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Old November 16th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #1
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Tape quality

OK, I am presently uploading to my workstation, for the third time, a 4 hour minidv project. As the tapes download this (hopefully) last time, I am praying the clips will still be of decent quality.

It has been a nightmare since I inadvertently deleted the original clips after almost being finished with the project. I KNEW I shouldn't change my PC configuration in the middle of a project, but I felt I couldn't wait to add my new fast drive to my Raid 0 configuration and see how fast it was going to be...I was tired, and backed up everything except the drive with the video. As you have just read, I like to live on the edge. Well, my luck ran out this time.

Anyhoo, I have not used a DV tape more than once, and certainly never ran one through a machine a total of four time (I'm counting the taping). Should I expect to see a loss in quality?
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Old November 16th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #2
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Only one way to find out. If the tapes have been archived for a long time or stored on their side, it might be worth winding the tapes forward and back in case hey have sagged on the spool. Unless they have been treated badly, they should be in fairly good nick.

Probably best to use the original camera you recorded them on to play them back, or at the very least a camera that has been exclusively using tapes of the same compound.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #3
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Jeff,

There is no quality loss with DV tapes. The info is stored as 0's and 1's, nothing else. The only thing that you can get is dropout's and such. It is either there or it is not.

They last really well.

Mike
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Old November 16th, 2007, 07:31 PM   #4
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Thank you for the responses...tapes are new...I knew that reusing DVM60s was bad due to shredding, at least that is what I have been taught.

It's a relief to hear that everything will likely be OK, and like you said Robert, there is only one way to find out!

I guess digital means exactly that....
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Old November 16th, 2007, 08:41 PM   #5
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I don't think you are going to have any problems. I have played back tapes several times and captured from them with no issues!
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Old November 17th, 2007, 03:32 AM   #6
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You're right, the project looks great, even after the third time. Thanks guys! I had the idea that these tapes practically disintegrated after one use, as that is what I was told when I started out, and I just never questioned it.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #7
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The main problem with DV tapes in the compounds they use to lubricate the tapes. The lubricants from different brands can accumulate on the heads and react with each other. This gums up the heads and messes up a lot of transfers. I myself am not very confident in the DV tape formats. Any format that relies on lubricants is a worry, because they will eventually dry out and start to delaminate. Loads of audio recordings from the 70's and 80's require a careful baking in an oven to draw residual lubricant back out of the tape to allow them to be transferred, and I envisage a similar problem with DV class tapes in the future.

For valuable recording I would recommend an ongoing archival program duplicated across non-lubricated tape formats, removable disc formats and hard disk formats. Each has their weaknesses, but the chances are that way you will get the one that lasts the longest (probably the non-lubricated tape format).
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Old November 17th, 2007, 11:46 AM   #8
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Thanks Robert...I do not mix tapes, period, for the reason you mention. Panasonic has a very reasonably priced no-lubricant tape, it's there Master Series, but I use Sony cameras so I stick with Sony tapes. I used to run a Panasonic cam and used a dry tape after using a lubricated tape and it really messed things up for a while...(that Panasonic Master series, I was told, is the only dry tape made for minidv, according to an engineer from Panasonic).
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Old November 17th, 2007, 04:47 PM   #9
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Wow! We went from someone worried about running a tape through his camera three or four times, to archiving tapes for 27 to 37 years! That's progression!

:)

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Old November 17th, 2007, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Thanks Robert...I do not mix tapes, period, for the reason you mention. Panasonic has a very reasonably priced no-lubricant tape, it's there Master Series, but I use Sony cameras so I stick with Sony tapes. I used to run a Panasonic cam and used a dry tape after using a lubricated tape and it really messed things up for a while...(that Panasonic Master series, I was told, is the only dry tape made for minidv, according to an engineer from Panasonic).
Who is this engineer?

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Old November 18th, 2007, 12:28 AM   #11
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Gosh Mike, I don't know. If you need to contact him, here's all I can tell you.

That was two years ago. The factory authorized repair shop where I sent my cam to have it thoroughly gone over after I mixed tapes put me in contact with him. Before I spoke with them, I didn't even know wet and dry tapes existed. He was travelling the country coordinating efforts to catch and repair all of the defective DVC60 camcorders before they left the warehouses. Do you really want his name? I have tried to find the name of the repair shop that referred me to him, but I haven't a clue. But I can tell you I was referred to the repair shop by Full Compass. I sold that cam less than six months after buying it and have been Sony ever since.

If you REALLY need to know who he was, start at Full Compass and ask who they send their Panasonic pro gear for repair. Really great guys, great shop....

Last edited by Jeff Harper; November 18th, 2007 at 12:42 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old November 18th, 2007, 12:52 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
Who is this engineer?

M
I'd like to know the answer to the same question.
A-Panasonic doesn't manufacture tape
B-Dry vs wet tape hasn't been an issue for nearly a decade, both from personal experience, and from the fine folks at BASF who manufacture at least 30% of the tape on the market.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 01:15 AM   #13
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There is a brand of tape with the Panasonic name on it. I don't know who manufactures it. (Since I oiginally posted this reply I have found a source that says Panasonic manufactures 70% of all minidv tapes, see my later reply) I just went and dug out the very tape that caused me so much trouble those two years ago. It indeed does say Panasonic and it is a Master series version, AY-DVM63MQ. It is a dry tape. After I ran it, I reverted back to the less expensive tapes, and that is when my trouble started, and I sent my camcorder to the authorized repair center to be cleaned. They suspected the trouble was the result of the dry lubricant used on the Master series tapes mixing with the wet.

There happened to be a Pani engineer travelling the USA as I mentioned, and they put him in contact with me to discuss this issue as well as the software defect in my cam which was an issue for Panasonic at that moment. That's all I know. I am not a tape expert.

Since then, I do not mix tapes of any kind. I mentioned the wet vs dry in passing anyway. Wow. Panasonic tapes are available at http://www.powermax.com/product/Pana...Y-DVM63PQ.html

Last edited by Jeff Harper; November 18th, 2007 at 10:43 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old November 18th, 2007, 01:37 AM   #14
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BTW, I never said Panasonic manufactured tape, I only mentioned the Pansonic brand tape. Most of the PCs including Dell, HP etc are not manufactured by themselves but by a couple or three companies that manufacture virtually all the PCs made, so I know what you might mean when you say Panasonic doesn't manufacture tape. But who said they did? Not I.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
Wow! We went from someone worried about running a tape through his camera three or four times, to archiving tapes for 27 to 37 years! That's progression!
I am expecting that tapes recorded on the first wave of MiniDV cameras should be starting to exhibit problems now. They may not cause visible artifacts yet, but my gut feeling with the format is that it is very far from robust. I can see within 5 years there being a major issue with the recovery of archive recordings from the original wave of miniDV tapes. I consider floppy disks more reliable (as a format).

When I use them, I get them transferred as soon as possible
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