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  1. Hi guys I am trying to convert some old Hi8/Digital8 tapes to a digital format. I've got a bunch of old tapes that I recorded with a Sony Handycam CCD-TRV67. I recently picked up an DCR-TRV340, which is supposed to play my old tapes and convert them to digital. They play just fine, but I am getting some distortion and the audio is fuzzy. This happens with all my tapes. Also, when I put them back in my old camcorder, they play fine. But of course my old camcorder doesn't have digital output. Also the other weird thing is that when I record new video on the TRV340, there is no distortion in video or audio. I have attached a sample screen grab. Has anyone else ran into this problem or is my camera just faulty?

    Image
    [Attachment 35283 - Click to enlarge]
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  2. NTSC tape, PAL camcorder?
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  3. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    NTSC tape, PAL camcorder?
    Both are NTSC.
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  4. Looks like a play speed issue -- either tracking is out of spec or tapes were recorded at EP?
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  5. Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Looks like a play speed issue -- either tracking is out of spec or tapes were recorded at EP?
    Yeah that's what makes me think the head stills seems to be okay. If it works fine recording and playing back in the Digital8 format...

    Not sure what EP is. Is there a way to tell if it was recorded in EP? If that tracking is out of spec, is there any way to this fix this or is it better to just find a different camcorder?
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  6. Is the TBC DNR set to on? Did you set the sound to 48000hz? Did you rewind the tape fully a couple of times ? I had this problem on some tapes, it was because the tape ribbon was unproperly rewinded and touching the sides of the tape casing. Try putting your camcorder on the side, tape casing window facing up and rewind it completely a couple of times. Then set the camcorder to 8/hi8 mode manually it helps sometimes.
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  7. Originally Posted by ackboo View Post
    Is the TBC DNR set to on? Did you set the sound to 48000hz? Did you rewind the tape fully a couple of times ? I had this problem on some tapes, it was because the tape ribbon was unproperly rewinded and touching the sides of the tape casing. Try putting your camcorder on the side, tape casing window facing up and rewind it completely a couple of times. Then set the camcorder to 8/hi8 mode manually it helps sometimes.
    Yep I have tried turning on/off TBC and DNR. Tried the different sound settings. I fast-forwarded the tape all the way to the end and then rewound it again. I will try putting it on the side and rewind it a few times. I'm just afraid I'm out of luck because it works just fine recording/playing back the Digital8 format :/
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  8. Well if you still have your original camcorder you can use your D8 camcorder as a passthrough. That way you won't lose everything. See here :
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/355121-Sony-Handycam-Digital8-camcorders-with-analo...gital-passthru

    Also I'd be curious to know if by using it as a passthrough you get the D8 edge color issue.
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/354425-Hi8-capture-using-Digital8-camcorder-Edge-color-issues

    edit: did you also try a cleaning tape ?
    Last edited by ackboo; 20th Jan 2016 at 10:07.
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  9. Originally Posted by ackboo View Post
    Well if you still have your original camcorder you can use your D8 camcorder as a passthrough. That way you won't lose everything. See here :
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/355121-Sony-Handycam-Digital8-camcorders-with-analo...gital-passthru

    Also I'd be curious to know if by using it as a passthrough you get the D8 edge color issue.
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/354425-Hi8-capture-using-Digital8-camcorder-Edge-color-issues

    edit: did you also try a cleaning tape ?
    Yeah I was wondering if this was possible! I still have my original camcorder. So I'd basically use an S-Video cable to connect both camcorders together, then the DV to FireWire cable to my computer? This doesn't lower the quality at all using an older camcorder as opposed to the newer one does it?
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  10. The key words in the manuals seem to be "signal convert" while in their marketing they use terms like "analog-to-digital pass-through".
    I have the pal version of your camcorder, so no passthrough for me, I think there is a setting somewhere, check your manual first. No idea on the quality hit.
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  11. Well it's looking more and more like I was sold a faulty unit. No one else seems to have this problem
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  12. Member solarfox's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mrittman View Post
    Well it's looking more and more like I was sold a faulty unit. No one else seems to have this problem
    I'm afraid that might be the case, unfortunately. I have that exact same Digital8 camcorder (Sony DCR-TRV340), and I've never had any problem digitizing any of my old 8mm or Hi8 tapes... ('Course, I bought my DCR-TRV340 back when it was brand-new, rather than secondhand, so I know its history and how it's been cared for. )

