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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Queens NY

    Horizontal bands across video footage

    On Saturday I filmed a memorial event (for my Dad, who died last June) with my Samsung SCD107 MiniDV camcorder and a new-Panasonic brand tape. There are five white vertical bands in the footage, as reviewed in the LCD monitor. As well, the sound portion is garbled every 5-10 seconds. I then viewed footage from another tape I had shot months earlier, one I knew was free from distortion, and found it too showed the distortion described above. Trying several other tapes I had shot successfully a long time ago, though, showed they viewed perfectly through my videocam's screen. On the heels of that, I tried Saturday's film again, and still find the distortion described earlier. Any idea what's going on? Are the video heads dirty? Any chance the tape shot Saturday might actually be free from distortion, that the problem lies with the playback feature of the videocam? This was a once-in-a-lifetime event, unveiling a US Navy logo on my Dad's gravestone.

  2. #2
    I think you'll find that you just need to stick a Video Head Cleaner Tape in your camera and that will sort out your problem. Sounds like your play heads are just a little dusty. Give it a try, let us know if this solves your problem.

  3. #3
    Hi jord,

    Sorry to hear about your dad's passing on.

    Going through your description, I think the damage is permanent. But if you would like to try to solve the issue, I'd like to persuade you to do a couple of things before you put that tape cleaner in.

    1. Put in a fresh, meaning never been used tape and record 2-3 minutes of anything on it, preferably in a place with sufficient light (morning outside). Let's call this tape A.

    2.Hook the camera onto your TV. I believe it has an AV port, only thing I do not know is whether you have an AV cable.

    3. Watch Tape A from your camcorder. Any problems with visual/audio? Watch it on your TV as well? If the lines and sound problem still shows, stop there.

    4. You can use a tape head cleaner. After that, run this tape again. Does the problem persist? If yes, the camera needs more than just cleaning. It might need to be sent for servicing.

    5. Borrow a friend's miniDV camera and try playing Tape A again. If Tape A works, try playing your Dad's memorial event. If it works, all is likely well.

    Okay, time for reasons. I do not recommend using tape cleaners until you really need it. And a good (but impractical for home users) habit is always recording from fresh tapes. This leaves your tape head clean for the longest time. Also by recording on Tape A, you get a footage that would likely have the same effect as what you have shot for your Dad's service, so if by any chance the mechanism catches the tape, only Tape A is destroyed. Preservation of important tapes.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  4. #4
    My old Panasonic DS50 used to also give that problem on occasions and we found that the tape drive capstan was actually slipping so the tape was not being run at the right speed. The bars and garbled audio seem to point to the tape drive being faulty!! If cleaning does not work then take it to a technician or replace the camcorder (with labour prices nowdays it seems that buying a new one is often cheaper than a repair!! Panasonic wanted $600 to repair my DS50 which was possibly worth $150!!)

    Good luck ...and when you next do a REALLY important event consider borrowing/hiring a spare camera so you at least have a backup!!!



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