VideoHelp Forum
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 24 of 24
Thread
  1. I had a canon minidv several years ago and ended up getting rid of it due to the fact that the heads were out of alignment and I just needed to upgrade. However, when I play them back or when I transferred them to a dvd, they were all pixilated. I tried that specific camera and even used another one at another point. Is there anyway to just buy one and adjust it like the old tracking on a vhs player? There are quite a few tapes like this.

    I was thinking about just buying one on ebay that wasn’t working all the way for cheap, like one that only played back or something along those lines. Also, if I can adjust the heads or set something like tracking, what would be the best way to transfer it? Historically, I just used AV cables and hooked it to a dvd recorder and went that route.
    I appreciate the help.
    Quote Quote  
  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
    Search Comp PM
    DV doesn't have manual tracking. Are you saying that putting ANY of those tapes into ANY DV camcorder or DV deck results in garbled playback (direct to TV, not through capture)?
    If so, the only thing you can do is send your stuff to a lab that specializes in DV messed-up-tape restoration. And even THAT won't guarantee that you'll get anything usable at all.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
    Quote Quote  
  3. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
    Search Comp PM
    the most likely source of pixelated output that's encoded on the tape is dirty/bad heads on the recording cam. there is no way to get better results off the tape that's recorded like that.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
    Quote Quote  
  4. Well, I've only tried on one other unit with issues as well. HOWEVER, the way it was explained to me (Whether or not it is accurate) is that it was taped while the heads were out of alignment so I'd have to get a recorder with the heads out of alignment the same amount to get correct playback. Is that not the case?

    If not, I might purchase one for just playback issues. What is the most ideal way to get it to dvd. Is it via a pc or direct to a dvd recorder?
    Quote Quote  
  5. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
    Search Comp PM
    miniDV isn't like an analog video tape. it's digital data. there is no way there would be any picture if they were "out of alignment".
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
    Quote Quote  
  6. Hmmm. The person said that by putting a tape that was recorded on a bad head into a brand new camcorder, it would not display correctly AND it would mess up the heads on the new camcorder. Is that not accurate? I don't want to borrow one from someone only to mess it up.
    Quote Quote  
  7. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
    Search Comp PM
    sounds like a vcr repairman tall tale to me. i capture miniDV tapes daily from customers using all brands of cams/tapes, good bad and ugly. never had a problem with a tape messing up a transport. clogging the heads yes but a cleaning tape takes care of that in seconds.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
    Quote Quote  
  8. Awesome. Maybe there is hope. What is your recommendation to tranfer. To PC or directly to dvd? Also, is there anything out there yet that would allow me to transfer without and actual camcorder? The one I have now is just a hard drive and I really don't know anyone who has one and don't want to buy one. Thoughts?

    If not, do all of them still require firewire? I just don't know if any of my laptops have a 1394
    Quote Quote  
  9. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
    Search Comp PM
    firewire and a cam that uses miniDV tape. either SD or HDV cam or a tape deck(they start around $1000).
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
    Quote Quote  
  10. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    miniDV isn't like an analog video tape. it's digital data. there is no way there would be any picture if they were "out of alignment".
    Sorry aedipuss, but you're wrong. There's a big region between apparently perfect video, and no video at all. Within this region, the DV error correction will kick in and you'll see blockiness on the areas it's copying from previous frames.

    I have faced the exact same problem - I owned a Sony camcorder which seemed to work OK for a decade before dying - but when I tried to play the more recent tapes from the old camcorder on my new HV20, they were horribly blocky down the right hand side of the picture. It turned out that the old camcorder had gradually drifted out of alignment - never far enough to prevent it from playing it's own early tapes, but far enough that the last tapes recorded won't play properly on most camcorders.

    I sent the tapes off and got them transferred by a professional repair service where they "misadjusted" a machine to play these tapes properly. I've also found that some camcorders make a better (not perfect, but better) job of playing some of these tapes (but the worst ones are still unrecoverable by me).

