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  1. I have a problem I am hoping someone can help me with. I have several miniDV tapes I took to a local service to transfer to DVDs. This service uses professional grade equipment to read the tapes. I was however dismayed to find out that some of the DVDs have video noise on them (and loss of audio) in spots that was not on the original tapes when played back on my video camera (JVC GR-DVL815U). In particular, the video noise is a vertical band of broken video often (but not always) on the left side of the screen (the audio tends to drop out during this time). The problem is only in spots with some DVDs worse than others. The gentlemen said the heads on my video camera might have been misaligned when the tapes were recorded so that as long as I played the tapes with the video camera, the video would be clean (i.e., the video on the tape would match the head alignment) but using the professional equipment, the video on the tape would be misaligned. The gentleman was going to try pulling the data off the tapes using my video camera but the camera is inoperative. I have been reluctant to get the camera repaired, not only because of the cost but my fear is the repair technician might adjust the head, causing it to be skewed with respect to the tape video (permanently preventing me from getting clean video off the tapes). Surely Im not the first person this has happened to. Does anyone have any suggestions? I dont want to lose some precious videos of my young kids.

    I have attached two sample videos showing what Im talking about. Thanks for any feedback you can provide me.
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    call in a favor from a friend who has a miniDV cam and see if they play on that. use a head cleaning tape before and after.
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  3. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    I've had exactly this problem - my (now dead) camcorder was apparently increasingly out of alignment, writing some tapes (especially in LP mode, but sometimes even in SP mode) that always played with errors on other machines.

    I used someone who could mis-align a deck to transfer some of the tapes for me. They did a perfect job of some tapes, but just OK on others (i.e. still some errors).

    However, I had almost as much luck buying random crappy DV camcorders from eBay (they cost next to nothing now - and you don't need one in great condition) and using whichever one best played back each tape to transfer that tape to my PC.

    I still have a couple of stubborn tapes which I'll send to the guy who was able to mis-align his professional decks to deal with. I don't think many people know how to do this - this guy he repairs and aligns (semi)professional machines for broadcasters, and even then this isn't a service he normally provides.

    Hope this helps.

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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    Originally Posted by 2Bdecided View Post
    I I don't think many people know how to do this - this guy he repairs and aligns (semi)professional machines for broadcasters, and even then this isn't a service he normally provides.
    I know how to do this on some formats. It's not an easy skill, and often requires custom tools.
    It requires patience and testing.
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  5. I came across this problem when a friend gave me some mini dv tapes and asked me to put the content onto DVD. It was interview footage from a college course he was teaching on.
    When I put the tapes into one of my camcorders and tried to capture the footage using Premiere Pro 1.5, I got a similar effect to what you've described. One thing I noticed was that the tapes had been recorded on the extended play setting. If I had been able to use the camcorder the footage was recorded on I guess the quality would have been better, but they were college property and not available by this point as someone else was using them, so we had to just go with what we had.
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