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Old August 3rd, 2002, 05:28 AM   #1
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Striping Tapes...yes or no?

Hello All,

I have been using an XL1 for well over a year now, and have occasionally ended up with tapes that started off with that familiar mosaic look where two separate images interlace. One lasted 20min like this!!

In the beginning, I always striped my tapes for continuous time code as recommended by my editing program.
When I ran into this problem I stopped after asking Canon why this was happening ( the Camera was only a month old!!)

Now it happened again, for 5 min..at a wedding!!
What is the scoop? I bought Panasonic DV tapes, so they appear to be of good quality.
Does pre-recorded tapes pose a higher risk? And how can I prevent a disaster from hitting me one day?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Sjef
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 07:37 AM   #2
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Are you talking about splashes of color all over the screen? Kind of like there isn't enough signal?
Keith
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 08:05 AM   #3
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I've only recorded over previous footage once. I won't do it again. It's not that it's caused a problem, but I 've heard the tape is kind of sensitive, and I'd rather be safe than sorry. With the XL1s (I don't know about the XL1) you don't have to stripe. As long as you don't go into VCR mode and look at your footage or rewind or fast forward the tape between recording, you'll be okay. If you do, just be real careful.
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 08:41 AM   #4
 
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Generally, with DV, you don't have to stripe the tape. In fact, the time code you lay down during striping gets overwritten when you record, anyway. But, there are loose bits of the magnetic recording layer embedded in the roll of tape, withing the DV cassette. I've been told that a fast play/rewind will shake these loose bits out. I don't know. I've experienced some dropouts with Panny tape, but, I was re-using the tape. I have been told that the magnetic recording layer on DV tape is fragile and delaminates from the substrate fairly easily.

Bottom line...don't re-use tape...don't leave the cassete in the transport mechanism when you turn the camera off.
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 06:58 PM   #5
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Really? Even if you're shooting again within, say an hour of turning the camera off? I figured it was okay to leave those tapes in for a short period at least.
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 07:08 PM   #6
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If I remember from school, what you are attempting to do is called "black bursting". This is done for the purpose of Insert editing, which as far as I know is used only in analog editing, like s-vhs or vhs tape editing. You are prepareing a tape to accept footage, inserting that footage on a tape would be impossible if it were new, not used, clean, or un-time coded.

Try to PLAY a blank tape (un-used) in your vcr or camera - it won't move - there's no time code on it.

When you edit in a NLE system your moving it around on a hard drive. When you are doing insert editing in analog the new, receiving tape must have been pre time coded to receive anything.

Bruce
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 09:44 PM   #7
 
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Josh...

I'm pretty sure leaving the tape in the transport for short periods of time is OK. I think storing the camera with the tape inserted is not good, however.
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Old August 4th, 2002, 01:51 AM   #8
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Hi all,

most interesting.

I have found that "striping" which I do now to all tapes has saved me time and effort. I leave the lens cap on and record.

This to me serves three purposes;

a) My RaptorNavi software which catalogues scenes can't seem to understand a break in the time code. If I for example don't return the tape to exactly the right point in the tape then the time code starts at 0 (yes 0) again. This plays hell with capturing as the camera will always rewind to the begining of the tape to find the first frame. The result is a tedious capture process of anything after a break in the time code.

b) Secondly if I want to make a point of separating differing scenes / subjects etc. then I FF for a second or two and on playback there is this nice second of black which gives me the necessary warning.

c) Sometimes trying to get across the "timeless portion" of tape (for the reason Bruce has stated) is a pain in the @#$.

On tapes and tapes left in the transport. I do not disagree with any of the advice but find the issue thus far not critical to me. I at times drive 10 - 12 hours on dusty and what we would call corrigated roads, my cam stays attached to the tripod as I need to be ready for action. In fact the tape could be in for as long as what it take to complete the footage, 2 / 3 weeks maybe even longer at times. The cam at times bounces to the degree that it worries me yet I have never had a single problem, stuck tape etc. Perhaps I am showing gross ignorance and disrespect for my kit. I wonder if it is not related to humidity and that in the more moist climates that this would be a problem. I do not mean to contadict others experience but merely to add my own.

Cheers
Andrew
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Old August 4th, 2002, 02:21 AM   #9
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But isn't the striping process extra wear and tear on the play heads? Also, you're recording over the previously recorded footage when you actually shoot , something that has not been recommended.
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Old August 4th, 2002, 02:52 AM   #10
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Hi Josh,

There is no question that the more tape you run through a head the more wear and tear you get. In my case I dont think I have more than 50 hours on my heads in 3 years, the cam will wear out before the heads. Only use the cam to record footage when on vacation.

With regard to the taping, you may well be right, I really don't know but have never had a problem. I only ever record twice on one tape. Would love to hear other opinions. And if anyone has done a quantitative before and after test. The mind plays games when subjective tests are conducted.

Also remember I am a hobbiest, I don't sell my footage to networks so maybe I have not bothered to check the quality and have always assumed it would be OK.

Cheers
Andrew
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Old August 4th, 2002, 07:22 AM   #11
 
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Andrew....

My own procedure was very similar to yours.... until I experienced my first dropout. It was totally random and unexpected...and caused me the loss of some critical footage. I won't take thatt kind of chance, again. Toss the dice and be prepared for the outcome.

As for striping...I will repeat...it makes no diffeence on a DV camera. Striping is necessary on analog tape but not on DV. The time code you lay down gets completely overwritten when you record. Josh is right...all it does is add wear to your heads.
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Old August 4th, 2002, 08:45 AM   #12
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Hi Bill,

I am listening carefully to all the advice. There is no question that the time code gets overwritten.

Often I go out early in the morning to video, the family sleeps but want to see what I have recorded in their absence. I often don't get back to the correct point in the tape leaving a blank 0,5 to 1 sec gap (I know there is a function to do this). This gap does not have any time code and therefore really screws with the DVRaptor capture utilities.

Is there another workaround with DVRaptor or the XL-1 as all I am trying to achieve is a continious time code to facilitate capture. If there is no workaround I will cease timecoding and just get more careful when finding the last point on the tape.

Maybe it's time to treat the cause and not the symptom.

Cheers
Andrew
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Old August 4th, 2002, 08:53 AM   #13
 
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I believe the best solution is to record a still frame at the end of every sequence you shoot.....sometimes I record the still frame with the lens cap on. Then when you want to return to the end of the last timecode, just do a "photo search". Simple, but, effective. I beleive Chris Hurd has a short article on this method on his website.
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Old August 4th, 2002, 09:08 AM   #14
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Hi Bill,

that can work as it gives 6s. Will go check the Watchdog.

Thanks
Andrew
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Old August 4th, 2002, 12:44 PM   #15
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Or, if not a photo, how about 3-5 seconds of color bars? Or put the lens cap on and record? Time code is your friend.
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