    Hope this helps.

    EDIT: Of course LP tapes are far harder to play back on anything else - most camcorder manuals warn that the tolerances on LP recordings are so tight that you can't expect them to play back on anything other than the machine that recorded them. Though sometimes/often they will play fine on another machine.

    Cheers,
    David.
    Quote Quote  
  11. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
    Search Comp PM
    minidv tape has guard bands(space between tracks) and iti data at the beginning of each helical track and subcode data at the end of a track. so no you can't get bleed from another track. missing data from a single track yes. decks with dynamic motion control are sometimes able to read the missing parts of a badly written tape.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
    Quote Quote  
  12. Man, now you guys are speaking a different language. Now I'm worried because when I've played back my tapes, they are pixelated. However, I'm going to try to transfer them to my pc via firewire instead of directly to a dvd via audio/video cables.

    However, does anyone know if I can use a firewire to USB cable as my laptop doesn't have a firewire port and the pcmcia slot is the goofy one.
    Quote Quote  
  13. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
    Search Comp PM
    no the adapter usb to firewire thingies don't work. sorry. find a friend with a working firewire port?
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
    Quote Quote  
  14. Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    no the adapter usb to firewire thingies don't work. sorry. find a friend with a working firewire port?
    #1- Will do. Just out of curiousity, why don't they work? Seems like the transfer would be flawless.

    #2- So, just so I understand completely, the most likely issue is that the tapes were recorded with dirty/bad heads and regardless of what camcorder I play it on will not make those tapes right. Is that correct?

    #3- If I view it on say a brand new camcorder and it is pixelated there, is there any hope regardless of how it's transferred? (minus sending it to a lab)

    #4- Also, what's wrong with transferring it with audio/video cable?

    #5- The last time I tried to transfer them it seemed like it wa even worse. Is that possible? Shouldn't the playback be the same?
    Last edited by sj022698; 14th Jan 2011 at 16:53.
    Quote Quote  
  15. Also, what's wrong with transferring it with audio/video cable?
    Quote Quote  
  16. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
    Search Comp PM
    it won't be the same as on the tape. the only way to get the exact video as on the tape is with firewire. using the analog out you would then have to capture it with an a to d converter. think of that like capturing a vihs videotape.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
    Quote Quote  
  17. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
    Search Comp PM
    Additionally, if the heads were bad on the original and it was recorded that way, doesn't matter WHICH output you choose: Analog (Composite) or Digital (Firewire), both will have dropouts/pixellation/errors.

    Like I said at the beginning, you're probably going to need to send this to a lab...

    Answers to your questions:
    #1. Firewire to USB doesn't work because the DV xfer protocol that normally works between PC host and camera expects a DIRECT Firewire-only link, and doesn't work with intermediaries like USB (it doesn't even like Firewire splitter boxes or chaining). And contrary to all the propaganda about USB2 being supposedly equal or better than Firewire - IT ISN'T. No even close. Firewire was set up to give robust continuous data streams (nearly) up to the bitrate limit. USB wasn't set up that way, so unless all the stars are in perfect alignment you'll never get the quoted bitrate.

    #2. Most likely, yes.

    #3. Doubtful

    #4. Read what aedipuss and I said above

    #5. Degradation in analog world is a gentle slope; degradation in digital world is either a sharp cliff (all or nothing) or a bluff (with mid levels of noticeable error compensation (not correction) kicking in). The cliff metaphor is more appropo for executable programs and data files, the bluff metaphor more for media files & streaming channels.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
    Quote Quote  
  18. While not the answers I wanted, I do appreciate the help!

