HV20 Recording/ Playback Stutter at DVinfo.net

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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old April 21st, 2007, 02:42 AM   #1
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HV20 Recording/ Playback Stutter

My new HV20 stutters for a couple seconds (audio and video) every 30 seconds to a few minutes apart when I playback recordings. Basically the image briefly freezes and the audio disappears, then, playback resumes as normal. Sometimes if I rewind the tape it stutters again in the same spot, but, sometimes it doesn't. I am yet to troubleshoot if this is a flaw during recording, during playback or both. Also, I have tried 3 different brands of tapes and the problem remains similar... sometimes I go 15 or 20 minutes without a glitch, while some other times every 20 seconds I get one of the "drop outs".

Has anyone experienced similar problems? I am using Premium Grade tapes (Sony, Fuji & JVC), not the super-duper "HD" grade DV tapes that cost 3 times as much and that I think are ridiculously overpriced and probably just the same thing.

I love this camera but am deeply frustrated with this right now.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 06:03 AM   #2
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Do a cleaning with cleaning tape just in case something went in and got stuck on the head. If you still have problems still then you should send it back for replacement or repair.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 09:54 AM   #3
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Lorry, keep an eye on your return period but within that time try to do more shooting, run tapes through the unit and as mentioned, try cleaning the heads. It's not unusual for a brand new unit to get a quick head clog. I'm not sure why this is so, but it has happened quite often to people with many different kinds of camcorders and then simply disappears.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 10:33 AM   #4
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I've only had a chance to shoot one tape so far with my HV20 but I noticed similar issues. I probably had 6-8 drop outs/freezes. I wasn't sure if it just the nature of HDV recordings, a bad tape or dirty heads. I was going to shoot another tape before I cleaned the heads. Hopefully this week.
Lorry - as was mentioned, the easiest thing would be to clean the heads first. If the problem persists, return it/send it in for service.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 10:36 AM   #5
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Judging from all the owners out there, it appears this is a rare event. But I'd bet this goes away with time as it tends to with other camcorders. However, if within my return/exchange period it didn't, I'd just exchange it.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I had immediately done a head cleaning with a Panasonic (Dry Type) tape as soon as I noticed the issue and the problem remained the same, but I do think it may be fair to fully run a couple of tapes through it to see if the problem goes away or not. True, sometimes the recording mechanisms needs a break-in period (dirt, lubricant from the tape guides that spilled onto the heads, etc.), but this had never personally occurred to me before. I'll shoot a few tapes throughout the weekend and if the problems persists, then I'll request an exchange. Other than this, the camera is simply superb.

On the issues of tapes, is there really a difference between the base/ premium grade of DV tapes and the ones that are marked "Ideal for HDV" that cost about several times as much? In the world of analogue video recording, it was clear to notice a higher grade tape with more density delivering better S/N ratio and color saturation, less noise etc. But, in the world of digital, aside from a tape being less durable than another or more prone to drop outs and imperfections, I cannot see why the more expensive tapes can ever deliver better color or less noise than a less grade counterpart. In the world of digital, a tape can never dictate color saturation or S/N ratio... only, the info got either registered or not. Can I assume this to be correct or should I expect that maybe the more costly DV tapes will deliver, actual, better results? I have had (my beloved) HV10 for about 6 months now, have run over 30 tapes through it of all grades and brands, and never had a problem with any of them nor was the video quality any different from brand /grade A to brand /grade B.

I would not thing (specially since the recording mechanism of the HV10 and HV20 are absolute siblings) that aside from durability or drop-out issues, tapes of different grades and extreme price differences can do anything to the actual quality if the video recording. Price differences on DV tapes around the outlets where I live go from $6 for a 60min Fuji to almost $30 for a 60min JVC "High Density/ Ideal for HDV" tape. This is an astronomical price difference and, at least with the HV10, nor the camera (nor me) could ever tell the difference between the "fast food" tape and the "gourmet" version... God forbid I have to feed the HV20 with $30 tapes to avoid recording/playback stutters...

Also, are there "better" cleaning tapes out there than others or they are all basically the same, independently of price and brand?

Thanks in advance for the input and advice!!! :)
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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:15 PM   #7
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Remember!

The very first thing to do when you receive your new camera is to run a cleaning tape in it! This is a must!


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Old April 21st, 2007, 09:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
The very first thing to do when you receive your new camera is to run a cleaning tape in it! This is a must!
Really? I'd never heard or read that it's a must to run a cleaning tape through a brand new camera as the very frist thing you do.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 09:52 PM   #9
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Lorry, if you've given it a fair cleaning and the unit is still having issues, I would take it back if I was in your shoes. My HV20 has about 10 hours recording/play usage and I've never experienced what you're describing. For the price you laid down to buy it, its not really acceptable that it shouldn't work perfectly straight out of the box.

