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The Long Black Line
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Old November 24th, 2006, 08:53 PM   #76
JVC America
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Originally Posted by Barry Gribble
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be saying not only use the same brand all the time, but find out which brand specifically matches your cam and use that brand all the time. Yes?
Yes, Barry, that would be ideal. But as I have mentioned, each individual has their preferences and circumstances. The level of media technology has advanced greatly along with the hardware, and there are a number of quality and stable products on the market. If you can't afford the optimal media, then I would suggest at least choosing a professional application product, simply because they are designed for such use.
Craig Yanagi - National Marketing Manager
JVC Professional Video Division, JVCKENWOOD USA Corp.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 10:11 PM   #77
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I don't have the brain power to read this entire thread but my take is the same as the man before me, get what works for you. I spent alot of dough on my XL2 and using anything but the best of the best in tapes seems dumb to me. Do you really trust that special shoot of yours on a cheapo DV tape? I don't, so buying the best tapes I can to protect my investment causes me naturally to buy the same brand of tape. Its just fate I guess, lol.

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Old December 2nd, 2006, 07:18 AM   #78
Fred Retread
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Craig (see posts above) is an articulate and appealing gentleman, as one who has risen to National Marketing Manager would have to be. I, too, appreciate his contribution to the discussion. Compared to him I'm sure I sound like an argumentative crank. I somewhat regret the abrasive tone of my original post, which was meant to evoke thoughtful opinion and any real sources out there, but went a bit over the top. I welcome the change Chris made in its title. However, I stand by its content. I'm an engineer, not a marketeer.

So to me, "use one brand" is still a superstition, and all of the dissenting posts in this thread fall into the categories I predicted. I could elaborate point by point, but I know I'm already stretching Chris's patience on this subject. I respect Chris and I love this forum. Incidentally, I never suggested that it was Chris's or DVINFO's responsibility to perform a study.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence..." - Calvin Coolidge
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 08:59 AM   #79
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Good grief. Kind of amazing to me that a topic like this can be so touchy, but here we are almost 80 posts later! In that light, it is with some trepidation that I finally elect to comment.

Originally Posted by "Fred Retread"
Am I sure there is no truth in it? No.
... stand by and let urban legend or folk wisdom be granted the same status as real information.
With those inconsistent statements, the thread-starter acknowledged that he does not know if there is truth to the concern, yet in the next paragraph asserts that it is urban legend or folk wisdom, and further feels compelled to intervene by starting this thread because unnamed persons have proclaimed it as "real information." Well, it IS real information in the sense that many people anecdotally report problems; but presumably his meaning was "established fact" which is correct -- it isn't.

However it is a fact that the probability of having tape incompatibility issues is zero when you only use one tape formulation. Since nobody, including Mr. "Retread" himself, has taken up his call to do what would be a very large and expensive undertaking to conduct a statistically valid scientific study of the subject, we can only say that the probability of tape incompatibility problems due to switching brands cannot be lower than sticking to the same brand, and may well be higher, since there are numerous anecdotal experiences. (Scientifically speaking, anecdotal reports usually do not in and of themselves prove a point -- although they can in the case of refuting a null hypothesis -- but OFTEN are the first indication of a real problem. The medical literature, for example, is replete with instances of anecdotal case reports that led to tremendously important changes to medical practice. Thalidomide and birth defects, the discovery of AIDS, Vioxx and heart disease, tainted spinach...and on and on got their beginnings in anecdotal reports.)

When the question gets asked, some people who have had problems in temporal association with changing tape brands will generally chime in with their anecdotal experiences. Nobody states there is scientific proof available. In the absence of manufacturer statements and/or controlled studies, most of us simply choose to take the zero risk approach. Mr. "Retread" has used different brands of tapes, not experienced problems, and has chosen to discount anecdotal reports while continuing to mix tape brands. Cool. But that does not DISprove that there may be a significant risk. Every day, lots of people run a red light and DON'T get T-boned.

And any of us may make that choice in tape usage, too, if we want. Nobody says otherwise. But most of us don't, because we intuitively realize that we are comparing zero risk to unknown risk to our expensive cameras. Unless you happen to have planned poorly so that you've run out of tape at a critical time AND can't get your usual stock, there is just no down side to sticking with the same tapes that have always worked well for you. So I choose not to tempt fate and do use the same tapes. Y'all do what you want.
Pete Bauer
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 11:24 AM   #80
Fred Retread
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Pete makes a few good points in spite of his demeanor. "established fact" would have been a better choice of words than "real information" in the initial post. And anecdotal information is not only sometimes the first indicator of a real problem, but is the normal indicator of a problem. The trouble is that anecdotal data also often results in informal hypotheses about the problem and then is taken as proof of such hypotheses. That's the formula for widely disseminated misinformation.

Yes, it would be logical that sticking to one tape formulation would carry a zero probabiliy of tape compatability issues. But I wouldn't infer that I will achieve the one formulation ideal by sticking to one brand. Far from it. There are quality variatons in raw materials, manufacturing process control problems, substitutions and formulation changes without notice, and plain screw-ups. Add in the tremendous variation in tape cassette mechanism drag, and it's a crapshoot whenever you grab a tape, be it from the same brand as before or not. Personally, I don't believe that brand is the biggest factor in tape variability. Fortunately, the bottom line is that the odds of a good tape are highly in my favor whatever I choose.

Finally, yeah, there's no downside to sticking with a brand that has worked for you. Oops--that is, unless you're missing out on a better brand you been afraid to try because of the warnings.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence..." - Calvin Coolidge
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 02:36 PM   #81
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FACT: Tape heads wear to slightly different shapes depending on the tension, abrasion, lubrication and width of the tape passing over them, this is called profiling. Tape to head contact is not optimum until profiling has occurred.

FACT: Once the head has worn to the profile that a particular type of tape creates it will stay that approximate shape.

FACT: Changing the tape formulation/tension will cause the head to wear to a new profile.

FACT: Repeatedly changing tape formulations/tension will lead to increased head wear due to repeated head re-profiling.

FACT: Head to tape contact will not be optimum until profiling is completed each time.

FACT: During the profiling process more oxide is stripped from the tape and tiny amounts of head material are worn from the heads.

This is a well documented phenomenon, research by the IEEE, Sony, Maxel and I am sure others, so you choose, stick with one type of tape or chop and change.
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser My XDCAM site and blog.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 03:34 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
Fred, it used to be that Sony and Panasonic (and probably other brands) tapes didn't mix well. The lubricants would interact with each other and cause dropouts...
From what i've read, Sony Doesnt make thier tapes with Lube any longer...and Panasonic never had "lubed-up" tapes...

Thats All I wanted to Comment On...

G. Hayes
I'm in love... With my Panasonic AG-DVX100B.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 06:00 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman
This is a well documented phenomenon, research by the IEEE, Sony, Maxel and I am sure others, so you choose, stick with one type of tape or chop and change.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. When it comes to the question of "what to believe" regarding this topic, I would like to encourage everyone to read Alister's input above as well as what Craig Yanagi had to say further up. They are after all willing to sign their names to what they say. And since this is strictly a real-names-only message board, and has been for a very long time, I'll have to ask Mr. "Retread" to please contact me via email so that we can replace his anonymous handle with a real name.

With the excellent input we've received from Craig Yanagi and Alister Chapman, I think it's time to put this tired old nag to bed once and for all. Thread closed!


Choose one brand of tape -- ideally the brand which matches your camcorder -- and stick with it.

Thanks to all who have participated.

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