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The Long Black Line
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Old November 5th, 2006, 07:35 PM   #1
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Mini DV Overrite

Okay...I've been doing this Mini-DV thing for a little while and i have about 200 tapes just stocked up in my library, i havent used them but once, only because i'm a little afraid.

A few years ago (Back in the VHS-C days) i was recording on a Quasar Palmcam on VHS-C tapes...i never bought but like 2. I kept recording over and over and over each tape, as i look back on it, the video quality kept getting worst and worst and worst everytime i re-recorded over a tape.

To the question: If i record over some of the Mini-DV tapes i have, will i loose quality? I mean...to me it makes sense that i might, after re-using anything for long periods of time you begin to loose something...right?
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Old November 5th, 2006, 07:48 PM   #2
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Unlike your analog VHS C camera, DV is recorded on tape as binary data so there is no quality loss. However the tape medium is going to degrade with repeated use. Instead of an overall quality loss you will end up with data errors on the tape. These usually show up as blocky breakups of the image from the scambled data.

I'm sure you can get away with recording over tapes a number of times, but personally I don't do it.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #3
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Prior to our purchase of FS-4 units for our cameras we would reuse tapes 4 times before retiring them. You could reuse them more but through trial and error we found that after 4 or 5 uses the tapes really started acting up.

Keep in mind we are a small operation broadcasting on the local PEG channel. Image quality was not our greatest concern at the time.

As always....YMMV

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Old November 7th, 2006, 08:06 AM   #4
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My reason not to re-use tapes

When I re-use DV tapes I very often get time code breaks which create problems with my downloads. Maybe if you degauss the tapes first that can be avoided but you also never know when you'll need to dig up that old footage. I archive everything and consider it a normal cost of doing video.
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Old November 27th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #5
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Buy more tapes...

I second Michael's opinion. I consider the cost of tapes part of the cost of doing business, but on the other hand I do use consumer grade Maxell tapes to cut that cost. They are sold at the Sam's Club (similar to Costco) here in blister packs of 8 for about $23. I've shot easily over 100 of these tapes and haven't had a dropout yet (knock on wood). However, I record on the tape once, rewind it in a rewinder, play it back once (FCE "Capture Now"), rewind it again, and put it in the rack. The tapes are only played twice and rewound twice, unless the footage is needed for another project. And that is a rarity for me.

Just my two cents...

Kevin
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Old December 5th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #6
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Hey Kevin,

"rewind it again, and put it in the rack."

Why rewind it again?

In the old days, when I was a recording musician, we were always told to store recorded tapes (reel-to-reel and cassette) "tail out", i.e. at the end of the tape, not rewound. The concept was that after a time the recording would bleed through the tape and create a faint ghost echo. If the tape was stored at the beginning, the echo would come BEFORE the original sound. Very strange. (Unless you are Pink Floyd and actually WANT that effect!) Do the new generation of tapes no longer have that problem?
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Old December 5th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #7
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Ghosting ? These are digital ones and zeros on the tapes. I would think that would not be possible...
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Old December 6th, 2006, 07:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
Ghosting ? These are digital ones and zeros on the tapes. I would think that would not be possible...
Maybe not. Then what is the rationale for storing DV tapes rewound to the beginning? It's an extra step that seems unneccesary.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 07:57 AM   #9
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Heh, I remember when I used to rent VHS tapes (seems like a long time ago now) the store put a little sticker on the case that said "Be kind - rewind" :-)

Michael, that's an interesting anecdote. Personally, I never rewind a tape unless I think I will need to capture or watch something from the beginning.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #10
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I never had a good reason for rewinding and then putting the tape in the rack. I guess I just thought that for some reason it was the right way to do it. Maybe I've seen one to many of the "Be Kind - Rewind" stickers...
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