    Not sure what EP is. Is there a way to tell if it was recorded in EP? If that tracking is out of spec, is there any way to this fix this
    EP mode is "extended play"; it's a mode which gives you a longer recording time on the cassette, at the expense of some video quality, by running the tape at a slower speed. However, due to the slower speed, the helical-recording stripes are packed more closely together (and at a slightly-different angle, as well), so the tracking tolerances are less forgiving, which often gave rise to situations where EP-mode tapes might only play back "cleanly" in the same camera they were originally recorded in. The manual which came with my 340 did not recommend playing back EP-mode tapes directly on the camcorder, for exactly that reason; it recommended using the original camera, if available, and using the 340 as a passthrough converter.

    "Fixing" the tracking is generally not practical, nor desirable, especially if the problem is that the original Hi8 camera's tracking was a bit out-of-spec to begin with. If the camera was out of spec, then the tapes have been recorded with their stripes out of spec as well; if you try to "fix" the tracking on the 340 to match the tapes, that means your 340 will now be out of spec too!
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  13. Wow thank you so much for the information! Well maybe since the 340 records/plays tapes just fine in the Digital8 format, the problem is really the older camcorder? The old one could have recorded tapes out of spec... Haha I really have no idea. I'm not sure it's worth selling this 340 and getting another handycam just to see where the problem lies. Do you think I would lose any quality if I use my old camcorder as a playback device and just use the 340 as the passthrough? The only thing that sucks is that I won't be able to use the controls in my software to stop/play/rewind/ff

    Originally Posted by solarfox View Post
    Originally Posted by mrittman View Post
    Well it's looking more and more like I was sold a faulty unit. No one else seems to have this problem
    I'm afraid that might be the case, unfortunately. I have that exact same Digital8 camcorder (Sony DCR-TRV340), and I've never had any problem digitizing any of my old 8mm or Hi8 tapes... ('Course, I bought my DCR-TRV340 back when it was brand-new, rather than secondhand, so I know its history and how it's been cared for. )

    Not sure what EP is. Is there a way to tell if it was recorded in EP? If that tracking is out of spec, is there any way to this fix this
    EP mode is "extended play"; it's a mode which gives you a longer recording time on the cassette, at the expense of some video quality, by running the tape at a slower speed. However, due to the slower speed, the helical-recording stripes are packed more closely together (and at a slightly-different angle, as well), so the tracking tolerances are less forgiving, which often gave rise to situations where EP-mode tapes might only play back "cleanly" in the same camera they were originally recorded in. The manual which came with my 340 did not recommend playing back EP-mode tapes directly on the camcorder, for exactly that reason; it recommended using the original camera, if available, and using the 340 as a passthrough converter.

    "Fixing" the tracking is generally not practical, nor desirable, especially if the problem is that the original Hi8 camera's tracking was a bit out-of-spec to begin with. If the camera was out of spec, then the tapes have been recorded with their stripes out of spec as well; if you try to "fix" the tracking on the 340 to match the tapes, that means your 340 will now be out of spec too!
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  14. whatever you do digitized 8/hi8 won't be of stellar quality. It all boils down to what is acceptable for you. Quality wise and price wise.
    Your original camcorder will tell you how your tapes were recorded.
    There should be an indicator when you playback those tapes :
    SP = standard play
    LP = long play = EP

    If your original camcorder is out of spec, the passthrough is your best option.

    edit: if you know someone with a 8/hi8 camcorder you could try playing some of your tapes in another camcorder, if the defect is still here you will have your answer. No point in buying another D8 camcorder before being sure.
    Last edited by ackboo; 20th Jan 2016 at 15:25.
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  15. Unfortunately I don't know anyone local with one of these camcorders Do you know if there's anywhere online that you can purchase used Hi8 tapes with footage just for testing purposes?
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  16. Member
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    i have the same exact problem. cleaned the read heads and vacuumed the tapes, and this helped with other issues, but this one is the one that i have not yet resolved
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