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Videocassette Recorder

My VCR won't accept tapes. When inserted they just pop right back out

Possible Solution #1: Your VCR may be in timer record mode waiting to record a program, or it may have completed the programmed recording but the timer is still on (particularly on older units). If you are trying to insert a prerecorded tape, the machine will eject the tape immediately since it knows it can't record on it. Either way, you need to turn the timer off.

Possible Solution #2: If your organization has a policy of putting some type of identifying label on all their videocassettes (which many do), that can cause the problem too. Labels on videocassettes frequently start to peal up and get caught on the sharp parts of the loading mechanism. If the label on your cassette is sticking up, remove it and try again. If that's not the problem, get a flashlight and peek just inside the door on your VCR. Frequently the label from the last tape you used gets torn off and ends up just inside the VCR door. There it gets in the way of loading another tape. If you can easily reach the offending sticky label, get it out of there and your problem will be solved. If you can't reach it, we would suggest bringing it to a service center like United Visual. Sticking anything very far into your VCR to grab the label is likely to damage something, so don't do it!"

Possible Solution #3: Okay, let's just face it. Some VCRs aren't made real well and you just need to baby them a bit. If your machine is finicky and only spits the tapes back at you now and then, there probably isn't a whole lot you can do. If you are unlucky enough to own one of these machines (as I do), the best thing to do is insert the tape gently, pressing directly in the center of the cassette. Alternately, apply equal pressure on each end of the tape and gently push it into the machine. Sometimes having the entire loading mechanism replaced will improve performance, but it's rarely worth the cost. In my opinion, if you can't live with this problem, just buy a new VCR. Of course, be sure to test the display models first to see how reliably their mechanisms accept tapes.

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