV" on there.

    I am in no way naive about certain formats becoming obsolete, therefore I have collected several VHS machines, admittedly consumer models but the more sophisticated models none the less. The idea being if one wears out, I've got another.
    I have the best quality model hooked up to my DVD recorder. Some stores in the UK still stock DVD and Video combos which I think is a very fair balance between nostalgic vhs users and DVD fans, especially since the user often has the option to just watch vhs tapes or use the facility to transfer footage onto DVD in a relatively easy way.

    I will convert to using DVDs all the time when, as you say, my VCRs wear out beyond repair, but I am still happy to use them whilst I can still get a good picture and sound from them.

    Sorry if I sound abrupt or aggressive, but I just wanted to clear up any misconceptions about my beliefs or use of technology.

    You do make some very valid points and I appreciate that.

    This website does seem to be aimed at helping people with all sorts of video technology so I hope my posts were not unreasonable.

    Yours sincerely
    Jack
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Bedfordshire, East Anglia, UK
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    Originally Posted by mike20021969 View Post
    Originally Posted by camcorderlover View Post

    The TV itself does not have a SCART connection
    Good lord. How old is this TV?
    Is it one of those B&W ones, or did you take the plunge and upgrade to colour?
    I have a few TVs, one of which is widescreen with scart and phono connections and the facilities to show standard or widescreen, or NTSC, the others are nostalgic wood effect ones from the 70s and 80s - I've always loved that style.

    I hate B&W by the way, I can't watch it.

    Actually the members of the website helped me see that I'm still using a lot of analog. I used to think that scart connections were digital.

    Scart connections are still very frequent, despite being analog, so I'm still happy to use them.

    I think it's great that we have several different ways to adapt new technology to older facilities.

    Jack
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  11. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Bedfordshire, East Anglia, UK
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    Is there anyone out there with any experience (even expertise) in working technically with VCRs?

    Can they advise me if this problem with the picture rolling upwards can be solved?

    It would be very useful to be able to describe exactly what's wrong with the VCR before I try a repair shop.

    The problem comes and goes, but when it comes it's not constant, just frequent.

    I have now tried the same VCR on a different TV and the problem is still there. I also tried using an RF modulator, that didn't solve the problem either. The same tapes play fine on another VCR, so the tapes aren't the problem.

    I do understand what some people are saying about it being old technology but it would be really nice to get it working again.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jack
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  12. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Yank in Europe
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    I understand what you mean. I have 3 VCRs and am always looking for another QUALITY one for a nice price(via Ebay 95% of the time), but to actually consider trying to find someone to repair one is a complete waste of time and effort.
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  13. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Bedfordshire, East Anglia, UK
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    I know those repair companies are in the minority, but I've actually already found one (possibly two) who have looked at my VCRs quite recently AND repaired one of them! They even had the spare parts ready to use, which was a BIG relief.

    But I understand what you are saying, not many companies will.

    Fortunately, I have another VCR, exactly the same model (yes, that's 3 of them!) which is faulty, but I kept it for spare parts in case another of them fails, so I'm pretty hopeful something can be done here.

    Jack
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  14. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Bedfordshire, East Anglia, UK
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    Hello, just thought I'd tell you all that a company in Bedford where I live has repaired my VCR, defying all the odds!

    They cleaned the tape path and replaced a pinch roller. That makes sense because if the tape wasn't being guided around the head drum securely that may very well have been causing the picture to roll or distort.

    When I told them how pleased I was they'd been able to repair it they reassured me that if they CAN do it, they WILL and not just send the VCR to the rubbish tip.

    The repair only cost me 36 in total, so I was happy.

    Jack.
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