How to Test Your VCR

We frequently get questions when someone receives a new VCR. Often they're upgrading from a consumer-type VCR to a professional level unit, such as a Panasonic AG-1980 or a JVC SR V10U.

The extra controls found on professional units often cause confusion to a new user, combined with the fact that most VCRs are fed into a computer for digital capture. These factors often combine to produce picture problems which are often perceived to be the fault of the VCR.

If you think you're having problems with your VCR, please try these simple tests:

1.  First, and most important, run your VCR's audio and video cables directly into a TV or monitor. If the problem goes away, the cause is the configuration of cables going through your timebase corrector, video processor or capture card.

2.  Adjust the tape playback tracking. On Panasonics, tracking controls are on the drop down front control panel. On JVCs tracking is usually adjusted using the remote control. (On the JVC remote, press SP/EP during playback, then press CH + or -  to adjust tracking for best picture.)

3Check playback filters, such as sharpness, time base corrector, etc. On the Panasonic AG-1980 adjustments are made on the front panel. The Panasonic the NORM/DETAIL/EDIT switch should be in "norm" position for normal playback (Unlike JVCs, the "edit" position on the Panasonic AG-1980 is only used when that particular VCR is in the record mode). On JVC VCRs, there's several playback functions controlled in the function menu accessed via the JVC remote control.These change the quality of the playback image. Sometimes turning the "video calibration" ON or OFF helps playback quality. Check and adjust settings for the best playback quality.

4.  Color beats in the picture often indicate some sort of interference getting into the video signal. To rule out interference coming through cables or an issue with your video processor or capture device, run the VCR directly into a TV or monitor.

5. Horizontal lines or a bar moving through the picture. This could be a video hum bar caused by grounding problems. Information on how to correct this.

6. Check the S-Video cable and connectors. If an S-Video cable isn't plugged in firmly, you'll get a black & white picture, or a picture with one color. When plugging in the S-Video connector do not rotate it around to get it to fit, this can break the delicate pins inside the connector. Instead, carefully inspect the connector and match up the pins before plugging it in.

7. Check the audio "out" connections.  If an one of the audio cables is inadvertently plugged into the RCA video output, it can produce a buzzing or rapid "ticking" noise in the audio.

8. Carefully clean the video heads. No Hi-Fi sound, crackling audio or snowy pictures are often caused when one or more of the delicate video heads becomes clogged. Clogged heads can happen very quickly if you play an old video tape that has sticky shed syndrome. Carefully follow our video head cleaning instructions here.

If you still have operational questions about a VCR you've purchased from us, Please contact us

Note: The above content  is copyright TGPSales & TGrant Photo. Copying or use on another website is prohibited.