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Old April 16th, 2002, 04:34 PM   #16
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Well, esentially digital is digital is true, yes. While there may be some tape affect on digtial-to-analog conversion I think it's minimal.

What we experience is this: you aren't likely to see the difference in first-generation picture quality but over time, there are factors due to wear and conditions.

The error-correction and dropout compensation in most recent vintage camcorders is pretty good, but unlike an analog dropout, a digital dropout is a pretty nasty looking animal. Once it's there, it is really disruptive.

Panasonic is the only company that makes a professional line of DV tape products, other than Sony DVCAM which is considerably more expensive. Overall, professional products have higher quality tape either through formulation or selection, better shells and better quality control. In addition, the MQ has a 4x greater particle density. That also means that it has a hotter signal (about 1db) and greater coercivity and retentivity -- in layman's terms, it attracts a signal better, holds on to it better, and replays in better. Plus with a better shell and packaging it's more durable, so long term it will be more resistant to dust, humidity and normal wear & tear.

I don't think you can gather too much from a comparison to optical media because the physics are entirely different and there is no variance in speed.

cb
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Old April 17th, 2002, 07:15 AM   #17
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Craig, Brad, Joe, ja135321, thanks for joining the thread. I, of course, have problems with the tapes I recorded for the distance learning series I described above. The Sony DV Excellence tapes I shot for other projects shot during the same time (often sandwiched in between the distance learning shoots) have no problems. It's the Panasonic tapes and several of the Sony tapes shot during the same lecture that have problems. They seem to jitter as if they aren't tracking properly. Some show occasional digital blocks. Sometimes you can get a smooth picture but there's no sound.

Do any of you know of any great transfer house that might be able to cope with issues like these? Any lab that specializes in mini DV? I've been told by a Sony repair specialist that there are technicians who have altered the allignment on playback so that the tapes track properly. Anybody know such a company or person?
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Old April 17th, 2002, 08:05 AM   #18
 
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In the research I've done to determine the cause of my dropouts on Panasonic Master tape, I've been told the following:
DV tape is manufactured by vapor deposition of the magnetic media on the substrate(the mylar carrier tape). The VPD process deposits a very thin layer of material, thinner than past technologies. The primary quality concern is the bonding between the tape substrate and the actual media. If the bonding is inadequate, the media will flake off of the substrate and eventially clog rollers, drum, etc. Every pass thru the tape transport bends the tape and stresses that bond interface. That's why DV tape has a limited lifetime of only a few passes thru the cassette.

On a personal note, I have avoided Sony tape because of the rumor of its abrasive nature. I have been using Panny master tape, but, the recent experience I had with dropout on Panny tape has me shaken. I'm off to try Fuji, reports I've had from a major tape house is that they use Fuji exclusively and never had any probs. Well, we'll see.
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Old April 17th, 2002, 08:19 AM   #19
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Well Bill, problem is, all tape is either Sony or Panasonic anyway. Fuji is the one that has apparently been both over time. Sony tape in Panasonic shell, Panasonic tape in Sony shell -- you never can get a final answer.

Panasonic MQ should be your best bet -- sorry you've been having trouble. I don't know how much more abrasive the Sony can be. I'm starting to hear lots of rumblings about that now and I'm going to have to investigate further because my understanding was that ME was a very nonabrasive formulation to start with.

Anyway, if you order anything from us I'll be sorely tempted to deliver it personally...can you book me a room at Bishop's Lodge?
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Old April 17th, 2002, 08:21 AM   #20
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Eric, I don't know of any offhand. I would try the usual suspects and ask them individually what they're experience is. Problem is, you'll need to speak with someone closer to the engineering section or at least a tape op. I'm not sure if the salespeople in the larger houses will know.
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Old April 17th, 2002, 08:26 AM   #21
 
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Thanx Craig....

Guess that Fuji I ordered is just more Panny...oh well.
As for your room at Bishop's Lodge....bring your camera....:-)
I'll buy you breakfast at Tesuque Market.
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Old April 25th, 2002, 12:34 PM   #22
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Vic Owen's recommendation that I try using a playback deck with "Dynamic Motion Control" was right. I went to a place from which I usually rent equipment and brought a sample of troubled tapes to play on their Sony DRS 2000. They played perfectly. I was relieved and happy beyond words. Six weeks of worry came to a sudden and welcome end. Without Vic's recommendation I would never have arrived at a solution.

I think this is very important information in that people who have problems with the alignment of original camera masters may have a way to play them back without problems.

What I've learned about "dynamic motion control" is that it was originally incorporated into the DSR 2000 as a way of improving slow motion playback. The machine therefore has a lot of tolerance in terms of tracking. And it works really well with problem tapes like mine.

