No fix, but since you haven't gotten any responses....
I suppose there's a conversion issue that could still mess up even if it plays on the camera.
My method in the past was to record to DVD at the highest quality on a DVR that had a VHS/DVD combo. Then I'd copy the VRO files (yeah; sony oddities) and work from there. The advantage was that the DVR was stabilizing the VHS playback.
Try one of the tapes that worked okay before. Perhaps there are issues on some of the more recent tapes.
Thanks for the reply. Never heard of that Sony file type. Their odd proprietary stuff is why I avoided them for years.
If forgot I posed this question. What I've been through is pure hilarity. Turns out it was Premiere Pro's problem. iMovie (new version) will let you press record and the counter goes off, but it doesn't actually record anything. Then I tried iMovie 9.0.9 and it works, although during capture there's no audio (the audio shows up in the actual file though). Because it's the old iMovie, it captures in .dv so I then have to use Quicktime to convert them to .mov.
I'm capturing on an old macbook pro that still has an adapter to allow firewire in because my new stupid macbook pro only has USB type C ports, and for some reason that old laptop does the conversion until the very last second and then has an error, so I have to plug my external drive with the VHS into my new macbook pro where Quicktime doesn't have that error. What a black comedy this whole ordeal of capturing analog stuff has been. Turns out I need 2 computers and an old version of iMovie or I'd still be stuck at square one. Premiere Pro is a joke.
It's cumbersome, but at least I can capture anything now, and it works. The goofiest part is that I have a Super VHS VCR with S-Video, and the quality from it isn't even in the ballpark of a regular RCA cable 4-Head Panasonic VCR I found in my moms closet (that I cleaned the heads on with isopropyl alcohol). And I mean not even close. I wish I could get ahold of an S-Video enabled VCR that I could test before buying because I want the highest quality possible, but I won't blindly order one online after seeing how awful the one I have is.
By the way, remember MacroVision? You used to have to buy that "stabilizer" box that ran on 9-volt in order to copy the tape? Not with digital, haha.
Thanks for reporting. I'll try to remember to report my results when I get around to seeing if my VHS to DVD recorder is still working!