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  1. Member
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    Hello! I'm digitizing an arsenal of tapes from the early-mid 80s that were recorded by a long-gone man obsessed with The A-Team on unknown equipment. Most are 6-hour tapes that play just fine on both my JVC VCRs (a HM-DH30000U and HR-S5912U); however, there are sections (that have definitively been recorded on) in a different mode that won't play at all, just showing static and noise.

    There's a few where the entire tape will not show any sort of signal whatsoever, not having been erased nor recorded over, but are labeled with films and other programs which would take up the entire tape (i.e. the Olympics or TV show episodes). I've tested these on a late 80s Emerson model which works a bit better for the slower speeds (VCR875) and I get the same problem and noise, although I see several bands of diagonal black stripes that widen or tighten with the tracking knob. They all have labels and have definitively fully recorded onto.

    On others, the tape loses signal as soon as a newer recording ends (i.e. a 1985 recording over a 1984 tape) and remains like that until it switches back to a different recording, in EP mode.

    I would say that they were in LP mode, but the players can play back LP (shoddily or not) and I'm not getting any sort of signals at all. What could possibly be going wrong, and is there any way to get the video and audio off of these tapes?
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  2. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Does the VCR head stop spinning or spin poorly when it hits the bad part of the tape? As this might just be a case of a sticky tape that has absorbed moisture over the decades. The tape might be playable during the slow tape speed of EP mode but the faster LP mode might be too much for the machine. There are baking procedures to drive out tape moisture but I don't want to recommend that until you actually look at the VCR head spinning.
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    Tape plays normally, moldy tapes (usually the ones with RCA branding) were thoroughly cleaned and each one was run through multiple times, back and forth. The JVC VCRs show blank (blue or grey, depending on which) screens while "playing" through the mystery segments with no type of noise, creaking, or slowing. The HM-D30000U claims the blank (recorded) space is SP mode.
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  4. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Do you see anything during fast forwarding?
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    Just static.

    It is possible that someone could have recorded over the tapes, but as it's just static/blank I wouldn't understand why.

    On one tape that only has 20 minutes of a football game (recorded later), there's about 10 minutes of blank space, then it cuts to a single commercial recorded 10 years later, and then the rest of the tape is that indistinct blank space (which is supposed to be what's on the label, although it's not playing on the JVC VCRs at all, no sounds, no video). The stripes of static on the Emerson seem to indicate that there could be content recorded, and I was considering looking into a Panasonic or other type and seeing if I had different results.
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  6. Member
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Does the VCR head stop spinning or spin poorly when it hits the bad part of the tape? As this might just be a case of a sticky tape that has absorbed moisture over the decades.
    Any decent microprocessor-controlled VCR will shut down when the scanner is retarded in this way.
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  7. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    Any decent microprocessor-controlled VCR will shut down when the scanner is retarded in this way.
    That's the way my many VCRs behave but I just don't know about every machine and so brought it up.
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  8. Member hech54's Avatar
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    S-vhs et ?
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