I started transferring 8mm tapes via firewire with premiere pro on a Sony Handycam TRV330. After about 8-12 hours of footage, I started to notice that after about 1.5 hours, the video quality would start to get garbled and then go completely blank (along with the sound stopping) over the course of about a minute. Then, it started happening sooner and sooner to the point now where the only time you see a picture (albeit, a crappy one) is when pausing or fastforward/rewind while playing.
I figured it was just worn out so I got my hands on a Sony TRV460 that had maybe see 10 hours total use in its life...practically brand new. I started capturing again and, after about 8 hours of use, it started to do the exact same thing!
I tried cleaning the heads the way the manual suggested (run a cleaning tape through it) and no difference. If it was a cleaning issue, I would think it would always be a poor picture and not the symptoms it is showing, but I'm new to this.
I have yet ANOTHER camcorder that I can start transferring with again, but I want to hold off the destruction of yet another camcorder if I am doing something wrong.
What is the likely problem?
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Maybe your tapes are shedding heavily. Try fast-winding them end-to-end a couple of times before you play. It's also possible your cleaning tape is ineffective, in which case you'll need to clean the heads manually.
i'd guess it's more likely an age thing. the capacitors on the boards inside the cam are OLD. caps from back in the 90s and early 00s tend to leak and dry up. heat and usage make them worse.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Cleaning the heads was my first thought. 8 hours is way too long to go between cleanings. I have several Sony Digital8 cams. When I transfer I do it after every tape. The heads are hard to access. I use a tongue depressor cut at a slight angle with a piece of micro fiber cloth stapled across the end with Acetone on it applied with very light pressure and another to spin the drum. Of course be very careful - never move whatever you're cleaning the heads with laterally, that is parallel to the axis of the shaft for the head. That applies to any tape player. Keep it still and move the drum under it. You damage one of those heads and I'm guessing it would be an expensive ordeal to find a replacement and find someone qualified to replace it.
It's very easy to get to the drum on the TRV-460. Just remove the top panel of the camera body. It's attached with three screws that have little arrows next to them. I prefer chamois swabs and 99% isopropyl alcohol for head cleaning. Acetone will damage plastic parts if it comes in contact with them.