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line on the bottom of the screen from VCR

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Josh Matthews, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. Josh Matthews

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    Ok, this'll be my first post. Let me just say that I've been reading this forum for a week or two and I am very impressed by the depth of knowledge all of you possess and the level of maturity demonstrated by the members of the board. This really is what a board should be. I've been trying to decide on some kind of 5.1 package and I've learned a lot. I think I'm going to have to settle for the Kenwood HTB-504 for now.

    ANYWAY, I've got a 27" Panasonic CT-something or other (model # escapes me and I'm at work, C27D10? pretty basic, no PIP.) It was a floor model. From the time I bought it approximately a year ago, I've noticed that when I play VHS tapes (standard JVC 4 head VHS) there is a thin white line that looks similar to what you see when you over-adjust tracking on a vcr. It's thin and at the bottom of the screen. It only happens with tapes and the VCR did not do this to my old TV. I currently have it hooked to the tv with component cables, I have used the co-axial cable and it doesn't make a difference.

    My Playstation and now my my playstation 2 plays games and dvds without causing this problem (and I've had component and S-video with the PS and S-video to composite with the PS2). Is it that there's some sort of sound data or something that appears below the normal viewing image and the horizontal orientation needs to be corrected? Does this mean I have to figure out how to get into "service mode" and, if so, what are the odds of me hopelessly messing up the display once I'm in there? Or should I try to ignore it because, as my fiance says, I'm blowing it out of proportion and the INFURIATING LITTLE WHITE LINE is no big deal?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. RichN

    RichN Stunt Coordinator

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    Josh,

    Leave service mode alone !!! Especially if it is only happening when using your VCR. I don't know what is causing the line, but playing with the TV settings in service mode will cause more problems than it will fix. Do you have another TV that you can connect the VCR to and compare pictures? If you see the line on another TV, then the problem has to be in the VCR. Otherwise, it may be something with the size (alignment) of the picture on your TV which for some unknown reason, only shows up with the VCR, in which case, I suggest being VERY CAREFUL if you DO decide to try and adjust it yourself. Write down all the numbers before changing anything in a menu, and DOUBLE CHECK them.

    RichN
     
  3. Josh Matthews

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    thanks, I suspected it was a bad idea. Do you think it's the t.v.? Incidentally, is this a more appropriate question for the basics area? I've tried reposting it there as it appears to have been barely looked at here.
     
  4. RichN

    RichN Stunt Coordinator

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    I find it difficult to believe the TV would be causing the problem if you only see it on the VCR. Have you tried cleaning the heads with 100 % iso alcohol and a cotton swab? You may have to take the cover of to get to them. I still would try the VCR on another TV, even though you said it didn't happen with your old set. It's possible that something has gone wrong with the VCR since then. What happens to the line when you try adjusting the tracking? Does it happen on ALL tapes (pre-recorded and recordings of TV shows)?
    Also, (just out of curiosity, has nothing to do with the problem), what Kenwood receiver do you have? I have a 309 and a 509. I really like them both, even though the 309 is already outdated.
    I usually look around in different areas for posts with no replys and see if I can help, as I know how frustrating it can be to get no replys. Sorry I can't offer you more suggestions on this one.
    Let me know what you find using another TV, but try cleaning the heads first, if you haven't done so already.
    RichN
     
  5. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    The white line near the bottom of the screen is caused when the VCR switches heads. A VCR has two or four rotating heads (4-head VCRs have one pair for SP and one pair for EP). As the head drum rotates, the VCR reads the tape with one head, then as it rotates away and the other head rotates onto the tape, it switches from one head to the other. Normally this switch happens at/near the bottom of the frame, but depending on the VCR, and the amount of overscan on your TV, this line may become visible.

    The reason you didn't see the line on your old TV was because it was off the bottom of the screen, either because the old TV had more overscan or the whole picture was lower on the screen (or the new TV has the image too high).

    If you put up an Overscan pattern from VE or Avia, you can determine how much overscan and if the image is centered on your set. If the image is off center, you can center it in the service menu, but make sure you know what you're doing before doing this--you can mess things up big time if you change the wrong value in the service menu.

    Since it's only your VCR that shows the line (for obvious reasons), I wouldn't worry too much about it if it's minor and stays in that one spot. If it's major, or you get snow all over the screen, then your heads are shot, and it's time for a repair, or a new VCR.

    KJP
     
  6. Josh Matthews

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    Thanks guys,

    Rich, I don't have any receiver yet. I have a junky little Aiwa shelf system which should be burned. I will be buying my first setup shortly and cost, as well as the all important "don't-p*ss off the fiance" considerations seem to be steering me toward the Kenwood HTB 504 or 544.
     

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