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Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby kidika » 11 Jun 2010 02:29

I just purchased my third HDR-HC1 camcorder, I sold my first HC1 and the second one I owned was stolen.

I have in my collection many mini-dv cassette tapes that were recorded on the first and second camcorders that I previously owned. Over a hundred that I have material on and would like to edit.

I can't play a previously recorded Sony Mini-DV cassette on a different camcorder than the original HC1 that it was recorded on.

Why can't I play all my mini-dv cassettes if they were all recorded on the same model Sony HDR-HC1? Is there a solution? I thought about purchasing a Mini-DV player like the Sony GV-HD700 HDV Video Walkman VCR but is just too expensive.

Appreciate any help!
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Re: Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby acgold7 » 11 Jun 2010 07:10

It should work. When you say you "can't play," what exactly does that mean? What happens when you try? You're sure the newest cam is in the right playback mode?
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Re: Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby kidika » 12 Jun 2010 21:15

By "can't play" I mean that the cassette rolls like normal but the screen is blue and don't get any sound either. I can however get a picture when during playback, I either fastforward or rewind, what is know as "skip scan" in the manual.


What do you mean by the right playback mode?
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Re: Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby acgold7 » 13 Jun 2010 17:48

If you're getting a blue screen then you may have a settings mismatch somewhere.

When in PLAY/EDIT mode, make sure VCR HDV/DV is in the same mode you shot with. If you shot HDV but this is in DV mode, the tape won't play back (and vice versa). AUTO should auto-detect, but doesn't always work perfectly.

Also make sure your NLE is properly set as well. If you shot HDV, make sure you have set up an HDV project, have set HDV device control, i.Link CONV is OFF, and VCR HDV/DV is on HDV.

Pages 56, 59. Everything has to match.

How many hours are on these cams? When was the last time the heads were cleaned?
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Re: Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby kidika » 16 Jun 2010 16:56

Checked and changed all the settings suggested and still nothing. It plays the cassettes that I recorded just a week ago perfectly fine.

This cam should be close to mint.
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Re: Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby acgold7 » 16 Jun 2010 19:27

And you're sure there's no way that you might have accidentally recorded the older tapes in DV mode rather than HDV? You've taken one of these old tapes that won't play, and tried playing back with VCR HDV/DV set in each of the three modes: HDV, DV and AUTO? You get a blue screen no matter what?

If so, you may have a head alignment problem. Usually this was thought of as something that only occurred in our analog past, when you'd get those tracking lines. Now you'd just end up with a blue screen. The problem is that not only is this a very expensive repair -- particularly as you have an old cam that is long out of warranty -- but any tapes that play back fine now, no longer will.

Did tapes that were recorded on cam #1 play back on cam #2 when you had it? And now, tapes recorded on both cam #1 and cam #2 will not play back on your current cam #3? And finally, when you say that the cam should be near mint, do you have any independent verification (i.e. from an authorized Sony Service Center) as to the head hours and condition? It's unlikely that any six-year old camcorder is near mint, IMO.

Can you look at the indicators specified on page 32 of your manual and tell us what you see when recording and playing back, or post a screen grab?

Finally, have you tried cleaning the heads for 10 sec with a head cleaning tape?
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Re: Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby JKEpps » 22 Jun 2010 22:56

kidika,

I've heard of this, but never experienced it personally. Apparently the issue is how the tape deck in the camera is tuned or adjusted. It's slightly out of sync with your tapes, which is why you can see a picture during fast-forward or rewind. So, supposedly, the only way to fix it is to take it and one or more of the old tapes you have with content on it to a video repair center. They can adjust the heads in your camera to match what your old tapes want. The problem then will be that any new tapes you've made with the camera will no loger work.

Hope that helps.

-Jorden
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Re: Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby halfpipe » 28 Jun 2010 16:18

any chance that LP was used to record 90 min on a 60min tape?
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Re: Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby 5random1 » 05 Jul 2010 19:01

On the chance there is a coincidence of dirty tape heads versus DV, -OR-
HDV settings versus DV on your specific camcorder, here's my recent experience:

I have a SONY HDR-HC9 and used it about 2 months. Recorded in HDV, transferred in HDV to my computer.

1.) One time I got a blue screen, but could see what I recorded only when fast-forwarding. The recorded video would not transfer to my computer.

SOLUTION: I used a tape-head cleaning cassette and solved the problem.

2.) One time I mistakenly recorded in DV instead of HDV and set up my connection with SONY'S Picture Motion Browser to transfer the video as HDV.

SOLUTION: When I changed the setting from HDV to DV on the camcorder for connecting and transferring the videos, then connected to the computer with iLINK cable, no more blue screens.

Hope it will be one of these two simple (inexpensive) solutions for you. :-)
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Re: Can't play mini dv cassettes on different camcorder

Postby fk2010uk » 26 Sep 2010 12:49

Hi
I believe I have a similar problem with my Mini DV Sony Camcorder DCR-PC330E.

I purchased this camcorder back in 2004. I have never had any problems until some months ago: the tape unit got blocked and I was unable to do anything at all with the camera. I sent it to the official Sony Support Centre for repair in August 2010. The repair involved the replacement of the tape unit. So 3 weeks ago I got the unit back.

When I tried to playback some of my old tapes,I realised the quality was not good at all:
sound was breaking and video was also showing breaking images. I talked to the Centre on the subject and sent the unit back to them, with one of my old tapes included in the package, to help them understand the bad quality of the playback I was experiencing. After just 10 days I got the camera back with a note declaring that the camera is perfect, but the tape is 'contaminated'. They said that they cleaned up
the head and managed to record and playback a new tape perfectly. Of course, my problem is not with the 'new' tapes.
My problem is that I have recorded 60+ tapes since 2004 until 2010, and if I try now to playback ANY of them I get the same bad quality result. I cannot believe that suddenly ALL of them became contaminated, as Sony Centre declare.

That is why, when reading the replies to this post I noticed the fact described by kidika is similar to mine: from the moment my camera's tape unit was replaced, it is like having a camera attempting to read a tape recorded on a different one. And,
by the way, the results are very consistent, as ALL my recorded tapes show similar results.

I seem to understand from the replies to the original post,that there is a possibility my case can be resolved similarly as decribed by JKEpps:
"Apparently the issue is how the tape deck in the camera is tuned or adjusted. It's slightly out of sync with your tapes.
So, supposedly, the only way to fix it is to take it and one or more of the old tapes you have with content on it to a video
repair center. They can adjust the heads in your camera to match what your old tapes want. The problem then will be that any
new tapes you've made with the camera will no longer work."

Also a post by acgold seems to describe this same issue as an alignment problem: the only difference in my case is that I do not get a blue screen, I can view the
video but with bad quality (both sound and image, as I said above)

These would definitely explain my case. And I do not care at all about recording new tapes, as I have already migrated to a brand new HD, flash-memory-based Sony camcorder. My only objective is that of not loosing my old tapes quality and be able to recover them by converting into digital files.

I was hoping somebody could reply on this post, to check the forum's ideas on this problem, before I contact the Sony Support Centre again.

Thanks in advance
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