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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old May 30th, 2011, 05:30 AM   #1
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XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

Hi there,
I know this is a kind of already discussed subject, but since I didn't find any solution that fixes this problem, I started it again!

I shot 3 tapes (Sony premium DVM60) with my canon XHA1s (pal) camera, now when I want to capture or just play them on camera, only two tapes show video when I press play in VCR/Play mode. The other tape plays but shows no video, unless I press play and fast forward at the same time.

I heard it is related to head alignment during recording, but, I don't understand how this problem raised and don't know how to fix it :(


any help!?

Last edited by Abdessamad Idrissi; May 31st, 2011 at 02:13 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 05:58 PM   #2
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

Hi...................

Yep, been discussed many times and no clear solution ever put forward.

blue screen on playback, not on FF or REV

There are a number of things that are remarkably similar in every instance and still some questions that have never been answered, to my knowledge, anyway.

It always strikes out of the blue, then dissapears. The tape records with no sign of a problem then cannot be read after rewinding.

When you put those two sentences into an equation you are left with only one real option: Something either peculiar to that specific tape has caused it to incorrectly track during record OR about how that particular tape loaded/ tracked onto the heads/ tape path ON THAT OCCASION.

I have never read of anyone trying to record over a tape that has exhibited this fault symptom to see whether that tape ALWAYS does this or whether it is a completely random load issue which only happens once in 50,000 loads.

I think I can safely say that whichever of the two options above holds, the tape has mistracked during the write on that occasion.

If it is a mistrack during the write, it should be theoretically possible to re - align a set of tape heads to read it, but, as re - aligning the heads back to "factory" requires the use of some pretty specialsed equipment, it's not something I would advise anyone to attempt with their own camera.

You will find here on DVinfo mention of Sony having a "tape rescue" service which may just be able to save your bacon** (25f could be a deal breaker though) and the the time scale may make that not viable.

Another thing to try is any other HDV camera you can get your hands on, it might just be able to get it (try your local camera store, they might let you play).

It may be easier and a lot quicker to simply re - shoot the lost footage and moving on, if possible.

It would be extremely interesting, if you go with the latter, to try recording over the afflicted tape one more time to see if it plays after or fails a second time.

Sorry I can't be more help.


CS


** sorry about that, not particularly PC, you being in Morocco and all.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; May 30th, 2011 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Whoops!
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Old May 31st, 2011, 02:57 AM   #3
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

Thank you Chris for taking time to look at my problem!

My guess on why such "blue screen of death" happens on tapes is not due to the tape itself, but rather to the way it was inserted on the camera at the time of shooting: I can still remember that I heard a strange sound when I inserted the faulty tape to the cam, I didn't push in enough in the tape loader.. and since i never heard about such a BSOD situation, I didn't double check if everything was right and didn't try to make a test recording at that moment.

I called a video production company here in Berlin and said they can transfer this tape to a DVD for 12Euros or to another tape for 18Euros.. will check with them and keep you updated.

Thanx again for the answer :)
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Old May 31st, 2011, 03:48 AM   #4
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

One of the wonders of DVinfo is finding all these really smart people popping out of the woodwork all over the planet, making posting here such a pleasure, this was one of those occasions.

Thank you, Abdessamad. I do hope you can solve your problem.

Keep us all posted on any fix, as you are one of many to have been afflicted by this curse.

Good luck.


CS

PS: I could have sworn I didn't see Berlin in your original post - you update it?
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Old June 16th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #5
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light of hope

Hi Chris,
sorry for not replying earlier.

I took the camera to a "video shop" claiming they rescue tapes but then I found they just used the term rescue so that amateur people can understand that they can transfer their old VHS to a DVD! I explained to them my problem and they couldn't help :(
I called also some repair centers here in Berlin: fotomaerz.de (official canon dealer) and avc.de .. and they said that they repair only camcorders and other equipment and since my cam has no problem (it reads and records tapes except that one) they can do nothing about that tape.

I even searched in some French forums and actually nobody had a solution for this "curse!" as you called it.

