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Old May 16th, 2006, 12:45 PM   #1
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Erasing Mini DV tapes -- HOW???

I need to erase about 25 mini DV tapes. There seem to be no easy way to do this! What am I missing? Thanks.

Obviously I don't want to just record over them with the lens cap on the camera. It will take forever and hasten the demise of the camera's heads.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 12:48 PM   #2
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Take them to a business that has the equipment to do this? Really, the coercivity of Mini-DV (or any modern video tape) is so high that it takes an extremely strong magnetic field to erase them.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #3
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Someone told me that a RAdio Shack bulk tape erase would do it, but Radio Shack seems to have discontinued that.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 01:02 PM   #4
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What do you all do to erase your DVs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Boze
Take them to a business that has the equipment to do this? Really, the coercivity of Mini-DV (or any modern video tape) is so high that it takes an extremely strong magnetic field to erase them.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Herbet
I need to erase about 25 mini DV tapes. There seem to be no easy way to do this! What am I missing? Thanks.

Obviously I don't want to just record over them with the lens cap on the camera. It will take forever and hasten the demise of the camera's heads.
What are you going to do - sell the 25 tapes as new? You are missing something. Why manually erase a tape? Seems like a collosal waste of time that would gain you nothing. You can re-use tapes you know. Old video gets erased as new video is recorded over it. I re-use them 2-3 times.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 02:02 PM   #6
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I agree - what's the point? Mini DV tapes are so cheap it's easier to just buy new ones which is what most people do.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Khalil
I agree - what's the point? Mini DV tapes are so cheap it's easier to just buy new ones which is what most people do.
Amen - you never know when you might want that footage in the future. Just put it on the shelf stored vertically, tails out. Always shoot on fresh tape except for throw away experiments.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #8
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Or if you really wanna get rid of whatever is on there just record black over the whole tape. That will make the timecode proper also.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 04:23 PM   #9
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If you really want to erase your digital video tapes, you need a powerful hand-held degausser, for example, something like the PF 215 hand-held degausser from Data Devices International. As Doug Boze pointed out, it takes a strong degausser to properly erase DV tapes. By the way, Data Devices also makes industrial strength degaussers that are powerful enough to erase a hard drive. Scary, keep that thing away from me!

That said, I think you're asking for trouble reusing all but the highest quality miniDV tape (e.g. Sony's Digital Master tape) becuase the small and fragile format is very suceptible to drop-outs as it is, and reuse simply increases the chance of this. I've seen several data drop outs over the years with DV tapes, for tapes themselves have gotten better, but still, a unique once-in-a-lifetime moment on videotape is a terrible thing to waste. On the other hand, if you're recording "throwaway" stuff and want to start with "blank" tape, the PF 215 is just the device is just for you.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 05:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Amen - you never know when you might want that footage in the future. Just put it on the shelf stored vertically, tails out. Always shoot on fresh tape except for throw away experiments.
What do you mean by vertically, tails out? Is the smaller width (the 0.5" x 2" side) standing on the shelf or is the longer length (the 0.5" x 3" side) standing on the shelf? Or is it the 2" x 3" side laying flat on the shelf?
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Old May 16th, 2006, 05:30 PM   #11
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Maybe I am missing something, but here's the deal:

You reuse a tape, and then you use software to get it to your hard drive. The software cuts scenes when it detects a break in the filming. Well, the old recording introduces false breaks, and the old recording goes on longer than the new one. So you end up recording lots of stuff you don't want, and you have more work in post because of the false breaks.

So tell me, what AM I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott
What are you going to do - sell the 25 tapes as new? You are missing something. Why manually erase a tape? Seems like a collosal waste of time that would gain you nothing. You can re-use tapes you know. Old video gets erased as new video is recorded over it. I re-use them 2-3 times.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #12
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I think I addressed this in the original post. I don't want to wear out the tape heads prematurely.

I am yet to be convinced, for the reasons stated, that a bulk tape blanker would not be very beneficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Tyler
Or if you really wanna get rid of whatever is on there just record black over the whole tape. That will make the timecode proper also.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 08:47 PM   #13
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Sorry I didnt read your post all the way through. You could maybe use an old camera if you have one though.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 09:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Herbet
Maybe I am missing something, but here's the deal:

You reuse a tape, and then you use software to get it to your hard drive. The software cuts scenes when it detects a break in the filming. Well, the old recording introduces false breaks, and the old recording goes on longer than the new one. So you end up recording lots of stuff you don't want, and you have more work in post because of the false breaks.

So tell me, what AM I missing?
This is a strange problem. When I stop recording, then start recording again, there is no false break. How would you end up with "lots of stuff?" The only unwanted video I EVER end up with is at the end of a recording... like if the duration of the original recording was longer than the new recording.

But anyway... chances are good your NLE has "DV Start/Stop Detect" which is the first thing I run before any edit session anyway. "Stuff you don't want" would litterally take all of 1 min to find and delete. 1 minute of inconvenience far outweighs hours of time wasted erasing tapes.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #15
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I see.

So there's no picture-quality advantage, either, in recording over a blank tape vs one that has material already recorded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott
This is a strange problem. When I stop recording, then start recording again, there is no false break. How would you end up with "lots of stuff?" The only unwanted video I EVER end up with is at the end of a recording... like if the duration of the original recording was longer than the new recording.

But anyway... chances are good your NLE has "DV Start/Stop Detect" which is the first thing I run before any edit session anyway. "Stuff you don't want" would litterally take all of 1 min to find and delete. 1 minute of inconvenience far outweighs hours of time wasted erasing tapes.
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