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  1. I am trying to get my old tapes onto my computer. I have a Sony TRV218E Hi8 Camcorder. I was watching various videos for a few days before hooking it up to my computer via a USB adapter. I managed to record one video, then it stopped working. The issue is that all I get is a blue screen. The tapes are playing but I just get a blue screen. I tried using a q-tip and alcohol to clean the head but its still the same.

    I then borrowed my mother-in-laws Samsung VP-M50 8 Camcorder. I put a tape in and it played fine. I then stopped the tape, connected it to my computer. It now just shows static for every tape I put into it!

    The tapes I have vary between 8 and Hi8 formats, and (I think) vary between PAL and NTSC. I know the Samsung will only play 8 tapes and the Sony will play both 8 and Hi8.

    I only tried one tape in the Samsung before it stopped working. I have not tried cleaning the Samsung at all. I have not tried a special head cleaning tape in either camcorder.

    Does anyone have any idea whats going on?
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    if the tapes weren't stored in a temperature and humidity controlled environment it's possible they are shedding the magnetic material off the plastic backing, they might well be clogging up the heads. also some manufacturers used different types of lube on the tape. either wet or dry and playing tapes with diff. lubes can clog heads. get a head cleaning tape and give it a try. then buy a brand new tape and see if the cams will record and playback ok. if so try using the head cleaner after playing every tape. and always fast forward/rewind all old tapes before playing to hopefully loosen any sticky spots that would cause tape speed issues or breaking.
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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