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The Long Black Line
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Old January 14th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #1
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The data is all there but the tape won't play

I hope this is not a common problem. It sure is going to usher my exit from tape. My Canon XLH1 (mini DV tape) malfunctioned on a recent shoot. Although everything seemed to be working properly, the readout of how many minutes remained on the tape was stuck at 29 minutes. It even read 29 minutes when I loaded a new 63 minute tape. Oh well, I shot anyway. The progress counter ran perfectly and no errors or warnings ever came up. Later I found a little rubber covered spool lying inside the door of the tape drive. Needless to say, the unit is on its way to Canon.

When I got the tape home and ran it using a differnt camcorder, it would display a frame for about 2 seconds, then go on to another frame for 2 seconds, then another and another , etc. The frame numbers that played were always similar. For example I would see 00:10:04:05, 00:10:04:23, 00:10:05:05, 00:10:05:23, 00:10:06:05, 00:10:06:23, etc., the fifth and twenty-third frames in each second of play, each one displaying for a couple of seconds.

The funny thing is that if you advance the tape manually, a frame at a time, everything is there in pristine beauty! I tried capturing the video in Adobe Premiere, hoping for a miracle. No miracle. Capturing this video a frame at a time would be a work worthy of Sisyphus. Any suggestions?
Steve Siegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #2
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Steve I'd say the tape is cactus .. send it on to Canon (with the rubber spool and the cam?) that may help them work out the problem.

You could've tried a cam reset, that's been known to work although that spool is a worry.

Cheers.
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Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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Allan,

Not cactus at all. More like a fine tequila. The solution turned out to be pretty simple. Since the tape would play by advancing one frame at a time, I just played it in slo-mo and captured without device control. Voila.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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Hey ... that's great thinking!

Andrew
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Old January 19th, 2011, 12:12 AM   #5
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Tape is cactus? It would feel right at home in Tucson.

Which despite all the uproar a few miles from my house last week is a pretty nice place even if it is surrounded by tape - ooops I mean cactus.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 01:51 AM   #6
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"Cactus tape ... for keeping little fingers at bay."

Yes, I can see this being a great defense against inquisitive children.

Andrew
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