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  1. Member
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    I've been archiving my MiniDV tapes off and on for the last year.I've been using Canon MVX200+ Canon MVX35i camcorders going through firewire into my laptop. I've started running into audio dropouts on the last 10 tapes in a row. I've tried running a new Sony cleaning tape on both camcorders but the drop outs continue. Most of these tapes were made around 2004. They've been kept in a safe, dry drawer. I did about 100 of them last year and had set aside 15 with audio or video glitches that I thought I might retry later. Many of them were made on a camcorder which broke and is gone. Both of these camcorders I bought used and have worked fine until now. So my question now is if there is more I can do? I thought maybe the head was slightly different on the original camcorder but hesitated to fool with trying to adjust the head on one of these (as I've never done anything like that) but have seen a few videos on Youtube. Any tips on what the likely culprit is and if there are any solutions I might be able to try are appreciated.
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  2. 1. You've tried the head cleaning so
    2. Try a different player. Camcorder/deck. Try several.
    Because minidv is quite old, you can use newer hdv camcorders, too.
    3. Try professional decks.
    4. Try a professional transfer service
    https://av-workshop.com/do-your-minidv-tapes-suffer-from-digital-pixelation-dropout/
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm definitely on a budget so I hope to try as many things as I can before spending money on more sophisticated equipment or transfer companies. Today I had a little luck from trying a tip I read about on Youtube of running the tape all the way back and forth before trying capture. Next I thought about using some chamois swabs and 91% alcahol although it's hard to get to all of the area of the heads.
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    Originally Posted by babygdav View Post
    1. You've tried the head cleaning so
    2. Try a different player. Camcorder/deck. Try several.
    Because minidv is quite old, you can use newer hdv camcorders, too.
    Not sure I follow what you mean here?
    3. Try professional decks.
    4. Try a professional transfer service
    https://av-workshop.com/do-your-minidv-tapes-suffer-from-digital-pixelation-dropout/
    I've got quite a few tapes (now that I count the ones captured already but with artifacts and uncaptured) around 35 so judging from what I've seen charged well out of what I can afford. If push comes to shove I guess I'll have to rate them and go for the top ones but I hope I can figure out a way to do them myself before going that route.

    I have both 8mm/Hi8 and that's on hold while I wait for a used camcorder to arrive. Now the miniDV is proving a much bigger problem. I'm going to make a new post asking about technical ways of adjusting the camcorder as a heading and looking to see if there's a forum for diy adjustments to out of alignment tapes. Thanks
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  5. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    you're much less likely to ruin the heads on the cam with a sony cleaning tape.

    fast-forward, rewind is likely to dislodge some of the old magnetic materiel just like playing it, but you won't be able capture what's already gone unlike playing it.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  6. https://www.tapeservices.com/DV-Head-Cleaning-Maintenance_ep_58.html

    A cleaning tape can get to places you can't reach.
    Yes, these work.

    ...

    Dropouts.
    Fact of life with tape once enough bits on the tape degrade or get damaged through wear and such.

    ...

    Head alignment.
    Tapes can be sensitive to tiny variations in head positioning, thus resulting in problems with playback.

    ...

    https://av-workshop.com/do-your-minidv-tapes-suffer-from-digital-pixelation-dropout/
    Yes, there are companies that can recover some tapes that you have dropouts on by using different/better equipment.

    ...

    Head clean, ff/rw the tapes a few times, try a capture.
    At the location of the dropout, try capturing from a few seconds before to a few seconds after. Any difference? Still the same dropout in the same place or not?

    If not, you can combine the two good capture segments when editing.
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    Originally Posted by babygdav View Post
    https://www.tapeservices.com/DV-Head-Cleaning-Maintenance_ep_58.html

    A cleaning tape can get to places you can't reach.
    Yes, these work.
    Right, I've used them. I bought a new one.

    ...

    Dropouts.
    Fact of life with tape once enough bits on the tape degrade or get damaged through wear and such.

    ...

    Head alignment.
    Tapes can be sensitive to tiny variations in head positioning, thus resulting in problems with playback.

