VCR Showing a Distorted Picture?

I haven't used our VCR in a long while so when I put a tape in I get this blue screen, then a distorted picture, then it flashes and the back to the blue screen. I cleaned the heads, tried another tape, checked connections and i get the same thing. Anybody know anything about how to make this work?


By John Bliss from Chicago, IL

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April 5, 20091 found this helpful

Find and old tape and pop it in the machine and just let it run....alot of times the machine will fix itself, but it may take quite a few minutes. I heard this trick years ago and it works quite often. Good luck!

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April 5, 20090 found this helpful

I've had this happen with tapes that haven't been played in a long time. I've had luck with fastfoward all the way through and rewind back to the beginning.


It tightens up the tape, which tends to sag when not used for a long time, and usually corrects the problem.

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April 5, 20090 found this helpful

Maybe you need to adjust the tracking on the vcr. It should be on your menu settings to do so.

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April 7, 20090 found this helpful

Hi, you probably had something on the tape you put in that should not have, a piece of cellophane? Static electricity takes lots into the machine. Do you have pets? Their hair is DRAWN to the inside, even if you can't figure out how it happened. Our latest? 2 yr old granddaughter was sticking business cards in. Nothing recorded, blank. Not enough to shut it off. Unplug it, take it apart carefully, put on an anti static bracelet (electronic store will sell it to you). Carefully clean around everything you see. If you don't have the MINI electronic vacuum tools (we call them Barbie tools) take a disp dixie cup that will fit over the end of the vaccum wand and poke a little pencil size hole in it. Then insert a bendable straw, the bend being at the bottom to use in sucking up dirt, hair, lint. If you are daring take LINT FREE qtips, (go buy the expensive ones JUST ONCE) and dip in alcohol, run over the heads to clean them.


Once you learn to do this, do it a couple times a year. Keeps it clean and running.
Don't hesitate to toss out WELL USED tapes, as they begin to shed on the tape heads.

Another area is if you don't use the VCR over time, the rollers will go back - misshapen and it costs more to fix them then get a new one. If you just pop a tape in a machine monthly, that should take care of things.
I am a BEEN THERE DONE THAT with this detail. Right now I have 7 current running VCRs--am currently bringing things up to date on editing and flipping over to DVD for storage. VHS won't last forever. Once copied, put the master (if a wedding, etc) away, also a DVD in a safe place too (prefer out of the house.) I kept my niece's master wedding tape and gave her a copy. Her house burned but she still had her wedding video!

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January 11, 20170 found this helpful

If you are using a HDTV, the image will blank out when the signal from the tape gets too weak (static), this is called input lag. Hook the VCR up to a CRT TV and try again.

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Home and Garden Repair Electronics (Large) VCRApril 4, 2009
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