I don't remember where I saw an article about this issue in internet; it was with some guys who managed it by realigning the recording/reading head of the camera then put it back to its normal position.

NOW LET'S GO TO THE SHINY PART!
While searching desperately for a solution, I found this article HDV Tape won't play back - SOLUTION for VIDEO : HDV Format by Raymond Tuquero, I'll tryit and get back to you for feedback :)

PS: Yep Chris, I edited my first post and removed Morocco since I didn't understand the comment
** sorry about that, not particularly PC, you being in Morocco and all.
so I just removed it so as not to disturb the topic :)
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Old June 16th, 2011, 05:13 AM   #6
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

I have read elsewhere that people have recovered footage from the blue screen phenomenon. The same thing happened to me and I started to investigate possible solutions.

Essentially you need to take it to a post production house that has a modern Sony HDV deck with HD/SDI OUT, along with a computer that can capture HD/SDI IN. Seemingly when the tape is played the video is uncorrupted on the HD/SDI out, and can be captured accordingly.

I cant remember where I read it, and I cant guarantee that it will work, but the person who wrote it seemed to be happy with the results.

In my own case the tape eventually just started to work! It showed the timecode when I played it in the camera, but just a blue screen. The video appeared when I shuttled fast forward or rewound the tape.

I eventually started shuttling the tape forwards and backwards, and kept playing it. Eventually the video just popped back and I was able to capture it. No explanation why.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 12:15 PM   #7
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

Well i'm not sure if this is exactly the same problem, but i had issues with playing tapes in my HV20 a while back. With only a blue screen i thought the camera was broken. Sometimes though, when i put it in FF or FR it would play. In the end i sent it in to canon to have it looked at. They sent it back saying that the heads were really dirty & they cleaned them. Well i was very happy to think that i had that camera back all sorted out. To my surprise though, when i tried playing a tape, it was exactly the same. Did they even clean the head?? Not sure, but i figured i had nothing to loose & popped a head cleaning tape in. As per the directions i pulled it out after the clean, & low & behold i was seeing footage! Unfortunately though, it only lasted a couple of seconds then went back to the blue screen. I went back to the cleaning tape, & in the end cleaned the heads, (again for the prescribed 10 seconds), for probably 10 times!! Now this probably sounds harsh on the heads, & maybe it was, but the camera now plays (& records) fine. All the tapes i had tried when the heads were dirty play fine.
As i said, i'm not sure if this is the same problem, but it may be worth trying??
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Old June 19th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #8
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

Thanx Bryce for the comment.

the problem with my cam is that it plays all the tapes except ONE!!, and guess what; the most important one!

I used a cleaning tape but didn't help (as expected) since the problem was on that particular tape, not the camera itself (well maybe the camera had a bug somehow when it recorded that tape)

Thanx guys.. keep the suggestion flowing, who knows, maybe one will work :)
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Old June 26th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #9
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

Have you tried another camera to check if it plays back?

Sony did have a bad batch or three of tape a few years ago. Your bad tape may have been part of it. I suspect not all tapes from a bad batch are bad, probably mainly the tapes slit from the near the edge of the sheet.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

I have the same problem as Abdessamad.
-I used a cleaning cassette, which did not work.
-i tried 2 different decks,which did not work.

the interesting thing is that 1/2 the footage was captured....the 2nd 1/2 oddly enough.
I have been trying to capture different parts of the footage that didnt capture but no luck yet.
If anything new evolves I will post the outcome.


Abdessamad did you ever find a solution?
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Old March 24th, 2012, 07:36 AM   #11
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

If several different players could not play the tape, it may be a bad tape, possibly the tape itself and not the recorder.

As implied by Simon above, in a few cases a tape may not provide digital output via firewire (too many read errors), but might give more or less usable analog video playback. If so, you could try capture it.
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Old January 28th, 2013, 09:44 AM   #12
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Re: XHA1s: HDV video only when play and FF are pressed

After a few tests the problem was the same, I replaced the deck and all is well.

FYI I captured the footage in FF, no audio though.
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