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Old May 13th, 2006, 05:34 AM   #1
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Told to avoid sony tapes

G'day

I'm a recent owner of an FX1 and because my dad decided to give me 100 Mini DV JVC tapes, I dcided I would use it. Its a dry tape and I was always told to use dry tapes by some very prominent people in the Australain indusrty.

But I only use the JVC's to recod DV, and I want to start doing everything in HDV, without resorting to the Expensive HDV tapes Sony have been selling.

I was going to get Sony excelence tapes, but was told not to because Sony offeres wet tapes. Is there any validity to this? Is it ok to use Sony stuff on Sony stuff? Or is the debate of Wet and dry tapes ended somehow without me knowing, and has dry won? I'm a little confused, because I would be very happy to know if the JVC tapes I have would be just as good to record HDV, with little fear of some drop out. As the theory goes with the Sony HDV and excelence tapes...

Thanks in advance
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Old May 13th, 2006, 05:57 AM   #2
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Well I've been using the Sony premium tapes exclusively in my Z1 and haven't noticed any dropouts yet. Have also used them exclusively in my VX-2000 and PDX-10 and never saw any problems there either. I don't have any inside knowledge on this topic, but it's hard for me to believe that Sony would design cameras that don't work well with their own brand of tapes.

There's been extensive discussion about mixing brands of tape with the same camera. Personally, I don't do it. If you do switch to Sony tapes then it's probably a good idea to clean your heads with a JVC cleaning tape before doing so. While there may not be any scientific evidence, I think it would be a bad idea to use different brands of tape for shooting DV and HDV with the same camera.

BTW, did you Dad buy you another 50 tapes since you posted this? ;-)

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=63688
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Old May 13th, 2006, 08:13 AM   #3
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lol... yea, he did....

Hes going on a cruise with my mum, and he bought a snazzy new Handycam, and when he bought 50 more tapes for me and himself, the sales person threw in 10 extra... He decided to keep the 10, gave the other 50 to me...

I only used 5 to date. so I'm guessing I'll try and use them all, then..... slowly switch to Sony excelence... I want to start shooting HDV very soon. And I have shot some HDV on the JVC tapes...

Whats strange is that the JVC tapes my dad got me (They come in packs of 5) on the outer wrapper, it says in VERY SMALL print, "for use with HDV" Break out the wrapper, and the tapes themselves have NOTHING about about HDV... Strange... very starnage... I'm thinking of just sticking with JVC from now on if I can shoot HDV without any problems....
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Old May 13th, 2006, 08:28 AM   #4
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I expect the tape formulation for tapes labeled "For HDV" and those without such labeling is identical. The higher end tapes may be a bit more robust and have better quality control but I'd expect that's the only difference. Remember what is recorded on the tape is a computer file - a string of numbers - and it's either there or it's not - a "20" doesn't transmogrify into a "15" because of a glitch on the tape. The data rate for HDV is higher than for SD so there's less tolerance for flaws in the recording but if you're not getting dropouts with the tape you're using now, your images won't get any better switching to the higher priced brands labeled as being for HDV. If you notice dropouts now or they start to appear after repeated playings due to wear and tear, then you might consider switching.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
The data rate for HDV is higher than for SD so there's less tolerance for flaws in the recording
I don't believe that's true. Standard Definition DV is 25 Mbit/sec and HDV 1080i is also 25 Mbit/sec. And in fact, 720p is about 19 Mbit/sec which is a lower data rate.

The dropout issue isn't related to the data rate, but the compression scheme which uses "long GOPs" (Groups of Pictures). In the case of the Sony cameras the GOP is 15 frames. So if you have a dropout with HDV it will probably last 1/2 sec whereas a dropout with DV would probably only last 1/30 sec.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #6
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Boyd is right. DV and HDV (that is, HDV2) both have the same data rate, at 25mbps.

Unless we're talking about HDV1, which has a lower data rate than DV, at 19mbps.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 11:16 AM   #7
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The real issue seems to be that a dropout on HDV is a much more serious issue than it is with DV. So Sony attempted to create a better tape to avoid dropouts.

If you are using cheap tapes and have no dropouts, then great. Go for it.

If you suffer from dropouts, send the camera in for a head cleaning and change to the more expensive tape when it gets back.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
I don't believe that's true. Standard Definition DV is 25 Mbit/sec and HDV 1080i is also 25 Mbit/sec. And in fact, 720p is about 19 Mbit/sec which is a lower data rate.

The dropout issue isn't related to the data rate, but the compression scheme which uses "long GOPs" (Groups of Pictures). In the case of the Sony cameras the GOP is 15 frames. So if you have a dropout with HDV it will probably last 1/2 sec whereas a dropout with DV would probably only last 1/30 sec.
Of course - typed before thinking. <g> My bad - thanks for the correction. Was really just trying to say that there's no difference in kind between tapes marked "for HDV" and regular miniDV tapes other than we can hope the more expensive tapes have higher quality materials and better quality control so they're less susceptible to dropouts.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 12:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
I expect the tape formulation for tapes labeled "For HDV" and those without such labeling is identical. The higher end tapes may be a bit more robust and have better quality control but I'd expect that's the only difference. Remember what is recorded on the tape is a computer file - a string of numbers - and it's either there or it's not - a "20" doesn't transmogrify into a "15" because of a glitch on the tape. The data rate for HDV is higher than for SD so there's less tolerance for flaws in the recording but if you're not getting dropouts with the tape you're using now, your images won't get any better switching to the higher priced brands labeled as being for HDV. If you notice dropouts now or they start to appear after repeated playings due to wear and tear, then you might consider switching.
You really have to look at these on an individual basis. Tapes may be different due to formulation, the selection process or not at all. The label "HDV" doesn't inherently signify specific differences in the tape but the specs to indicate lower dropout and other improvements that may or may not be worth the extra money to you, depending on your project.

