How to Troubleshoot a Philips Magnavox VCR


A Philips Magnavox VCR lets you record and play back VHS videocassettes on a connected TV. Many of its features are essentially the same as other models, though some functions like picture tracking are unique to this brand. If the VCR will not operate normally, try troubleshooting before immediately packing it off for repair.

Things You'll Need

  • Coaxial cables
  • VHS cleaning cassette
  • Tighten the cable connections from the VCR to the TV and the source signal to the VCR. Simply turn the metal ring on each cable end. A loose cable can cause an intermittent connection, with fuzzy picture and inconsistent sound. Also check the power cord to confirm it is plugged into a wall outlet.

  • Clean the VCR. Insert a cleaning cassette in the front gate of the VCR and press "Play" on the front panel to start the cleaning cycle. This varies with the brand of cleaner, but typically takes no more than 30 seconds.

  • Remove the cleaning cassette and insert a prerecorded VHS cassette. Be sure the TV and VCR are both set to channel 4. The prerecorded tape starts playing automatically when inserted in the Philips Magnavox VCR.

  • Press "Menu" on the remote to take the VCR out of menu mode, if you are unable to view videos.

  • Press and hold "Channel" on the VCR remote control, then press the up or down arrow key to adjust tracking. This can improve (and sometimes restore) picture and sound quality. Adjust the tracking whenever you see snow-like artifacts moving on-screen.

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  • Photo Credit Steven Errico/Photodisc/Getty Images
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