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Old January 15th, 2003, 04:18 PM   #1
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Kelowna, B.C. Canada
Posts: 217
Tape brand to avoid.

Advice to anyone buying MINIDV tapes, avoid JVC.

I have used close to 100 JVC tapes since I purchased my XL1 almost two years ago. At first about 1 out of 20 tapes were being eaten, the percentage began growing in time.

My thought; "Must be that my camera just needs a cleaning. I'll send it to Canon service when I finish the project I am working on."

During the shoot I use 10 JVC tapes, 5 are eaten.

"Blast this infernal machine." I think.

Off to Canonland the camera goes, along with my complaint of tapes being eaten.

Now, I'm not bad mouthing Canon here, they made the camera, so they should know what is causing this problem, and hopefully have a solution. Right?

4 weeks later I get the camera back, Along with a bill of over $1000!

At first, rage began boiling through my blood. "That much for a cleaning?". No, not the case. They replaced the entire recording mechanism.

After kicking my cat around for a while and banging my head in my car door, I came to the realization that I had put plenty of time on my camera, and I should be lucky that nothing else has gone wrong.

So, I re-assemble my baby slap in a JVC tape and what happens...
CRUNCH! WRRRRRR! The tape gets eaten.

Later I buy a box of TDK tapes. I test all 10 of the tapes. Result: NO PROBLEM FOUND.

Next I test the last JVC tape from my box. Result: EATEN, please proceed to bang head in car door.

Anyway, I write JVC a formal letter, not whining just simply advising them of a fault in their tapes. All I was hoping for was an appology letter, but honestly I wasn't expecting any sort of reply.

It has now been over two months since all of this happened, still with no response. I wish this problem upon no one else.
And my advice to anyone buying MINIDV tapes, avoid JVC.

-Nori
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Old January 15th, 2003, 05:13 PM   #2
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
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I've been saying this for years. When I bought my very first JVC cam, I only used JVC miniDV tape. The tape would clog my heads after only a few minutes at times! I was going crazy with this problem: banding, diagonal, mosaic blocks, and crackling audio! I had to clean my heads many times, only to have this happen again and again.

Now the good news:

After I read an extensive lab test on miniDV tape, and it proved Fuji was the best, I switched to Fuji. That was about 3 or so years ago, and you know what? I never, ever had to clean my cam heads since! Go figure...but I ain't complaining, just smiling.
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Old January 15th, 2003, 07:41 PM   #3
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Frank,

Have a copy or link to that review? I am in the process of getting my first camera (Optura 200mc) and want to decide on a tape. I would like to order a few tapes to get me started. I see that you are in Canada, where do you get your tapes ?
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Old January 15th, 2003, 09:17 PM   #4
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Location: Plano, TX
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I personally ony use Sony tapes. I have even heard of some places that will not even accept video on ANY other brand of tape. It may cost a little more at times but it has never jammed, never clogged, and rarely if ever drops out.
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Old January 15th, 2003, 11:14 PM   #5
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Nothing wrong with higher end Sony tapes. The trick is to pick a good tape and stick with it. Don't mix them.

I buy my Fuji tapes at London Drugs or Superstore - when they're on sale - about $6.50 (CA) per tape in a 3 pack.

I came across that link almost 4 years ago, on a EDU address. It was a guy's project/paper for an engineering course, I think. I have not found it since. From what I recall at the time, Panasonic came in 2nd. But I'm sure tape has changed since that test. If I ever find it again, I'll post the link.
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Old January 16th, 2003, 11:12 AM   #6
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Location: Kelowna, B.C. Canada
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Wojtek,

I get my tapes from Western Imperial Magnetics, and order them in through the store where I work. I don't know if the general public can purchase from them.

-Nori
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