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Need Help Troubleshooting miniDV Artifacting


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#1 Jeff Fohl

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:36 PM

I am hoping some experts here can help me troubleshoot a problem I am having with some minDV tapes that are showing some strange artifacting in the video and audio.

This is the situation:

I have two miniDV tapes that were recorded using two separate Sony DCR-VX2000 cameras. Each tape is a Sony Premium 80 minute tape. The problem I am having is that when I transcode the video for either tape to my computer, every few seconds strange little artifacts appear in the video, and the audio briefly cuts out. I am using the camera that shot the video as the deck to put the video into the computer. I have tried another camera to load the video into the computer, and I get the same problem. Since two different cameras were used, I don't think that the problem is in the recording. And since I used two different methods to load the video in to the computer, I am not sure that is the problem either.

I am attaching a detail from the video that has been enlarged 400% to show the visual artifacting that is appearing. This image has been saved as a GIF file so that there will be no additional JPEG artifacts in the image.

I am hoping that someone might be able to recognize these patterns and give me a clue about where to start troubleshooting.

Thanks very much to anyone who has any advice!

- Jeff

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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 10:11 AM

Among other things, that could be:

- Bad tape
- Dirt on tape
- Dirty heads in either record or playback deck
- Misalignment of either record or playback deck heads
- Bad electronic setup of head amps/tracking servos in either record or playback deck
- Exposure of the media to a magnetic field
- Dodgy firewire cable between playback deck and computer

I suggest you try replaying it on the deck that made it. You may also find that if you play it back and capture it several times you may be able to get all of it in the end, and just cut it all together later.

Have fun...

Phil
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#3 Jeff Fohl

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 11:07 AM

Among other things, that could be:

- Bad tape
- Dirt on tape
- Dirty heads in either record or playback deck
- Misalignment of either record or playback deck heads
- Bad electronic setup of head amps/tracking servos in either record or playback deck
- Exposure of the media to a magnetic field
- Dodgy firewire cable between playback deck and computer

I suggest you try replaying it on the deck that made it. You may also find that if you play it back and capture it several times you may be able to get all of it in the end, and just cut it all together later.

Have fun...

Phil


Thanks Phil!

But yeah - I was thinking along those lines as well. I am playing it back on the cameras that shot the footage.

At first I thought it must have been dirty heads on the recorder, but the strange thing is that *both* tapes have the problem - and they were shot on separate cameras of the same make and model.

I am going to try and clean the heads again and see what happens.
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#4 Jeff Fohl

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 11:41 AM

Well, it turned out to be either the firewire cable or the firewire socket. I don't actually know what I did to get it to work, but after spending hours cleaning heads and trying different cameras, I started fiddling with the firewire cable, and suddenly the artifacting went away.

Thanks for the help!
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