I'm in the midst of transferring some 8mm tapes to my computer and having an issue with a few. I'll preface this by saying, I have transferred hundreds of tapes before and never run into an issue like this.
Normally I just go the D8 camera transfer route. Playback analog 8mm tapes in my D8 camcorder and capture to a DV avi file over firewire. I have a few 8mm tapes that are giving me a lot of trouble. Playing them back in the D8 camcorder gives me no picture and distorted sound. If I fast-forward or rewind, I can see the picture.
Next I tried playing them back in a Samsung Hi8 camcorder that I have and the resulting picture looks like this. See attachment. My only conclusion is that the camera these tapes were originally recorded on had serious alignment issues. Unfortunately that camera is no longer around so playing them back with that is not an option.
Anyone have any ideas?
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Yup, bad tracking. Video8 doesn't use a control track; the heads chase guide frequencies laid down with the video signal. Hence there is no manual tracking control. If the signals are laid down badly or deteriorated, you would need to make very low-level mechanical and electronic adjustments to follow them. Have you tried winding the tape end-to-end a few times and cleaning the heads?
I've cleaned the video heads with no avail...other tapes play back with no issues so not a head clog issue or anything. I've rewound the tapes once, I'll do a back and forth a few times and see if that helps at all. Luckily I have a 8mm tape rewinder!
Another thought is physical tape damage. I've seen this pattern with tape that wasn't lying flat in the transport path. Can you take a peek and see if there is creasing or edge damage?
Definitely not tape damage, it was the first thing I thought of, but all the tapes that exhibit the issue look perfect fine. No damaged or crinkled tape, not creasing, nothing.
I have 1 tape where the first 22minutes playback fine and then on a scene change, the video goes all wonky for the rest of the tape.
If the problem appears with a new take, that's a big clue that something went wrong with the recorder.
The multiple lines implies a tape playback speed/framerate issue. Could be SP/LP recording. Could even be PAL/NTSC. The sample does not show artifacts normally associated with clogged or dirty heads.
It's surprising no one noticed the problem at the time though. If it caused that much head misalignment and/or damage, you'd think either the new footage, or the old footage, or both, wouldn't have played back on the camcorder after it was dropped.
Still, it might have been in that "happy" region where the miss-alignment was still good enough to play both.
Or it might be something completely different.
Yeah, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. These aren't my tapes, but according to the owner, the camcorder was never dropped and never sustained any damage. Maybe I'll try to source out a Sony 8mm Handycam from the 90's and see if I have any luck. It's a long shot but there are 5 tapes with this issue. It would suck to not be able to get the footage off of them.
See my recent posts in this forum titled: Video8 captured files with large horizontal bands with the attached picture. Sorry, I don't yet know how to set a proper link to them (:
I think it is the tape guide posts gone wrong in the camera while recording - once again! This happens with Video8/Hi8 camcorders.
There's no other way but to have someone go into your Video8 machine/camcorder, and tweak the guide posts temporarily to get those videos properly captured.
Mind you, once done, the posts must be brought back to their standard height. Be extra careful at it as sticking screwdrivers into a running camcorder can kill it in a heartbeat or faster.
Forget what I just wrote!
I watched the Bad Tape.avi once more. Your tape speed is wrong!
It is too high either in the playback machine, or was wrong in the camcorder at the recording. How can that happen, you might ask? Well, somehow the tape is or was not placed between the capstan shaft and the rubbber pinch roller, as it should be - that's how. Or, the capstan motor servo was out of sync.
If this happened already in the recording, you've got a non-standard Video8 footage on your hands that is pretty hard to correct. But maybe not beyond repair.