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Old September 16th, 2004, 07:45 AM   #1
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Mini DV Tapes, how durable are they?

After recording to a Mini DV tape, about how many times can you rewind and play that tape back before it begins to malfunction? Thanks in advance.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 11:52 AM   #2
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Three.












Just kidding, Glenn. I don't think that there's a definitive answer. But but I do know that this is where the higher grades of tape within a brand will shine. Their cassettes and their tape materials are generally made to be more durable than the general consumer grades.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 12:03 PM   #3
 
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I've experienced dropouts after three rewinds, sometimes.....up to 8-9 rewinds othertimes. It seems to be really ...ummm...excuse the pun, but, FLAKY.
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Old September 17th, 2004, 07:25 PM   #4
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What kind of tape are you using?

I've not had this issue. One way you _might_ be able to help
reduce the problem would be to unpack your tapes.
Put them in a deck and fast forward to the end and rewind
before recording. Any really loose flakes fall off leaving (hopefully)
enough oxide to record the signal as opposed to recording on
a flake that then falls off.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 09:18 AM   #5
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so glad i found this post!

well, i recently moved from the usa to nepal and i am setting up a video shop here, and i brought with me a ton of mini-dv tapes that had several large projects, source, etc. on them. all of which was shot in ntsc, and used once to record and playback. now, i have invested in PAL minDv cameras, two XL1s and a panasonic GS-400, and i was wondering if I can reliably reuse these tapes in these cameras, and if so what would be the best way to do so? Erase them? record over them? or toss them? Thanks, I am hoping for a reuse plan as it would save us a bunch of rupees if we can use these tapes for our PAL productions. i humbly await the advice of such esteemed experts:)
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Old September 18th, 2004, 04:33 PM   #6
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I think I heard that once you record an NTSC signal on a tape, you can't put a PAL signal over it, and vice versa. I could be wrong, though.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 08:15 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jesse Bekas : I think I heard that once you record an NTSC signal on a tape, you can't put a PAL signal over it, and vice versa. I could be wrong, though. -->>>

well, not the answer i wanted! i know u can't read it :) but i have tried just recording PAL on these tapes, on the blank bits, and it seems to work but i wanted to get some expert advice before i tried for production, the tapes are all panasonic pro type, so savings would be great.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 09:46 PM   #8
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I don't see why you couldn't record over those tapes.
Testing will prove it one way or another.
If you have to, you could have them "bulk erased".
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Old September 18th, 2004, 10:10 PM   #9
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thans for that good news!? but is it better in general to "tape over" or erase first? And how do u get things bulked erased? I am not sure that service is available in Nepal! thanks again!!!
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Old September 19th, 2004, 05:11 AM   #10
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Actually, when you re-record a videotape, you don't "tape-over" the previous recording. It's been erased before the new program is laid down. The erase head comes before the record heads in the sequence. I don't believe the erase head discriminates about whatever video system was used to record on the tape previously.

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Old September 19th, 2004, 05:54 AM   #11
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Ken Tanaka wrote:

>----this is where the higher grades of
>tape will shine.-----
-------------------------------------

Well, let's hope the higher grades of tape are more durable. I wonder if they are always better quality than those labeled as standard grade? I pay double price to get Sony Excellence cassettes, so if they aren't really superior to the standard grade, which interestingly are labeled "Premium", then I'm wasting money.

I have one Excellence cassette dedicated to utility recordings on my DV VCRs. I use it to record short bits from other tapes and broadcast programs. I've recorded over some parts of it about 50 times, with nary a glitch yet.

Remember several years ago, about the scandal over disposable contact lenses?
One company was selling 3 different grades of them, one cheap type that could be worn for about a week, another medium-priced one that was good for 90 days, and an expensive one that could be used for a year. It turned out that they were all exactly the same. They just gave them different grades and prices as part of a marketing strategy. Do you suppose that any videotapes are labeled and sold that way?

On another tack, I'll mention a different use I have for my "utility" DV cassette. I capture a lot of video still-frames for storage on digital picture disks. I have hundreds of Hi-8 and S-VHS tapes I've recorded since those formats were introduced. Frequently, there's a frame on one of them I want to capture. However, the freeze-frames from my camcorders of those formats are unusable, but often, stop-action is the only way to grab the exact frame I want. So, I play the analog tapes at realtime and wire the output for re-recording onto DV, in a VCR. After the footage in the area of the still-frame I want is on DV, it can be paused with flawless clarity and stability and captured onto a disk.

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Old September 19th, 2004, 08:02 AM   #12
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Best to use new miniDV tape stock. Yes you can roll the dice on the previously used tapes, but the results can be disastrous. I use 2 xl1s and a panasonic cam for t/f to disk and when I started out I thought that a re-use stragtegy was good business sense. I was wrong.

6 bucks a tape (cdn.) is cheap.
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Old September 19th, 2004, 08:32 AM   #13
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I'm not talking about re-using original camera acquisition tapes. I never re-record on those, as I want to have long-term access to all their footage for future re-edits.

But actually, it's just as hard on a tape to play it back, as it is to record on it. All the heads pass over the tape, regardless of whether it's playing or recording. The heads all suffer wear in both modes, for the same reason. It's just that the electronics of one set of heads are shut off during the opposite mode.

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