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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
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Old May 20th, 2009, 08:30 AM   #1
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Tape playback freezing randomly

I shot a 45-min. interview on tape in HD 24P. At about 6 minutes during playback, the video freezes a couple of times for a few frames then continues playing. I've played the tape several times and the strange thing is that it doesn't freeze at the same time code on the tape. It happens around the same time code but can be as much as 15-20 seconds earlier or later than the previous occurrence. Sometimes it doesn't happen at all. It seems like if it were a physical tape dropout it would be consistent at a precise time code. Any ideas?

Franklin
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Old May 20th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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Is the tape new or previously used?

For the heck of it, fast forward it all the way and then rewind it again, then try playing it again.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #3
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It's a new tape.

Good news -- fast forward and rewind worked two out of three times I tried. Maybe a tape transport issue, or possibly because I'm using DV tape and not HDV tape? If it's tape related, I thought HDV tape was a marketing scheme with no real superiority to DV tape. I haven't shot a lot with my Z5 but there have been no problems with DV tape so far. Need to do more tests. Thanks for the help.

Franklin
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Old May 20th, 2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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Great, hope it continues to go well.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #5
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Have you mixed tapes at all, even just once? Freezing means the error correction is stepping in on playback until it has a full GOP again. Dirty heads or loose dirt could be the cause. Try cleaning tape real short time playback( 2 or 3 seconds enough to wrap and run and unwrap). I have had my FX1 since they first came out and have used Sony Premium with never a dropout.

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Old May 20th, 2009, 08:51 PM   #6
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My Z5 has only recorded to one brand of tape. I'll try using a cleaning tape. I didn't think about it before because the camera is still so new. Thanks.

Franklin
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Old May 21st, 2009, 12:34 PM   #7
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Interestingly, my local camcorder repair guy told me this sometimes happens with new cams because of manufacturing residue, dust or other unspecified junk on the heads when new. After a few tapes the heads get "burnished" and work better. A few seconds of cleaning tape may help, although it does nothing for the tape path through the pulleys and rollers and stuff, only the heads themselves.
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