this is my first post here, so excuse my missing knowledge. Recently I came to acquire a Hi8 camcorder, namely the wonderful Sony CCD-TR818. I bought it to capture some nice memories during my trip to the US (I'm from Germany). No problems whatsoever, 2 tapes full of material - back in Germany I decided to buy more tapes for further recordings.
Since there wasn't a big analogue camcorder-craze over here, there isn't as much stuff to be found, so when I got some tapes via ebay, they turned out to be rugged, old, used regular 8mm tapes (the guy didn't send me what was shown). I played back the tapes and I guess they sort of disintegrated, recorded a few test shots over the old stuff and that worked out just fine. So I recorded here and there.
after gathering some material I wanted to watch it and damn, the whole playback was (and still is) screwed up. The whole picture flickers, is completely unstable and playback is practically useless. The weird thing is, the camcorder is working fine while recording, same with FF and rewind, its just the playback. I'll put a youtube link down below for you to see. My question is: what can I do to get it to work again? I've never been much of a techie and I didn't find anything on the internet trying to figure out what the problem is.
Don't mind the brightness changes in the video, I adjusted the exposure so it's easier to see what the problem is.
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So your tapes from the US trip play fine? If so, it's an indication that the camcorder seems to be ok (at least during the US trip), and the problem is with the tapes which you purchased later.
You write that the camcorder is working fine while recording. But how do you really know what it put onto the tapes?
I would try again with other tapes from a trustful source.
I forgot to mention that after the problem occurred I tried to play back the good tapes, just to see if the problem is solely with the new tapes. Unfortunately even the ones that didn't show any faults before now won't play back properly. So I'm guessing the problem is within the camcorder itself.
I tried cleaning the tape head with little leather swabs and isopropyl (as seen in a youtube video) but that didn't seem to be the problem.
It is possible that those used tapes have clogged up the recording/playback heads on your camcorder.
Oh. And by the way methinks that camcorder is NTSC. You could have some fun playing your US recordings on your tv.
These https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/265363432324 or these https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124832969112 are the only tapes I ever use in my D8 camcorder (Hi8 and D8 tapes are identical) and never use a tape more than once. Only ever use brand new tapes and you should never change brands as the lubricants can gum everything up in the camcorder which is almost certainly what has happened here. You could try using a proper head cleaning tape if you can find one. Video8, Hi8 and Digital8 all use the same tapes.
Thanks for the feedback, good to know. So the problem, old tapes messing with the playback could be solved with a cleaning cassette? Is there by any chance another way? The only ones I could find were either used ones or brand new for 70€ and upward which I find horrendously expensive.
For that price you could probably get another camcorder......