I recommend that anyone who has problems (with mixed tape stocks and the tracking and alignment issues associated with debris in tape path) try this solution.

I, of course, am very grateful to Vic for recommendation. I'am also very happy to have found the DVinfo network as a forum to discuss important DV issues. Without Vic, without this forum, I'd still be struggling with a very serious problem that affect everyone involved with this distance learning series.

If you ever come to the Boston area, please contact me. I owe you a fine dinner. Many thanks, Vic.
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Old April 25th, 2002, 12:36 PM   #23
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Vic Owen's recommendation that I try using a playback deck with "Dynamic Motion Control" was right. I went to a place from which I usually rent equipment and brought a sample of troubled tapes to play on their Sony DRS 2000. They played perfectly. I was relieved and happy beyond words. Six weeks of worry came to a sudden and welcome end. Without Vic's recommendation I would never have arrived at a solution.

I think this is very important information in that people who have problems with the alignment of original camera masters may have a way to play them back without problems.

What I've learned about "dynamic motion control" is that it was originally incorporated into the DSR 2000 as a way of improving slow motion playback. The machine therefore has a lot of tolerance in terms of tracking. And it works really well with problem tapes like mine.

I recommend that anyone who has problems (with mixed tape stocks and the tracking and alignment issues associated with debris in tape path) try this solution.

I, of course, am very grateful to Vic for his recommendation. I'am also very happy to have found the DVinfo network as a forum to discuss important DV issues. Without Vic, without this forum, I'd still be struggling with a very serious problem that affect everyone involved with this distance learning series.

If you ever come to the Boston area, please contact me. I owe you a fine dinner. Many thanks, Vic.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 06:15 PM   #24
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I sent this email to Vic tonight:

Vic,

Thanks for your help with the Panasonic/Sony incompatibility problem I've been trying to solve. I tested some problem tapes on a DSR 2000 at an equipment rental house I often use and they played well.
The owner of the editing house now editing the project did the same and was also relieved. But today I received an email that we still have problems. I'll quote him so you can read directly what he's saying
about the DSR 2000.

"It is not a panacea. There are still some tapes that do not play either in the conventional play mode, or by
using the "dynamic tracking" feature available on that deck....Very few of
these tapes exhibit a servo lock condition, which you know is necessary for
stable video....I guess the cursory look I gave the tape at Talamas was just
that, a cursory look! I was so pleased I was hearing something I didn't see
and hear the errors I'm hearing now."

I know you don't have to help in any way, but I have truly appreciated your advice. Do you have any ideas about next steps to take in solving this problem?

Thanks.
Eric Neudel

Does anyone else have any advice or information? Are there engineers who specialize in issues like this?
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 08:57 PM   #25
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Eric --

Hopefully, you've read my email to you suggesting other alternatives. There also might be some mavens here that can help.

I will look you up in Boston, though. I'll be there next week to help my son pack up after his first year at The Boston Conservatory. One down, three to go. If not this trip, then the next.

Anyone care to chime in on Eric's problem?
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 09:54 PM   #26
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Vic,

I did get your email. When you're in Boston, please do look me up. I'll send you an email with contact info. Thanks again.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 10:16 PM   #27
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Vic, could you share that e-mail with the rest of us or is it confidential? Just for everyone's mutual benefit.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 10:27 PM   #28
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Chris --

I was just responding to an email I got from Eric, pointing him toward some other forums, the DV-L list, adamwilt.com, etc., that could possibly help. I would normally respond here, but in this case, it was a reply to Eric's mail query. I sure as heck wouldn't want to deprive anyone here of my (questionable) intellect and warped sense of humor!

In Eric's case, I'm fresh out of ideas -- hope someone else can bring their guns to bear on his problem.

Cheers--
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Old May 3rd, 2002, 09:15 AM   #29
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Oh yeah, no sweat, I have Adam Wilt's site and DV-L listed on my Top Ten DV Websites page in the Resources section of dvinfo.net. If you have any other suggestions for good places to go, just send 'em my way.

I'm not hung up about pointing people to other sites (although some of those other sites don't point back to me because they *are* hung up). Folks are always free to go wherever they want!
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Old May 10th, 2002, 09:17 PM   #30
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Yes, some tapes are not very good because the lubricant seems to dirty the heads real fast. For the low-end I thing Fuji's are just fine. For the high-end, both (high-end) Sonys and Panasonics are great. With Fuji, you always know what you are getting. With JVC, Maxell, Canon etc, you are not always getting the same quality of tape. Although there are only a few companies that make this tape, the actual production can be anywhere from Japan, China, etc. etc.

(I have this site listed at DVFreak.com---going up May 15. I'll even put a * beside the link. How's that?)
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