To your other question, I've tested the pricey HDV Sony tapes and the cheaper DV JVC tapes and seen absolutely no difference in quality or performance. Unless there's a MiniDV tape engineer out there that can show me otherwise, I'd chalk the difference up to mostly marketing hype. Just be sure to do a cleaning before switching brands as the manufacturers do use different oxides.

Hope it works out for you!
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 05:28 PM   #10
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i just had the opportunity to play around with one of these today. first off, i have to say i'm super impressed with the image output from this camera. when i saw 24p cadence and the warm tonality being kicked out to a large screen tv from such a tiny camera, i was thrown for a complete loop.

anyways, i initially experienced the same issues as lorry on playback. it was evident that the stuttering was not recorded on tape -- when the tape was rewound and played again, the original stutters were gone and new stutters were introduced at completely different times. after some fiddling around, i found that if you had the lcd open while the camera was connected to a tv -- in my case via the component cable -- the camera would stutter on playback. if the lcd is closed, there was no stuttering whatsoever. seems to be some internal bandwidth issue in the camera.

make sure the lcd is closed when playing back video via component (can't speak to hdmi yet), and the stuttering problem should disappear.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 10:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Henry Cho View Post
i just had the opportunity to play around with one of these today. first off, i have to say i'm super impressed with the image output from this camera. when i saw 24p cadence and the warm tonality being kicked out to a large screen tv from such a tiny camera, i was thrown for a complete loop.

anyways, i initially experienced the same issues as lorry on playback. it was evident that the stuttering was not recorded on tape -- when the tape was rewound and played again, the original stutters were gone and new stutters were introduced at completely different times. after some fiddling around, i found that if you had the lcd open while the camera was connected to a tv -- in my case via the component cable -- the camera would stutter on playback. if the lcd is closed, there was no stuttering whatsoever. seems to be some internal bandwidth issue in the camera.

make sure the lcd is closed when playing back video via component (can't speak to hdmi yet), and the stuttering problem should disappear.
Interesting observation.
Just for comparison, I've never had any kind of playback stutter or glitches on my HV10, connected via firewire to PC or via component out (and I always leave the LCD open to assist cooling.) This is connecting to an RP-CRT HDTV. Are you using a digital screen? are there very bright spots? sometimes I heard some displays glitch for very bright scenes on movies..?

Also, I only use TDK regular DVM60 tapes, no HD tapes, and no tapes recorded in other cameras. About 35hrs on the heads so far, 13 tapes recorded.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 10:29 PM   #12
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No stutter, playback, or capture issues so far with mine. Fingers crossed?

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Old April 24th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #13
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when i first viewed the tape, i remember playback seemed to choke almost every time the camera was moved abruptly, like when drastically re-framing a shot without stopping the recording -- there was no issue with stuttering exclusively during overly bright scenes. but then subsequent playbacks of the same footage indicated no pattern to the stuttering at all, except that the stutter was less frequent. the second batch of footage i shot, again, stuttered frequently on playback, without any obvious reasons why. closing the lcd in play mode made all stuttering disappear, and i got smooth, uninterrupted playback of about an hour's worth of footage. tv output was all via the included analog component cable.

this was a new camera, and most don't seem to have any issues like the ones being described in this thread. i'm going to run the camera through it's paces next chance i get to see if the problem pops up again, or it decides to fix itself.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 07:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Cho View Post
i just had the opportunity to play around with one of these today. first off, i have to say i'm super impressed with the image output from this camera. when i saw 24p cadence and the warm tonality being kicked out to a large screen tv from such a tiny camera, i was thrown for a complete loop.

anyways, i initially experienced the same issues as lorry on playback. it was evident that the stuttering was not recorded on tape -- when the tape was rewound and played again, the original stutters were gone and new stutters were introduced at completely different times. after some fiddling around, i found that if you had the lcd open while the camera was connected to a tv -- in my case via the component cable -- the camera would stutter on playback. if the lcd is closed, there was no stuttering whatsoever. seems to be some internal bandwidth issue in the camera.

make sure the lcd is closed when playing back video via component (can't speak to hdmi yet), and the stuttering problem should disappear.

That's strange. I have to say I haven't had that issue with either my HV10 or HV20 used in exactly the manner you described.

Although your theory is interesting, if it were true, I would think that all the HV20s would be doing the same thing. That doesn't appear to be the case. Actually, what you describe, is a situation I've seen with mini-DV playback since its inception (both SD & HD units from Sony & Canon). You'll play back a tape and see what appears to be a dropout, rewind the tape to the same point and the dropout is gone. It's very rare I've ever seen a permanent, repeating dropout.

Who knows, this might be some kind of display issue. Henry, do you own the HV20 or was this one you saw in the store?
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Old April 24th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
The very first thing to do when you receive your new camera is to run a cleaning tape in it! This is a must!
Mike
I'm no expert, but I've seen enough experts advise against it. AFAIK, cleaning tapes are the last resort, and should be used in extreme situations only. Being so abrasive, these tapes really shorten the life of camcorder's heads. The advise I was given: use a brand-new regular tape, record it, and discard it. Also, never record onto a tape more than once.
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