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Old January 13th, 2012, 02:29 PM   #1
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Can't play DV tape

I was going through old tapes and found one with footage I needed.But it plays back without audio and is playing back slowly.

Its a physical mini-DV tape but I'm guessing it was recorded on a DSR-PD170 as DV but with the time code changed--tc=01;24:34:00. In about 6 minutes, the tc jumps to 1:00:00:00. Not sure what possessed me to do this but there you go.

I'm trying to play it on a Canon HV20--no longer have the PD170. In the display of the HV20, it says '16 bit' and 'STEREO1' is flashing as if it can't lock up. And it is playing significantly slowly--10 seconds on the TCR takes 15 seconds on my stopwatch. Yep, the SP indicator is on.

And here's the problem: I'm broke. I can rent a camera for $150. Or I'm guessing a transfer would cost about the same. That is really pricey for me.

Any clues for me?
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Old January 13th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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Re: Can't play DV tape

Hi Andy,

Sounds like you have a DVCAM recording, as the timing makes sense. A 60-minute miniDV tape will hold 40 minutes of DVCAM, as the tape runs faster in DVCAM mode. Didn't realize a DVCAM tape would play at all in a miniDV deck. You should be able to find someone to make a Firewire dub DVCAM to DV, will be lossless.

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Old January 13th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #3
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Re: Can't play DV tape

The Sony HVR-A1U Camcorder and some others, will accept both mini DV and DVCAM tapes.

Mini DVtapes run at 18.8mm/sec and DVCAM tapes run at 28.8mm/sec so they'll play slower when you try playing them in your mini DV camcorder.
Also the tape format is different, hence the erratic timecode.

Try calling your local community TV outlet for free help, if they can't transfer it they may recommend someone who can.

Cheers.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: Can't play DV tape

Hi Andy,

I still do some work with mini-DV tape (mostly legal video and some promotional web spots) and use a JVC SR VS30U mini-DV/VHS/SVHS VTR when I need to. If the tape was, in fact, shot on a Sony PD-170, I believe I could help, even if I simply put the footage to DVD as .avi/"data" files.I could also make them available via FTP.
I use the VTR to capture tape shot on an HVX-200 and a JVC consumer cam, and to write out to VHS (yes, I have one customer who still requests that), but others have come to me with tapes shot on Canon, and for some reason I can get the image from those, but not the audio.(I don't have/never owned a Canon, and I believe it has something to do with menu settings made prior to shooting). In any case, that problem seems unique to tape shot on a Canon.
I believe I may be able to help if you're able to get the tape to me. I'm located in North Jersey, so mailing the medium should be relatively easy & quick. Let me know if you want to pursue this.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 08:10 AM   #5
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Re: Can't play DV tape

Thanks for the help guys! I can't believe I forgot about DVCAM--I guess, too, that I didn't think it would play at all.

But this did jog my memory... I have a DVCAM deck in storage! (Duh!)

So, deck retrieved, footage digitized, project underway!

Thanks!
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Old January 28th, 2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: Can't play DV tape

Cool Andy glad it worked out. I'd maybe stay off the railroad tracks for a while :)))

Cheers mate.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #7
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Re: Can't play DV tape

Glad it all worked out -- a note for future readers, I'm pretty sure that all Sony DV devices except for the very earliest will play DVCam recordings on a mini tape. IIRC the VX700 won't, as it predates the format, but the VX1000 and newer will. At one point in the now distant past I was shooting with a PD150 but using a TRV-9 as the playback deck ... all worked just fine.

Cheers,
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