Canon HV20 Mini DV Tape Blank But Data Is On It. Camera Missaligned? at DVinfo.net

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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:22 PM   #1
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Canon HV20 Mini DV Tape Blank But Data Is On It. Camera Missaligned?

Hi there, I filmed some VERY important footage this last weekend and 3 out of the 4 tapes were nearly blank. Tape number 3 of 4 finally started to play about 36 minutes into the tape. Once it would play, if I pressed the rewind button I could see in the HV20's flip out screen that there was footage but if I let go of the rewind button the screen would go blank. Tape 1 and 2 won't display anything either. So the fact that there's footage that won't play until 36 minutes on tape 3 makes me wonder if there's also footage on tape 1 and 2 that the camera just isn't playing. Canon's tech support said that most likely the camera went out of alignment and although it recorded footage, now the camera was jostled back into alignment and it can no longer read that out of aligned data.

Does anyone know if there's a company that can recover the data that the HV20 will no longer read in normal play back mode? Does anyone have any ideas on how to recover the footage?

Thank you for any advice!
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Old November 15th, 2012, 07:12 AM   #2
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Re: Canon HV20 Mini DV Tape Blank But Data Is On It. Camera Missaligned?

Shot in HDV format?
Be sure the write protect tab is enables to prevent accidental erasing the tapes.

If you can, try playback in another camcorder or player that suports the format.

There are companies the specialize in data recovery from media, usually not cheap, and I have not used any. They may have special machines configured to allow alignment adjustment on the fly.

Did you ask Canon if they have any suggestions as to a recovery company?

A google or other search may bring up some leads.
Audio Video Recovery Systems - Video Tape Repair is one place the came up in a quick search. No idea if they would meet your needs, but it is a place to start looking.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #3
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Re: Canon HV20 Mini DV Tape Blank But Data Is On It. Camera Missaligned?

It was in HDV Cine format, the HV20 has a Cine setting. I don't know if that will play in another camera or if I have to use another HV20?

I did ask Canon and they said that there were, but they couldn't recommend any because then they'd be held liable for any damages the third party might inflict on the footage. I've searched Google and Bing and I haven't found a single company that can do that. If anyone knows of any please let me know.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 01:51 PM   #4
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Re: Canon HV20 Mini DV Tape Blank But Data Is On It. Camera Missaligned?

Hmm, Scott.............

Before I spoil your entire week, can you clarify one thing?

When you hit "Play", do you get a blank screen or a blue one (they're not quite the same thing)?

If the answer is the former, I can't really shed any light.

If it's the latter, well, er, um, maybe it'd be easier if you use that Google search down at the bottom of the page and check DVinfo for "BSOD", aka, "Blue Screen Of Death".

Chances are it'll be something I've written on the subject over the years.


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Old November 16th, 2012, 03:15 AM   #5
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Re: Canon HV20 Mini DV Tape Blank But Data Is On It. Camera Missaligned?

I get a blue screen. And on tape 3, it's blue until 36 minutes and then it plays. If I hit the rewind button while still playing, I can see there's video before 36 minutes but if I let go of the rewind button it goes to a blue screen again.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 06:07 AM   #6
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Re: Canon HV20 Mini DV Tape Blank But Data Is On It. Camera Missaligned?

Scott,
Try another HV20 if you can. See what happens. If not possible or still not playing back, then take the HV20 you shot it with into an authorized Canon repair and have them re-align the heads. It shouldn't be that much and if the job is important enough which I assume it is, then whatever it cost to fix the camera would be worth it.
Cameras are delicate instruments and things like this happen. Not the end of the world but always at the seemingly wrong time.
Even though you live in an area where the migh not be a Canon repair in your town what other options do you have? You may have to UPS or FedX the camera out but again, if it's important enough....
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Old November 16th, 2012, 08:36 AM   #7
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Re: Canon HV20 Mini DV Tape Blank But Data Is On It. Camera Missaligned?

Do you see running timecode during the blue screen?
Did holding REW give an image on tape 1 or 2 as you report it did on the problem portion of tape 3?

Seeing footage while holding REW (or sometimes FF) in a QUE mode may imply you have half of a signal recorded; e.g., one of the two record head was clogged and not recording, until it self-cleared 36 minutes into tape 3. With at least some recording formats a partial recovery may be possible, but I do not know it that applies to HDV.

This type of single head clog, if it happens, is often caused by some tiny piece of foreign material getting into the mechanism, tape path, or intorduced with the cassette.
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