What's wrong with my Sony VCR? Video doesn't work; Audio does.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Daniel Swartz, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. Daniel Swartz

    Daniel Swartz Second Unit

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    I have a 6 year-old Sony SLV-775HF VCR. Not the best unit for any means, but adequate for limited VHS playback. My problem is that the unit's video output has stopped working. Audio output and both video/audio input (e.g., recording) work fine. The unit has been used maybe 10x over the last 3 years (house with 3 DVD players and 2 PVRs) and I'd like to keep it if possible. Could one of those $5 head-cleaning units from K-Mart fix the problem? All suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer
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    Daniel,

    It sounds like a connection problem that may need repair. I highly doubt a cleaning will do anything if you get NO picture at all.

    I'd consider buying an inexpensive name brand VCR to replace it since you said you rarely use vcr's anyway.
    The cost of repairs or even a diagnose would almost cost as much as a new one I bet.

    Alfer
     
  3. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Head cleaning won't fix this. If it can record, the video heads are okay.

    You probably have a composite video out, as well as RF (coaxial) out?? Which do you use? Do neither of them function?

    If only the RF out isn't operating, it's probably just a bad modulator. Switch to composite out, and get an outboard modulator if needed.

    If only the composite video out isn't working, it could simply be that the composite jack needs to be replaced or re-soldered. If you are handy with a soldering gun, this may be an easy fix.

    Of course, it could be a problem in the video processing circuitry, in which case you'll want to go to your nearest discount store and buy a cheap Panasonic to replace it with...

    As Alf said, VCR repairs usually run as high or higher than a replacement costs... unless you do the repair yourself and can find cheap parts.

    -Scott
     
  4. Daniel Swartz

    Daniel Swartz Second Unit

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    Thanks guys. I hadn't thought of checking the RF output. I'll give it a shot!
     
  5. Daniel Swartz

    Daniel Swartz Second Unit

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    Well, it turned out it was simply a bad composite cable! Occam's Razor, Occam's Razor....

    Now, that everything is working again. How can I keep the VCR in good shape? Are head cleaners worth using? Thanks again.
     
  6. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    I would advise against using head cleaners as a maintenance routine. I take the cover of mine and clean the heads when needed using a chamois and isopropyl alcohol or freon when I have it. If you are not comfortable with cleaning yours that way, try a head cleaner when video is impaired by dirty heads. As little as you use yours cleaning should only be needed rarely. Certainly some VCR technicians can provide good service by cleaning, adjusting, replacing belts, etc. but new VCRs are so cheap that I just don't think it is worth doing anymore.

    Chris
     

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