We have always recommended the Panasonic Professional and Master as the best bang/buck now under $3 and $5 respectively until the MQ is gone (discontinued). Even the new Advanced Master is still about the same price as Sony consumer Excellence and is rated lower in dropout than DVCAM which is also Sony/wet lubricant. After that you're up to Sony's Digital Master for $17.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 12:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Of course - typed before thinking. <g> My bad - thanks for the correction. Was really just trying to say that there's no difference in kind between tapes marked "for HDV" and regular miniDV tapes other than we can hope the more expensive tapes have higher quality materials and better quality control so they're less susceptible to dropouts.
Correctamundo - simply put without all the technical gobbledygook. <g>

cb
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Old May 18th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #11
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Quality worth the price

Mebbe I'm anal, but the tape quality is worth the price of admission. There are many one time only shooting opportunities and even thinking of drop outs gives me the willies.

I use the HDV Sony white cassettes in a Z1, HC1 and formerly in an FX1. Never, ever had a problem. Yeah, you can take a chance, but when a client counts on you, it is a must to have the best stock possible. It is just like putting fresh batteries in your radio mics at the beginning of the shoot.

I can't get into the engineering discussion on DV vs. HDV tapes; I am a producer/editor/camera type .I'll just say it makes me feel better to use tape I believe is 100 per cent reliable when it comes to the dropout issue.

And the price is going down. A year ago, HDV Sony 63's were in the neighborhood of $13.50. B & H sells now for $10.29 a pop. Pretty cheap investment to insure quality control.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 12:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D. Hubbard
Mebbe I'm anal, but the tape quality is worth the price of admission. There are many one time only shooting opportunities and even thinking of drop outs gives me the willies.

I
I agree. When I was producing full time I spent a few extra bucks to get the tape with the least dropout. For videos of my kids' baseball games I don't need that. We like the Panasonic MQ (while they last) and AMQ.

cb
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Old May 18th, 2006, 07:45 PM   #13
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I'd do the same and get those Sony white HDV tapes, if only they didnt cost me $35 AUD (which is considerably more than what you guys spend - around 15-18 dollars US) I'm only waiting for them to come down...then switch from JVC to sony. Till then, I'll have to try and use up as much of my JVC's

As for drop outs, I'm just filming in DV for now to avoid dropouts, and at this moment in time, I have not fully trusted my tapes to do HDV without dropping out - I'm being cautious, even if I've never had a dropout in my entire life.

But I'm play testing the tapes I have from JVC, and have already shot 2 tapes worth without a hitch in HDV.... now I need 2 gigs of RAM, PremPro or Vegas and a delivery system (COME ON BLU-RAY or HD-DVD or something...) I'm getting worried that my 12 minute short films will be taking 2 days to render... because of all the sotries I keep reading.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 08:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Pepingco
I'd do the same and get those Sony white HDV tapes, if only they didnt cost me $35 AUD (which is considerably more than what you guys spend - around 15-18 dollars US) I'm only waiting for them to come down...then switch from JVC to sony. Till then, I'll have to try and use up as much of my JVC's

As for drop outs, I'm just filming in DV for now to avoid dropouts, and at this moment in time, I have not fully trusted my tapes to do HDV without dropping out - I'm being cautious, even if I've never had a dropout in my entire life.

But I'm play testing the tapes I have from JVC, and have already shot 2 tapes worth without a hitch in HDV.... now I need 2 gigs of RAM, PremPro or Vegas and a delivery system (COME ON BLU-RAY or HD-DVD or something...) I'm getting worried that my 12 minute short films will be taking 2 days to render... because of all the sotries I keep reading.
JVC does also have a pro grade available but we suspect it's really the Panasonic PQ in disguise. Recently they have come out with an HDV tape of their own, obviously in support of their own HDV offerings. We have them on sale for under $7 USD which would save you a bunch.

We have Australian customers we ship to - it can save you money if you buy in enough quantity to justify the shipping.

cb
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Adobe - AJA - Apple - Avid - Audio Technica - Bogen - Canon - Denon - Digidesign - Fuji - Gitzo - JVC - Lowell - Marantz - Maxell - Panasonic - Primera - Rimage - Samson - Sennheiser - Sony - TDK - Varizoom - Waves - more!
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Old May 20th, 2006, 12:55 PM   #15
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Marketing strategy is so far ahead of us it isn't funny. There are packages and labels to fit every wallet and every attitude, often with virtually the same contents. I'm not saying that there aren't ever any differences, I'm just saying caveat emptor.
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