    Last two things. I don't think I ever transferred any of them via firewire. I think I always did them directly to my dvd recorder so I'm hoping maybe that is where the issue is???
    Quote Quote  
  19. Member Abas-Avara's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Azerbaijan
    Search Comp PM
    You sure it isn't interlaced video?

    edit: like this
    Name:  image010.jpg
Views: 1667
Size:  12.7 KB
    The flag once raised will never fall!
    Quote Quote  
  20. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    If it's faulty on the camcorder view finder, it doesn't matter what transfer method you use - they will all show the fault. But if you find a camcorder that plays it properly, use firewire.

    If the heads or tracking were misaligned when recording, it could be recoverable. The data is probably on the tape, but not quite as it should be.

    If the heads were dirty, then you're stuffed. The data never made it onto the tape.

    Cheers,
    David.
    Quote Quote  
  21. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2011
    Location: US
    Search Comp PM
    Hey guys I recorded a game on my GL2. The miniDV tapes have been working just fine. Then I put it into another small camera to capture the footage on my MAC. When I played it it gave me a pixelated look. I thought it was the GL2 that was messed up but whenever I record with it it works fine and when i put it one of my other small cameras the tape works fine. Its only when I put it in this one particular small camera the tape becomes pixelated and then it seems to have messed up the entire tape because when i put it in other small miniDV players it looks pixelated on those or even worse it seems to have erased the entire tape. Can someone help it would be much appreciated.
    Quote Quote  
  22. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2012
    Location: Missouri
    Search PM
    Hello everyone, I have a misalignment recording problem as well. My canon HV20 recorded several tapes out of alignment, then it got jostled and went back into alignment at some point. The reason I'm fairly certain this is the issue is one tape of 3 tapes from a wedding are blank, until 36 minutes into the tape. At that point it starts playing again (most likely it got jostled back into alignment). But, if I push the rewind button from that point, I can see on my playback screen on the HV20 that there is data before that point that wasn't playing. If I stop pushing the rewind button, the screen goes blank and I can't see it. But if I fast forward to 36 minutes, it starts playing again and I can rewind from there and see that there is data as it's rewinding.

    2Bdecided, You said "I sent the tapes off and got them transferred by a professional repair service where they "misadjusted" a machine to play these tapes properly."

    I am needing to do the same thing. I can't find any restoration company that specializes in recovering misaligned recordings on mini dv tape. Can you recommend what company you used? I would really appreciate it!

    Scott
    Quote Quote  
  23. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
    Search Comp PM
    If you have a new topic, create a new thread!

    @wr83_99, sounds like your "small camera" is chewing up your tape! Stop using it. Those tapes that have already gotten chewed up you will have to send to a restoration facility to have any hope of getting anything off of it (which is slim - once damage is done, it can't really be undone).

    @Warkilla, sounds like your HV20 is not just out of alignment, but also has had dirty heads (which some of the tape travel wore off the dirt and so later on they work again). Use to see this all the time with VHS.

    Check online for DV tape restoration facilities. Get quotes & clear explanation of what they're going to do in their processes. If it isn't clear and OK to you, bring the info back here...

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
    Quote Quote  
  24. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    @Warkilla,

    I have seen this myself, and a few people on HV20.com reported it. I have never seen a solution.

    It is frustrating that there's video there during fast wind, but not during play - however, with HDV I think the images you see during fast wind are entirely separate and independently recorded from the videos you see during play. On DV, you're seeing the normal video data during fast wind. Whereas the normal video data on HDV cannot possibly be viewed during fast wind, hence the camcorder stores some extra low resolution images when recording to display during fast wind.

    If you are lucky, then maybe there's normal video there recorded out of alignment. But it's possible that some quirk of the HV20 means there's nothing recorded there at all - or at least, nothing recoverable.

    I believe the HV20 has some kind of video muting/freezing function - it never lets you see MPEG-2 video with errors, but either freezes the video or blanks the screen - so what you see is never an indication of how much (or little) is left on the tape (whereas with DV, it is).

    Sorry I can't be more help.

    Cheers,
    David.
    Quote Quote  



Similar Threads