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Old October 24th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #1
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JVC ProHD Service and Support

Well, I posted a few days ago about our companies sad opinion of the BR-HD50 and problems since day one 2 years ago with our 6 units. I couldn't find that post, so here is another thread. I've had at least 3 swapped about in the beginning due to firmware issue and malfunctions arising from that. In the later firmware most of those problems have been resolved. At least 2 were sent in this year for failures. Both after the year warranty expired.

In that post I was upset that I was charged so much per hour. I think around $200 per hour. But now, I am ready to take the last deck and heave it into the Gulf of Mexico. Over $2000 to fix!

The unit is the 2nd one that exibits an error when shuttling tapes. Not 100% of the time, but enough to frustrate you when shuttling around and looking for sound bites. Since it's the 2nd one in two different suites, I would suspect others will see this error.

Pops up an error that says "Defective Tape" or "take up reel error" something like that with an error type #.

They want to replace every part, apparently, that is inside the black metal housing. ???? But aren't new units around $2000? I didn't know they were disposable. Sorry for my frustration, but It's not like the unit was in a fire or hurricane or something that destroyed it.

I can post the estimate here if you want. I'm speechless. I will contact Ken Freed and see what he says since it was his suggestion that I send it to Pinebrook to help speed up the repair process.

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Old October 24th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #2
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Dave, sorry for your experience with them, but, you not alone.
I have a problem since day one with mine. Finally I had enough time to send to JVC Aurora IL. As of right now they tried to fix two times already and I still have a same problem. (all my tapes recorded with three different HD100 and HD110 play back in this VTR with random dropouts. Lot's of dropouts. Some tapes are almost unwatchable. These very same tapes play back perfectly in any of my three camcorders. Now, (today) I will send back third time. Last time the VTR came back they said they changed the whole mechanism and I realized the drum hr. meter was reset to 0000 hrs. So may they changed the head too. I don't know. What I know, tapes from all three camcorders play back with random dropouts, which tapes play back on either camcorder perfectly.
Now I need send few recorded tapes too with the machine. I just HOPE this time will be fixed right.
This VTR is a FRUSTRATION, but I bought it because I don't want to use the camcorder for capturing footages.
So.... I feel you.

Laszlo
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Old October 25th, 2007, 06:22 AM   #3
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I really don't know what my recourse is. The local electrical engineers really don't know these units and I'm not sure they would be able to do better at troubleshooting. I could try to fix it myself by bending a few of the guides and testing the results one by one.

I could send the unit to another JVC facilty and hope that the russian roulette of repair would land in front of a creative technician.

My other option is to throw it away, or put it on ebay with a disclaimer. "For sale, one JVC ProHD VTR. Unfixable."

I suspect that the trouble is in the tape path. Back in our BetaSP days, so many of the guides, capstan ect could get slightly out of wack casuing a sensor to report an error. One tape that was defective or wound to tight could cause this and until the alignment was fixed, it was no good. But I never had a repair estimate want to replace a $10,000 beta deck, part by part for a tape path error.

Maybe I'm fooling myself and the message being sent here by JVC Service is that after a year or two toss them out because they can't be fixed.

I plan on calling our dealer to see if he can get me another contact at JVC from his sales rep. We've supported JVC from the beginning of ProHD with over 10 cameras and decks and this is a let down.

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Old October 25th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Beaty View Post
I plan on calling our dealer to see if he can get me another contact at JVC from his sales rep.
As has been stated numerous times on this site, getting your
dealer involved should *always* be Step One of the process.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:55 AM   #5
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I guess I'll document my steps here to understand why it will cost over $2000 to repair my BR0DH50 with tape path problems. This will help other users understand what they can expect when it happens to them. Both units that went into repair were being used to find sound bites and log material for later capture perhaps an hour or two per week. Not an unheard of abusive use of a VTR. So the failures were a surprise.

The unit in for repair now is one of the first JVC produced back in 2005, I think. While my dealer should help me sort this out, I'll get to that later...

Last week I called the Eastern Regional Manager, and left a message. He had always helped in the past, perhaps he has some advice. No reply yet.

I called the National Service Center line on Monday. They gave me the number to the Pine Brook facility. I talked to a CS rep there. He gave me the number to the manager at their service dept. I called and left a message on Tuesday.

I looked up JVC's Perfect Experience info on their site. Unfortunately, according to that document, that experience ends 30 days after purchase. But in the spirit of that title, I called their national customer service center Friday.

This time the rep was more helpful and explained I needed the Invoice #'s for both unit's repair orders....he found those for me and pulled them up side by side. His comment was, "well, the first unit, they replaced the Capstan. This unit, they want to replace the whole tape assembly. Not sure why. Perhaps the cost of parts exceeds the whole tape assembly"

I called my dealer yesterday. He couldn't help with my problem, since the deck is almost two years old, nor recommend I continue investing in ProHD. And this is a major dealer who did like the product back then. I talked with him about it for 30 minutes.

I still say the cameras are great for the price and with a Firestore, it's almost perfect. But the deck has short comings.

Here's an offer: I'm through with it. Anyone who wants this deck, can pay me the $50 to get it out of hock with JVC it's yours. I don't know if it's a $10 fix or a $2000 fix, but for $50 perhaps you can bend a guide back and have a working BR-HD50. If I don't get any offers, I'm telling JVC to keep it or toss it in the dumpster back at the loading dock.






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Old October 28th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #6
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I had an offer on the deck, so unless this next info changes that, It's called for.

On Friday I did get a call back from the Service Center Manager. He explained the facts as he saw them. First, the deck with the same probs that cost $300 to fix was serviced in Lawrenceville, he's in Pine Brook so he can't speak for them.

