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Old September 17th, 2007, 02:46 AM   #1
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MiniDV vs MiniDV HD Grade

Hey guys, I recently got a JVC HD101E and was wondering if I need to buy the more expensive HD grade MiniDV tapes? Or is it perfectly fine to shoot on regular MiniDV tapes?

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Old September 17th, 2007, 05:06 AM   #2
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Your mileage may vary, but I've shot more than 80 hours of HDV-footage on Panasonic DV-tapes and only had one frame-drop.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 05:40 AM   #3
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Hi John.

There have been many, many threads concerning this topic (if you use the search function, you will find them) but in a nutshell:

1/ On page 8 of the camera manual, it says,

"Videocassette to be Used
• Use JVC’s videocassette tapes marked with the DV symbol.
• Mini DV videocassette : M-DV63HD
* Do not use M-DV80."

2/ When you record SD to a mini DV tape, you are recording 720 x 576 pixels per frame onto the tape (= 414,720 pixels per frame).
When you record HD from this camera onto a mini DV tape you are recording 1280 x 720 pixels per frame (= 921,600 pixels per frame). This is more than twice the number of SD pixels per frame.

It's asking a lot of the tape to retain that much information, hence the recommendation in the manual to use the Pro HD tapes.

3/ The higher quality Pro HD tapes are supposed to have more layers (or better quality layers) of coating on each tape than the cheaper ones. If you need to capture the footage more than once, or will be scrubbing back and forth a lot as you log and capture, then you stand a better chance of the tape "holding up" and the footage still being accessible with the HD tapes.

Having said that, I think Stephen Noe has reported using the cheaper tapes and never having problems, so you could always risk it and it might work out for you.

But I think the odds are better for you in general if you follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the Pro HD tapes.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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80 min

a partner of mine is using 85 minute sony hdv tapes in his hd110's. any danger in that? he's stuck with sony hdv tape stock since the beginning.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 12:31 AM   #5
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Ive been told by my jvc rep that the sony excellence tapes can be used without a problem, but not the sony premium since their coating is too soft and tends to clog up the heads.
Ive been using the sony excellence for a while now and had no problems so far.

I dont use cheaper ones since I know from sd recording times how many tape errors there are with cheap tape stock (worst were the cheapo TDK ones, at least one error per tape). The 6 difference is more than worth the peace of mind.
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