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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old October 14th, 2007, 04:54 PM   #1
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HC1 stuttering playback

I just picked up a used Sony HDR-HC1, I shot video of my sons soccer game , and while playing it back on the LCD screen and tv, the video stops and starts every few seconds. the camera is set to record in HD. Is this a sign of dirty heads or is there a problem?
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Old October 16th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #2
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I have had this problem with my HC1. Unfortunately, I don't know if it points to one specific problem. For me it seemed to be due more to a bad tape.

Case 1 - I shot a karate event - the first 15 seconds of the event seem to be missing. They do not play back on the LCD and they do not transfer over the firewire to the computer. But they do show up in "que" and "review" mode. I don't know about the audio. Subsequent attempts to capture this footage made the problem worse.

The next tape (in fact, the next dozen or so) shot 100% fine with no weirdness at all.

Case 2 - Again, shooting a karate event perhaps a month or more after the above "glitch" - on playback there seemed to be many drop-outs, and playback would "pause" for a moment every few seconds. I noticed, however, that some of the "pauses" moved when I repeated playback. Ultimately, to capture the footage from this tape I had to perform several "passes" and bring all the resultant bits and pieces into an editor and do my thing. I also noticed there were audio drop-outs. I was about ready to bring the camera in for servicing.

That was in March of 2007. I've shot several hours of additional footage on this camera with no further glitches. I did buy a head cleaning cartridge and used it and it might have been a good buy.

I don't know if this is helpful, but take it for what it's worth.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #3
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When switching tape brands, I extremely recommend you use a cleaning tape to clear the lubricant of the previous brand of tape off of the head. This helps in eliminating dropouts.
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I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I'll pick up a head cleaning tape and give that a try. I did change the camera format from HD to SD, and the problem seems to have gone away. so it probably is a tape quality issue.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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I had the same exact problem with my A1U, I'll try to switch to SD to se if it could get any better. I don't think the video head is dirty because the other HD tapes play just fine .
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Old February 15th, 2008, 09:55 PM   #6
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I used a head cleaning tape, and the problem seems to have gone away.
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