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Old June 6th, 2006, 03:39 AM   #1
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Initializing tape before use

Do I need to initialize my miniDV tapes before I start using them. I mean, do I have to put it first in the camera (Canon XL1) and start recording black frames (with lens closed) and with no sound ? Or is this not needed.
I ask this because I have a problem that there are sometimes jumping frames or horizontal bars when I play back the recorded tape.

Thanks for the info...
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Old June 6th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erwin Vanderhoydonks
Do I need to initialize my miniDV tapes before I start using them. I mean, do I have to put it first in the camera (Canon XL1) and start recording black frames (with lens closed) and with no sound ? Or is this not needed.
I ask this because I have a problem that there are sometimes jumping frames or horizontal bars when I play back the recorded tape.

Thanks for the info...
Tapes don't need initializing. When was the last time you cleaned the heads in the camera?
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Old June 6th, 2006, 08:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Tapes don't need initializing. When was the last time you cleaned the heads in the camera?
The camera is even back from repear/cleaning and still problems with reading my own tapes.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 08:38 AM   #4
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Try another brand, I had the exact same problem with TDK tapes recently. I only use Sony and Panasonic now, everything is now perfect. Once you have a good brand, stick to it.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 11:22 PM   #5
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I agree with the brand thing - I've never had problems with tapes unless I swtiched brands which I don't do anymore.

However, it is advisable to leave 10 seconds of black at the beggining of a tape to give you room for pre-roll when you capture and stuff like that. Also, sometimes I will experience issues at the very beggining of a tape like you mention, so leaving some space is a good idea.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 11:26 PM   #6
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one possibility is that you are trying to play tapes that you recorded when the heads were dirty. They would still look like the heads were dirty when playing them later.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #7
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And I never heard of "blacking" a tape before shooting before DV came out. People wanting to avoid the TC breaks. Well, blacking the tapes doesn't prevent this at all. All it does is add wear and tear to the tape and camera.

Blacking a tape is for editing.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 11:43 PM   #8
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Tape fault?

Try a brand new tape and see if the problem persists.A friend of mine had the same problem with numerous tapes after many hours of checking his camera over and cleaning the heads. Turned out it wasn't the camera at all,most of the tapes in the bulk pack he baught had the same manufacturing fault.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
And I never heard of "blacking" a tape before shooting before DV came out. People wanting to avoid the TC breaks. Well, blacking the tapes doesn't prevent this at all. All it does is add wear and tear to the tape and camera.

Blacking a tape is for editing.
Blacking tapes can prevent timecode breaks, if the camera is in the right timecode mode. I can't remember the names of all the timecode modes off the top of my head, but only select DV equipment supports more than the basic one mode (TC REGEN I think). In that mode, the timecode will continue from the existing timecode. If you fast forward past recorded material, then it'll still pick up timecode instead of resetting to 00:00:00;00.

2- For editing use, you want to black tapes so insert editing is possible (for making broadcast masters). I don't believe the miniDV format is reliable for insert editing.

3- Anyways, to get back on topic... my recommend is NOT to black your tapes before shooting. It's unnecessary wear and tear on your camera.

As far as timecode breaks so:
Avoid timecode breaks by making sure the timecode doesn't reset to 00:00:00;00. The end search feature on many cameras allows this.

If you need to review footage, record several seconds of anything so you can cue the tape back.

If you do get timecode breaks, you can either:
A- Capture over them. Many NLEs nowadays can do this no sweat. However, you may have problems re-capturing footage (if you need to do that).
B- Dub the tape, connecting two DV devices with a 4pin-4pin firewire cable. Make sure the TC mode on the receiving device is TC REGEN.
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