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Videocassette Recorder

Picture loss, snow or blue screen in playback

A completely snowy picture (on older VCRs) or a blank blue screen (on newer units) generally indicates dirty video heads. In almost all cases you will probably still have sound. Cleaning the heads with a cleaning tape may fix the problem, but in most cases when you reach this point the VCR will need to have the heads cleaned by a service center. Cleaning tapes are genereally most effective as preventive maintenance when they are used on a regular basis, such as once a month, before problems occur.

Regardless of which way your problem is solved, there is still one very important thing to keep in mind. There is a good chance that one of the tapes you recently used caused the problem. You should have the tapes you used last inspected for wrinkles or deterioration. This is important because using a faulty tape in your newly cleaned machine just once can immediately clog the heads and your problem will be back.

If your tapes are all okay, then you can feel confident the problem was just due to the normal gradual build-up of oxide on the heads. This oxide build-up is what cleaning tapes are best at keeping in check by regular use.

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