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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 April 3rd, 2006, 02:47 PM   #1
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End Search doesn't work anymore

Due to a tip in one of these threads, I had been using end search to seek the end of recorded tape on my HC1. Now, that option is greyed out and not usable. Has anyone had this problem and found a solution?
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 04:37 PM   #2
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End search greyed out

Hi,

Yes I had it quite recently. I had to take the DV cassette out and replace it -then everything was back to normal.... Very strange...

Christian
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 06:01 PM   #3
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Unless they implement it differently on that camera, end search only works while the cassette is in the camera for the first time. In other words: pop a new tape in the camera. Shoot a few minutes. Stop. Start. Repeat... end search works fine. But if you open the camera door and close it, end search no longer works. I'm not sure that it even works after turning the camera on and off - I don't think it does on my PDX-10 or VX-2000, haven't tried on my Z1. I don't use end search myself.

HOWEVER if you buy the expensive tapes with a "chip" in them, then end search will always work on that tape. So are you using a tape with or without a chip?
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 08:11 PM   #4
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Do you pre-stripe your tapes so you don't lose your time code?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Unless they implement it differently on that camera, end search only works while the cassette is in the camera for the first time. In other words: pop a new tape in the camera. Shoot a few minutes. Stop. Start. Repeat... end search works fine. But if you open the camera door and close it, end search no longer works. I'm not sure that it even works after turning the camera on and off - I don't think it does on my PDX-10 or VX-2000, haven't tried on my Z1. I don't use end search myself.

HOWEVER if you buy the expensive tapes with a "chip" in them, then end search will always work on that tape. So are you using a tape with or without a chip?
Do you pre-stripe your tapes so you don't lose your time code?
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 08:38 PM   #5
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No, since I don't want to double the hours on my camera's heads.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 09:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
HOWEVER if you buy the expensive tapes with a "chip" in them, then end search will always work on that tape. So are you using a tape with or without a chip?
I have a couple of the sony "HD" miniDV tapes, but mostly just use some inexpensive TDKs. I wasn't aware there was a chip in this kind of a tape.

I had assumed there was some sort of signal detection as it fast forwarded, but I suppose you are right. I thought it worked fine on the TDKs.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 09:04 PM   #7
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Just wondering what is good maintaneance and prevention measures for degradation of heads? Just a cleaning tape? What happens when a head is used too much, even with proper cleaning using a cleaning tape? And is there a way to fix the wear on the heads?
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 09:34 PM   #8
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MiniDV tapes with the "chip."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff DeMaagd
I have a couple of the sony "HD" miniDV tapes, but mostly just use some inexpensive TDKs. I wasn't aware there was a chip in this kind of a tape.

I had assumed there was some sort of signal detection as it fast forwarded, but I suppose you are right. I thought it worked fine on the TDKs.

You have to purchase special tapes that are double the price of regular tapes if you want the "chip." I'm not sure if miniDV tapes with these chips work on the HC1.

They work on pro camcorders like the A1U which also supports DVCAM as well as HDV and DV.

However the chip adds nothing to recording quality.

--Dave
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 09:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff DeMaagd
I have a couple of the sony "HD" miniDV tapes, but mostly just use some inexpensive TDKs. I wasn't aware there was a chip in this kind of a tape.
I don't believe the Sony HDV ("Digital Master") tapes have chips in them. This is an example of a tape with a chip:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

and without:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

I think the chip feature works on all Sony camcorders, or at least it does on my VX-2000 and PDX-10, although I've never used them. I don't think you need to 'maintain' your heads at all. Don't use a cleaning tape until you get a message from the camera saying it's needed, or if you start experiencing dropouts during recording/playback. Many people (including me) feel that you should only use one brand of tape in your camera, and preferably the same brand as the camera maker. See the following for a LONG discussion: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=50892
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Old April 4th, 2006, 12:17 AM   #10
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Well, I'll leave the use one brand of tape or not issue alone, but my main question was concerning the heads.

You had mentioned that you would rather not double the time of running your heads by tape striping - why is this? Is it because running your head longer significantly damages it? Because you want to prevent it from extra and arguably unnecessary wear and tear? How significant is this wear and tear?

I guess I'm asking if cameras (specifically the A1) are more like cars in that if you just them normally and carefully, but not guarding it so tightly that you get nervous whenever you use it, they'll last you a decade or so even with daily usage, or are cameras more like cheap, plastic toys that might last only a couple years, more or less, with normal, daily use?

And if camera heads do get used too excessively, what happens to them? And will running a cleaning tape through it significantly help the "wear" be not as bad?

Also, if I run the cleaning tape before the camera says to use it or before I experience dropouts, is there harm done? I.e. is there harm for using the cleaning tape too excessively?
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Old April 4th, 2006, 01:59 AM   #11
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From page 31 of the HC1 manual:

"END SEARCH will not work once you eject the cassette after you have recorded on the tape"

Boyd expressed it better but it is clearly a built-in 'problem'.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 06:47 AM   #12
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Recording heads (like car tires) have a finite life. Just anecdotally I think I've seen numbers like 1,000 hours as typical. But aside from that, if you want to sell your camera later then the first thing a buyer will ask is how many hours the heads have on them (the A1, PD-170, PDX-10 and Z1 have an hour meter function in the menus). So it doesn't make sense (to me) to put 1,000 hours use on your tape heads and transport to shoot 500 hours of footage.

Cleaning tapes work with abrasive action (like sandpaper) and put even more wear on the heads. I have always read precautions about not using them more than needed. Read the specific instructions that came with your camera and on the cleaning tapes themself for more info.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 02:42 PM   #13
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Can HC1 read the DV cassette chip ???

Hi,

To my understanding the HC1 does NOT !!!

After removing and inserting the cassette the end search worked again !! Does anybody have a locigal explanation for this behaviour ????

Christian
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Old April 4th, 2006, 09:22 PM   #14
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Boyd, thanks for all the info. Is there a way to check how many hours have been put through the heads (head? is it plural or singular?) on a particular camcorder? Specifically, the HVR-A1U, but also other camcorder models too. If not, then how do people know how many hours they've had through their heads?
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Old April 4th, 2006, 09:35 PM   #15
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Look in your A1 manual. There will be an easily accessed menu function which provides the usage statistics for the camcorder. All of Sony's "pro" cameras have this feature, but their consumer cousins do not. Sony used to make a wired remote control, the RM-95, which you could plug into the LANC jack. One of the functions would provide usage hours displayed on an LED screen. It used to cost around $70. For more info go to this URL and enter rm95 in the part number box: https://servicesplus.us.sony.biz/sony-parts.aspx It seems that you can't get one anymore...

Other camcorders may be more of an issue. AFAIK, Canon doesn't provide a way to read usage. Don't know about Panasonic.
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