Playback problem with DVCAM recording at

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 20th, 2009, 05:57 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Playback problem with DVCAM recording


Having a problem with a tape that I believe was DVCAM footage recorded on MiniDV tape. There's a series of 5 tapes all recorded the same day, and presumably (but can't confirm) with the same recording settings. The tapes were recorded about 4 years ago, but for various reasons, I just tried playing them recently. Four of the tapes play fine, but one doesn't. I've tried playing them back in both an HDR-HC5 camcorder and a DSR-45 deck.

Not only does the "problem" tape not play, but the timecode isn't even picked up consistently during fast forward/rewind. The timecode will be displayed for a few seconds, then nothing for a few seconds (as if the tape is blank), then displayed, then blank, etc. During the segments with timecode, the video sort of plays -- it plays fine for a second, then "breaks up" with a horizontal band across it, then the video disappears completely.

I thought maybe it was related to DVCAM playback from MiniDV, but as mentioned, four of the tapes play fine, and even if the HC5 couldn't play it back, I'd have thought the DSR-45 would. It's also the first recorded tape in the series of five (if there was a camera problem, I wouldn't have expected the latter four to be OK).

I think (but I can't remember conclusively) that it was captured on a PD150.

Of course, this tape is particularly important to me -- it's my own wedding ceremony.


If the tape itself is damaged or corrupted ... can anyone recommend a place that may be able to restore it?


Mike Nann
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Old March 20th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #2
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hmmmm, could be it was a bad tape to start with. Maybe try to capture in DV instead of DVCam, perhaps if you can get ahold of a PD series camera (150 or 170) you might try that. Just throwing some ideas out here.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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Is it possible that the "odd tape out" may have been recorded in LP mode on a camera that supports it? I don't believe the DSR-45 can play back LP mode.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 05:28 AM   #4
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Well, playback is playback -- you don't get to 'pick' DVCam or DV, it just plays it if it can. DVCam on a mini tape can be played back by most Sony DV camcorders, but your best bet is always to play it back on the same device that recorded it ... the exact same, not just the same model. If the heads were way out of alignment when the recording was made, it might be that only that device is out of alignment enough to play it again. Unfortunately, if you don't have access to that device, or if that device has been 'repaired' ... your're out of luck.

The LP suggestion is worth pursuing -- in fact my only real advice now would be try playback from a range of devices. Canon used to make some odd-ball devices that recorded at different speeds; Sony offers both SP and LP in DV, and DVCam on mini ... some of these formats can't be played on a pro deck.

Good luck.

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