2nd, they placed the deck on their diagnostic software and it reported a dead firewire connection. I was unaware of this, since it is not in an edit room, rather it's for logging tapes. Worked last time I used it....(shrug) This codec board is $900+ plus labor.

3rd these deck's tape mechs are aligned in the factory and they have numerous miniturized parts. For a technician to repair them, it requires many hours of work with numerous sized screws ect. The costs involved often exceed the costs of the entire mechanism, in this case $700+ plus labor. Plus, they have no way of being sure their fix will solve the problem, hence the wholesale replacement of the mechansim.

So...it's my choice. He did offer to discount the tape mech price for my frustration with the whole ordeal. But I'm still through with it. Not worth it.
I asked him if all our machines would end up in the scrap heap after two years when the tape mech decides to give up the ghost. He had no data on anything like that, yet I remained concerned. I explained my experience with BetaSP and DigiBeta decks and service, where a tape guide correction or capstan repair would fix the deck for $200. Here we are and the same problem requires $1000 for a $2500 deck.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 01:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dave Beaty View Post
Well, I posted a few days ago about our companies sad opinion of the BR-HD50 and problems since day one 2 years ago with our 6 units. I couldn't find that post, so here is another thread.
I haven't received my deck back yet. My BR-HD50 deck just powered down for no real apparent reason while playing a DV-CAM tape and then would not power up again, even after unplugging it for several hours. The good news is that the JVC service department was able to extract the tape that was wrapped around the heads, and do it while I waited. What impressed me most about this was when I played the tape back in another deck there were no drop outs, not even a minor glitch, even though the DV-CAM tape stayed wrapped around the head drum for the whole weekend all the way until Monday mid afternoon.

The repair estimate was somewhere around 250 dollars. Even though I think the problem was probably endemic and there from day one, that is a reasonable enough estimate to get the deck back and working.

I wish I had used an Amex card to buy the deck because that doubles the warranty duration of the unit above and beyond the original warranty. Even if you want to pay in full up front, it might be wise to purchase it via Amex and then just pay off your Amex card the next month.

Dave, are you using a nine pin RS-422 controller when shuttling your tapes?
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Old November 16th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #8
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So I've recently started having the same issue. Tapes that play back fine on the camera are unwatchable on the BR-HD50.

What seems to be odd tho is that standard DV tapes (from a XL2) play back fine.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 02:30 AM   #9
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Do you notice a difference in image quality between pause mode, play mode, and 2x times forward mode?

If you do notice a difference, that means something except that I forgot what that is.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #10
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perhaps an odd question, but are you running the decks on wall power or UPS ? all my gear runs on UPS power.

so far I've run about 200hrs on my BRD-50 and it works fine. clearly though, if the tapes work in the camera, but not the deck, the question is actually not that of the deck, but of both - is the camera tape path good ? or are they both a bit out of spec, or on opposite edges of the spec and not playing nice. if you can take a tape from CAM1 and play it back in several other cameras, at least that side sounds good, or at least it means the cameras are setup to the same spec.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #11
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You might as well make two test tapes. One from the camera in question, and then also do a test record in the JVC deck.

Then play both of those tapes in other cameras and decks and see if either recording does a better job playing back in other similar equipment.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #12
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This deck is on a APC UPS so I don't think that's the issue. Unfortunately i don't have another deck or camera around that will play back HDV tapes, so that's out of the question.

I do realize that it's probably both the camera and the deck that are out of whack as I can (mostly) play back older tapes on the deck without issue, but also have the issue of not being able to record even in DV on this deck without getting random stops.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 12:15 PM   #13
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The Random stops might be related to trying to dub copyrighted material. A client of mine had gotten permission to use a DVD copy on a local television show. LOL, trying telling that to the BR-HD 50, it would just stop while in the middle of recording the DVD, always in the same spot, I am 99.9 percent certain it had to do with macroguard.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 10:55 AM   #14
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That could be an issue but I kind of doubt it and it's certainly not the issue with my problem. I'm getting a direct feed from a production truck.

Special thanks to Carl Hicks (who contacted me directly about this issue). It is good to know that someone cares and is listening!
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Old November 20th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #15
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That could be an issue but I kind of doubt it and it's certainly not the issue with my problem. I'm getting a direct feed from a production truck.

Special thanks to Carl Hicks (who contacted me directly about this issue). It is good to know that someone cares and is listening!
I was making a dub onto the BR-HD 50 from a betacam sp line cut tape. The betacam sp line-cut tape had been recorded during a live multi-camera show. The JVC deck stopped recording right after the line-cut tape switched to a particular wide shot. It happened each and every time I tried to restart the dub at the exact same spot on the top! Something was in that wide shot that was causing the JVC deck to stop recording! I think that angle came up two or three times during the first 25 minutes of the show and each time the JVC deck stopped recording from the line-cut betacam sp master.

Ultimately, there should be an off macroguard switch for exactly the type of situation that you were in in a live situation, and for the situation I was in. For heavens sake I've been given the tape to make an edit from by the actual owners of the tape, that should be enough of a reason to not be dictated to by a machine what I can and can't do. Having a deck shut down (assuming that was what happened to you) in the middle of a live show is an example of "big brother" or "big software" running our lives rather than assisting it.

Either that or perhaps there is some kind of "buffer" in the video deck and perhaps a designer miscalculated the maximum amount of data that the deck would ever receive in anyone frame and that causes the deck to shut down when that maximum is reached???

The problems I'm experiencing have actually made me question if I can rely on any of the new gear to make a living. If on top of my own very demanding requirements over the quality of the color correction I do for every video job I get, I now have to fear that a video deck will shut down on me for it's own very picayune reasons, it makes this business a very questionable one to try and derive a living from.

The more things go digital, the more they need to be compared to the less complex worlds of what came before to make sure they are not breaking some common sense rules that came before.
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