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Help - Fix VCR or Buy New One???

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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   BenP



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Posted September 16 2001 - 11:51 AM

Getting ready to record some TV now that the new season is coming out, and realized that the my Sony SLVR5UC (for those who don't remember, this was Sony's top of the line SVHS circa 1990) is no longer working. I'm getting sound, but the video output is essentially white noise. If I pause, I can see a picture, but there's only white noise when I play. Tried cleaning using a VHS tape cleaner (typical type you'd purchase at CC), and it didn't help. So I'm left with a dilemma. Should I take it into my local shop and get it fixed (not sure how much it will cost, but guessing at least $100) or buy a new one. If I decide to buy a new SVHS recorder, which one is the best bang for the buck. I typically use the VCR mostly for taping television and occasionally for watching prerecorded movies. Not much on editing/cam-corder stuff. TIA Ben

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Chris V

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Posted September 16 2001 - 12:21 PM

Ben, I would suggest trying to clean the heads on your VCR. This isn't usually a very hard task, but some people find it a little daunting if you have never been inside a VCR before. I have cleaned the heads on my VCR several times and have had great success. I use acetone with a special swab you can purchase at Rat Shak. If you do decide to take it in to the shop...thats prob what they will do, and will charge you an arm and a leg. Just a suggestion...

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted September 16 2001 - 04:21 PM

But at 10 years old, I'm surprised that it is still going? (Hey, is it free of macrovision?) Shortcut city had them at $50. each not too long ago. Do you really nead S-VHS? Glenn

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   EdS



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Posted September 16 2001 - 04:31 PM

J&R is advertising JVC S-VHS VCR's for around $129, these models were previously going for around $180.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Steve Berger

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Posted September 16 2001 - 07:31 PM

As a Sony servicer I would say fix it as long as it dosen't involve head replacement.This was their best mechanical chassis that had 2 or 3 relatively simple mechanical problems that could cause this symptom. Even a dirty control track head could do it in some cases.A sticky arm that pulls the tape part way in on loading is very common. It's a simple repair but must be adjusted precisely or tapes will be damaged on play or search. Dirty video heads would not give the symptom of picture in pause only (probably search too)but not in play.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Chad Isaacs

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Posted September 16 2001 - 08:07 PM

What is a vcr?

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#7 of 11 OFFLINE   KeithH


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Posted September 16 2001 - 08:16 PM


What is a vcr?


I had forgotten myself, but my girlfriend reminded me today, as she bought a Sony SLV-N81 VCR (no S-VHS) for $150 at Best Buy. She is going to hook it up tomorrow and report back to me whether or not it's any good. It looks like a nice VCR. Build quality is good as far as VCRs go these days, and in typical Sony style, it's loaded with features. The 'N81 also sports a silver chassis, which is nice.

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#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Shade Watson

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Posted September 17 2001 - 08:33 AM

When my VCR recently died, it gave my the excuse to buy the Tivo machine I have been eyeing. I got the Tivo and haven't looked back since. Of course I can no longer watch pre recorded VHS tapes in my main room. This is not much of a problem, because I mostly rent DVDs now, and I still have a VCR in my bedroom. Tivo and the like are the future, VCR is obsolete IMO. Kind of like cassette tapes.

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted September 17 2001 - 09:38 AM

i'd take it apart and look inside. clean anything that seems dirty, but be careful not to get anything on any of the rubber parts - you don't want to dry those out. check the tape path and make sure everything is aligned correctly. look for anything unusual. however, if all else fails i would not fix it. you can buy decent vcr's for about 150 bucks now and i believe good ones for about 200. it just wouldn't make sense (to me) to fix a 10-year old vcr. my .02 ------------------ You step in the stream, But the water has moved on. This page is not here.

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Rob Dawn

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Posted September 17 2001 - 10:52 AM

I wouldn't pay anyone to fix it. I did that with a Sony one a few years ago and although they fixed the problem that I was having, it came back with new minor problems that just got worse. I ended up replacing it like 6-9 months later.

If you don't HAVE to have S-VHS, you can get new Sony ones from BB for $99. You can probably find 'em cheaper on-line.

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#11 of 11 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted September 17 2001 - 10:58 AM

If you've exhausted cleaning the heads (by yourself), I'd junk it and buy a new one. I recently went through this scenario myself, and it's definitely better to just replace rather than repair.

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