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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 16, 2007
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    dv tapes messed up when played on deck HELP!
    Hey there...thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some light here...
    I've shot about 10 hours on a Sony VX20000 and when I went to transfer them to a hard drive usisng FCP 4.0 with a Sony deck (sorry can't remember the model), the tapes would play weirdly- pixelated, bars, and would stop every minute or so- they just wouldn't play on the deck- even when I tried 'uncontrolled device' setting in FCP, or through Imovie. But they played fine on my camera. The deck would play tapes that I'd shot on another camera just fine, it was only tapes from my vx2000 that wouldn't play.
    I then tried another deck, the Sony DSR-11, and the same situation. I also tried playing them on my friend's Sony vx2000, and they were pixelated and would start and stop.
    I would just sacrifice the heads of my Sony VX2000 and use them to transfer the footage I shot, but my firewire port is blown. I took it to get the port fixed, but I'm wondering what the heck is going on. The tapes won't play on any other camera or deck, but they play fine on the cam I shot them on.
    No one I've talked to has ever seen this. My friend who's deck I tried thought my vx2000 might possibly be 'laying down dirty timecode' and that the decks wouldn't play it? is it a 'tracking' (whatever that is) issue with the camera?
    Has anyone else experienced anything like this? It's driving me crazy and has me paranoid that I'll never be able to get my footage off of my tapes so I can edit it.
    Please help if you can!!
    Thanks so much...

  2. #2

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
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    When you opened the tapes, did you unpack them and blacken them before shooting your footage?

    If the tapes weren't unpacked, you are likely to experience artifacting (the pixelization and bars) on your footage.
    If the tapes weren't blackened, then that would account for the timecode issues when trying to capture the footage, though they should at least play on the deck.
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  3. #3

    PowerBookG4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
    When you opened the tapes, did you unpack them and blacken them before shooting your footage?

    If the tapes weren't unpacked, you are likely to experience artifacting (the pixelization and bars) on your footage.
    If the tapes weren't blackened, then that would account for the timecode issues when trying to capture the footage, though they should at least play on the deck.
    I only blacken VHS. You do not have to blacken DV. Did you try HD Decks?
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  4. #4

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerBookG4 View Post
    I only blacken VHS. You do not have to blacken DV. Did you try HD Decks?
    If you plan on doing a large batch capture, then you would still need to blacken a DV tape. You can still capture it without blackening, but then your editing time would be exponentially higher, as you would have to sift through large chunks of footage.
    Unblackened DV tapes can still cause issues when capturing... it has happened to me on at least two occasions when capturing footage.
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  5. #5

    CAMERA MAN's Avatar
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    Wat about a dirty play head. I think that happen to me once but it was only a part of the tape had lines and stuff.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    May 16, 2007
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    blackening?
    Thanks so much for your replies.
    at the risk of sounding like the inexperienced moron that I am, what is blackening and unpacking?
    I've never done that with anything I've shot.
    What's confusing me is that the footage plays back perfectly when I play it on the camera that I shot it on. It's only when I try to play the tapes on- or capture them from- another camera or deck that they won't play and have bars/pixelation.
    will I be able to capture them from the camera I shot them on (on which they playback fine) once I get my port fixed- or will I likely encounter log and capture problems? is there anything I can do??
    this is for a big project and I'm really worried
    thanks again~

  7. #7

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms612 View Post
    Thanks so much for your replies.
    at the risk of sounding like the inexperienced moron that I am, what is blackening and unpacking?
    I've never done that with anything I've shot.
    No problem. Very simplified:

    Blackening is when you record the full length of the tape with the lens cover on, BEFORE you shoot any of your footage. It records nothing but black (hence the name), but what it will do is lay a solid, unbroken timecode on your tape. This was crucial with VHS tapes, but some will argue the need to do this with DV tape. I do it regardless, as it won't damage or hurt anything. I have never encountered any problems with blackening DV tapes.
    Anyway, when you go back to record and eventually capture, you can tell FCP (or whatever app you are caputring with) to only capture footage from certain blocks of the timecode (00:00:01:23 to 00:00:05:42; for example), rather than the entire length of the shoot. This gives you nice managable chunks of scenes to edit.
    If the tape isn't blackened, then you will have to go back and manually capture the the entire block of footage and then cut your scenes from that large chunk. This takes much longer, depending on how much footage you have to work with.

    Unpacking is when you take a new tape, fast-forward it to the end, and then rewind it back to the beginning BEFORE you start to shoot any footage or even blacken it. This loosens and prepares the tape for shooting. If you don't unpack first, you may run the risk of the tape wheels sticking or stalling, which can drop footage, break the timecode, or cause artifacting, neither of which is good for your video.
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  8. #8


    Member Since
    May 16, 2007
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    thanks for that info!! wish I would have done that before
    is there any sort of way of importing that just overrides the timecode or imports without timecode?

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