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Old October 31st, 2006, 09:14 AM   #1
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RE: mini-DV in LP mode...What Am I Missing?

I'm getting more and more copy/duplication jobs and have run into a bit of a problem.These jobs involve using a mini-DV tape recorded in LP mode and copying/duplicating to either VHS, DVD, or as an MPEG file.

The tapes come from a customer and are recorded using a Canon XL2, but when I get them, I'm only able to play or "read" them using a JVC palmcorder - model GR-DVL520U. (I tried using a second JVC palmcorder model GR-D70U, but the audio comes out choppy and broken when I use that). I've changed various menu settings on the second palmcorder, to no avail.

I also have a JVC combo mini-DV/VHS player/recorder model SR-VS30, but I encounter the same audio problem when using that. (Though, the owner's manual for that specifically states that tapes recorded on other machines may not be playable in the SR-VS30).

I also have an HVX, but have not tried that as I'm looking to avoid using it so preserve the heads.

It seems I need a mini-DV deck dedicated to this purpose, but there seem to be few available.

Does anyone have experience with mini-DV VTRs and decks that might help me? The Panasonic model AG-DV-2500 seems the best choice, but I'd love something a little bit less expensive.

All contributions welcome.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 09:39 AM   #2
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I haven't ever used LP mode myself, but problems like this have been frequently discussed. The "net wisdom" is that LP mode may be problematic unless played back on the same camera which made the recording.

Are these repeat clients? Can you try to discourage them from using LP? Or can you ask them to bring their own camcorders for you to use in the transfer/capture?
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Old October 31st, 2006, 09:59 AM   #3
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Because the LP mode cause the transport of the tape to move more slowly, the actual tollerance between bands of data is much, much smaller. The tolerance between brands of decks and even between cameras within a brand can't always track. That's why it's recommended that LP tapes be played back on the deck/camera that recorded them.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:32 PM   #4
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THANKS for the input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff

Are these repeat clients? Can you try to discourage them from using LP? Or can you ask them to bring their own camcorders for you to use in the transfer/capture?
The tapes come from legal videographers, who use LP mode to eliminate frequent tape changes, e.g. during depositions, video wills. etc. where there's very little movement or action and attorneys don't want to 1) waste time waiting to change tapes or 2) break the "flow" of questions and testimony. (That may seem picky to some, but I understand and sympathize).

Sounds as if I've been lucky by getting my oldest palmcorder to work in this LP situation. I guess I'll have to broach the subject of recording to an external hard drive as an option. (I believe there are hi-speed Firewire drives that we could swap with each other, if the XL2 even outputs to them...I'll have to check that out).
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:38 PM   #5
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How about hooking up the courtroom camera to a DVD recorder with a firewire input? These have gotten relatively cheap now, and you could get several hours recording time at VHS level quality. Then as an alternative you could just rip the DVD's and make copies of them instead of making VHS tapes.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:48 PM   #6
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...Not a good idea

i wouldnt touch LP mode...a friend of mine told me that the tape goes about the same speed but the camera heads go slower...this can damage your camera with extended use. I'd rather take the chance of loosing a little video by running out of tape than to, not only loose video quality, but loose a camcorder in the process...
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Old October 31st, 2006, 04:41 PM   #7
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THe firewire port on the Canon XL2 is hot even while changing tapes. SO in the situation of a deposition... essentially a seated talking head.... you could run the firewired to a laptop/hardrive and just fill it up. Could also tape at the same time for back up, only losing the few seconds to pop a new tape in.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 07:28 AM   #8
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Garrison
The whole process slows down 50% to get the extra time from the same length of tape. The tolerances are then much tighter and lead to problems of playback on equipment other than the deck that recorded the tape. The record heads of course pass 50% more tracks on the tape like running half way through another tape, head time is thus the same for actually time. Its just the normal guardbands between tracks have been partially used up for more tracks, making reading more difficult unless the head alighnment is exactly the same. I record theatre productions and always use LP on my FX1 and TRV50 to avoid tape changing ( it makes a noise in a quiet theatre!!!!) I use camcorders to capture but my DHR1000 Sony deck will read tape from both these camcorders just fine. I am going to try one of the new Sony 85min tapes in SP. Though I am more concerned about thin tape than I am about LP.

Ron Evans

Last edited by Ron Evans; November 1st, 2006 at 08:12 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans
Garrison
The whole process slows down 50% to get the extra time from the same length of tape. The tolerances are then much tighter and lead to problems of playback on equipment other than the deck that recorded the tape. The record heads of course pass 50% more tracks on the tape like running half way through another tape, head time is thus the same for actually time. Its just the normal guardbands between tracks have been partially used up for more tracks, making reading more difficult unless the head alighnment is exactly the same. I record theatre productions and always use LP on my FX1 and TRV50 to avoid tape changing ( it makes a noise in a quiet theatre!!!!) I use camcorders to capture but my DHR1000 Sony deck will read tape from both these camcorders just fine. I am going to try one of the new Sony 85min tapes in SP. Though I am more concerned about thin tape than I am about LP.

Ron Evans

So you're saying that you DONT loose quallity in LP mode?
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Old November 5th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #10
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The data written to tape in SP and LP is identical ( the "1' and "0" are the same) there is no quality difference. However less tape is used to record this data so it is more vulnerable to defects in the tape ( drop outs ) and to different tape transports having different alignment( ability to correctly track the tracks on the tape). Playback from the same transport that recorded the tape eliminates the tracking problem but the tape defects( even dirty heads ) remains a potential problem. I record all my shows in LP on two cameras and have not had any problems in the many years I have been shooting video. Some things to remember I have used the same brand of Sony tape exclusively in these cameras and transfer to SP for archive if important. These LP tapes may not play on a deck in the future so they are certainly not for any sort of archiving. I also have a PC10 camcorder and though the DHR1000 will play LP tapes from all these camcorders that is not true for the camcorders playing each others tapes.

Ron Evans
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