I am wanting to digitise my 8mm video tapes (the larger analogue ones about the same size as an audio cassette, not the MiniDV ones).
When I play the tapes in the camcorder on which they were recorded (Canon UC4500E purchased in 1997) I can play the video image on the camera (and also on my Mac using Elgato video Capture) but on both there is no audio. The audio isn't distorted, it's simply missing all together.
Originally I thought there might be a misalignment issue with the heads but I figure that would cause distorted audio not nothing at all. I do remember that years ago (but after 1997) I purchased a new camcorder because the Canon had no audio. I can't imagine that I used it for years and never actually played the tapes though the TV and didn't realise it had an audio problem from day one so I assume it did work for some time. I have 10 of these 8mm tapes and, of course, they are tapes of my sons as toddlers and really precious and the oldest videos I have of them when they were little so I'm desperate to get the digitised and with the audio.
I got hold of another similar vintage camcorder yesterday, a Sharp VL-E630H which also plays the same tapes. In fact it came with the owner's tape which played just fine both on the camera and on my Mac. So, optimistically, I put in my tape but it was actually worse than playing it in my Canon. The Sharp not only gave me no audio but the video was just black and white static and a sort of clicking noise coming from the Sharp. It was obviously recognising that there was a tape but that was all. I fully rewound the tape and tried again but no luck. I put my tape back in the Canon and it was fine (well video but not audio still) and then back into the Sharp and back to black and white static and no audio and clicking.
Why won't the same type of tape play on another similar camcorder? I checked to see if either camcorder had slow play/long play options but neither manual mention slow play so I assume that isn't the issue.
The only other relevant thing is that my Canon has 3 composite cables (red, yellow and white) whereas the Sharp has one yellow connector on the camera and a white and yellow connectors at the end. I didn't get the original cable from the owner but I can see in the manual that's what it used and I found that I had a single audio jack with a yellow and white at the end and used that to plug into my Elgate composite connects. Obviously there wasn't a red to connect. When I originally connected the Sharp to my Elgato video capture the tape didn't work but I tried reversing the yellow and white and plugged them into the opposite one on the Elgate (white to yellow and yellow to white) thinking that the Sharp and it worked and the other owners tape (recorded on the Sharp) played fine on the Sharp and on the Mac through the ElgatO. I was elated at this point thinking my tape would also play just fine but then was devestated to fine I was worst of. At least my Canon gives me the video if not the audio.
So that's the story. Short of my ripping apart my Canon and trying to realign the heads myself which I think is not likely to help anyway (and possibly make things worse) I out of ideas.
I would really appreciate any ideas, thoughts, suggestions.
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The tapes are Video 8.
Here is a capture of what happens when I put the tape into the Sharp camera that plays Video 8 tapes. Just black and white static and no audio.
The same tape in my Canon plays the video images just fine but absolutely no audio.
It looks like nothing on tape so audio is muted and video static (just sync pulses) is generated... on fast forward/fast reverse only noise is visible.
So sorry, my mistake, the Sharp is a VL-E630U (not E630H). I can't find a manual for it online anywhere but I did find a service manual and yep, you're right it's NTSC not PAL like my tapes. At least that explains why it wouldn't play my tape. Can you tell just by looking at the capture?
Sorry, I appreciate the help but I'm not comfortable posting a capture with videos of my children for privacy reasons. Believe me though that the video plays just fine on the Canon.
Any thoughts on why my Canon plays the video just fine but there is no audio? If audio is completely missing could it still be head alignment bearing in mind the camera only every recorded 10 tapes? Should I pull apart the casing on the Canon and play the tape whilst gently turning the things that align the head or is that not going to work for totally missing audio?
I'm assuming it could also be a motherboard, PCB, capacitor or some sort of broken component to the microphone but, again, it only recorded 10 tapes and was never banged or dropped so I wouldn't have thought it should have such a problem.
Last edited by I Need Help Please; 23rd Jun 2023 at 08:51.
Just an idea, why not put in a new tape and record and see what happens. That way you can mess about with it without ruining the original tapes. Then you can tell if it records sound and visual and if the camcorder has any faults