    ...

    https://av-workshop.com/do-your-minidv-tapes-suffer-from-digital-pixelation-dropout/
    Yes, there are companies that can recover some tapes that you have dropouts on by using different/better equipment.

    ...

    Head clean, ff/rw the tapes a few times, try a capture.
    At the location of the dropout, try capturing from a few seconds before to a few seconds after. Any difference? Still the same dropout in the same place or not?

    If not, you can combine the two good capture segments when editing.
    Interesting because of something which I've just spent the last hour on. I had been adjusting what I think are called spindles. See pic,I labeled them 1 and 2. There were big artifacts and audio dropouts before. I got the audio much better and less artifacts and captured it with WinDV. The entire tape, except for a few minutes, was one filming session of a music performance. There was one little bit stuck in after the performance ended (but the camera kept running). I must have just wanted to take a little video a few months later and stuck it in. When I looked at the capture that little bit had artifact free video but the music playing in the background was way too fast. WinDV is set to break the video into 4 min segments. When it went to the next segment the music was playing in regular time and the video was perfect. After the inserted bit ended and it went back to original video, where background music was being played, the music seemed too slow. All that confused me so I went back and captured it again to see why it sped up. This time the video had lots of artifacts and the music was too fast all through. Because of where I started the capture it was all on one 4 minute segment. After the inserted bit ended and it went back to the original video the music there was going normal speed. So in this case, two different captures and two different results.?
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    Last edited by hpcampr; 18th Feb 2020 at 21:28.
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  8. https://www.videoonerepair.com/canon-xl-h1-mechanical-problems-playback-problems/
    That reminded me of how older camcorders had adjustment and parts issues.

    Like http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/trouble/audiodrop.html
    This obscure one.

    ...

    Your playing around with the spindles suggest
    1. The camcorder needs to be adjusted to playback the tapes, takes that were recorded off-spec, thus unplayable on normally working camcorders.
    2. The camcorder is off-spec and needs to be readjusted back to normal specs to play the on-spec tapes.

    ...

    (Of course, all tapes, even pro tapes, wear out and drop out, so try to keep the playbacks too a minimum per tape.)

    ...

    ALL video/audio sync in dv captures are lost between takes (when the camcorder stops recording, then begins again). You will need to manually line up the tape to the beginning of a new segment, start a new capture - that should give you a capture with sync'd audio and video.
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  9. https://www.manualslib.com/download/1681414/Canon-Mvx200-E.html

    fyi: most of the adjustments are made through the service manual using a dedicated service remote control and equipment.
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  10. Member
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    Originally Posted by babygdav View Post
    https://www.videoonerepair.com/canon-xl-h1-mechanical-problems-playback-problems/
    That reminded me of how older camcorders had adjustment and parts issues.

    Like http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/trouble/audiodrop.html
    This obscure one.

    ...

    Your playing around with the spindles suggest
    1. The camcorder needs to be adjusted to playback the tapes, takes that were recorded off-spec, thus unplayable on normally working camcorders.
    2. The camcorder is off-spec and needs to be readjusted back to normal specs to play the on-spec tapes.

    ...

    (Of course, all tapes, even pro tapes, wear out and drop out, so try to keep the playbacks too a minimum per tape.)

    ...

    ALL video/audio sync in dv captures are lost between takes (when the camcorder stops recording, then begins again). You will need to manually line up the tape to the beginning of a new segment, start a new capture - that should give you a capture with sync'd audio and video.
    Good point. That what I'll do next time. Thanks
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    Originally Posted by babygdav View Post
    https://www.manualslib.com/download/1681414/Canon-Mvx200-E.html

    fyi: most of the adjustments are made through the service manual using a dedicated service remote control and equipment.
    Yikes, that's sophisticated. Thanks for the link on the better manual than I had before. The thing that helped me the most was that Youtube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_5LP5NkoVA&t=312s
    I could see the artifacts similar to mine and I could see what he was adjusting and how it changed it. That's more my technical level!
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