Sharp View cam...Just thoughts....
Re Hi8 tape.... This tape can be used to record by a camcorder with the digital Hi8 system, or former digital Video 8 system (with reduced recording time). When a Hi8 system camcorder is used to recored on Hi8 tape, only a Hi8 system camcorder can correctly play back the tape.
In your case, you did not provide the model number, so we do not know wheteher it has the Digital (or analogue) Video8 system or digital Hi8, but since it is "old" it may be digital Video8.... And the five year old tapes- if they are recorded with the Hi8 system, then your old viewcam won't be able to play it correctly. Even if they are recorded using the digital video8 system, the Viewcam, if with a digital Video 8 system, may still be unable to play the tapes if it is designed to only play Video8 tapes...
In other words, it may be a compatibility issue.
Anyway, try this:
Put in the tape, try to play it a few times, take it out, put it in....run fast forward, then fast rewind...and try to play again. (This is to try to get the "tracking" right.) If you are viewing on a TV via the AV cables, make sure they sre connected correctly.
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