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  1. Member
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    Hi,

    I just bought a nice DCR-TRV520 to use in digitizing some old Hi8 tapes. I'm not *too* naive, and the research I did online indicated that this model was fine to play back analog tape. Though I've dug through the menu and adjusted every playback setting (PB Mode and A/V-->DV OUT), I can't get anything but a blue screen on any tape I've tried.

    Anyone know of a magic trick? Otherwise, I think I'm going to try to return the camera.

    Thanks!
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    Do you know for a fact that the tapes aren't erased?

    Wind the tape end-to-end in fast mode. This retensions the pack and encourages debris to fall out. Then clean the video heads.
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    Thanks for the reply! I don't know for a *fact,* but it would be really strange, wouldn't it? How easy is it to bulk-erase 20 or so Hi8 tapes that have been packed away snugly (in cases) for 15 years?

    Either way, I don't think it's a dirt/clean issue...it's playing, but the monitor is just showing solid blue. No counter, either. I've seen elsewhere that this specific model is supposed to play analog fine; is that not the case perhaps?
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  4. Member solarfox's Avatar
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    Any Digital8 camcorder should be capable of playing 8mm and Hi-8 tapes -- I've never heard of a model that can't, and the DCR-TRV520 isn't exactly a "low-end" model that they might've cut corners on.

    It could be a tracking issue, depending on the condition of the camcorder that originally recorded them. I don't suppose you still have the original Hi-8 camera, do you?

    Also, do you know if these were recorded in SP mode, or LP? I seem to recall that Digital8 cameras could be touchy about LP-mode analog tapes sometimes, since the tracking was more finicky due to the recorded stripes being packed closer together at the slower tape speed.
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    Interesting--thanks for the reply, Solarfox. I do still have the original camera (which has a busted eject mechanism); it's a TRV-66. I don't recall which SP/LP setting it would've been on.
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    Originally Posted by solarfox View Post
    Any Digital8 camcorder should be capable of playing 8mm and Hi-8 tapes…
    That's not true if you're speaking about recorded format. Sony had a line of low-cost cams that only play Digital8 recordings — the TRV280, for example.
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    Originally Posted by Harvey View Post
    it's playing, but the monitor is just showing solid blue. No counter, either.
    Typical "no-signal" output, meaning it's not reading anything off the tape. This is precisely what you would get with clogged video heads. What does the built-in screen show?
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  8. Member solarfox's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    Originally Posted by solarfox View Post
    Any Digital8 camcorder should be capable of playing 8mm and Hi-8 tapes…
    That's not true if you're speaking about recorded format. Sony had a line of low-cost cams that only play Digital8 recordings — the TRV280, for example.
    Really? Huh... I guess I never saw one of those, then. I wonder who Sony thought the target market would be for those? I'd always been under the impression that the whole point of the Digital-8 format was to bridge the divide between analog and digital, so that people who had 8mm and Hi-8 camcorders and recordings could move into the DV realm without having to start over with a whole new physically-incompatible format that couldn't play their existing recordings. Seems like if you didn't need 8mm/Hi-8 compatibility, why not just go to mini-DV instead?
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    I can think of a couple of reasons. First, Sony offered plenty of models with backwards compatibility to capture the analog 8 mm market. Second, the 8 mm video brand was much better known than MiniDV.
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