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10-14-2017, 02:40 AM
dinkleberg dinkleberg is offline
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There is great information here about maintenance and cleaning:
How to clean VCR heads on JVC HR-7600EK S-VHS deck?
VHS maintenance/cleaning - What problems do dirty heads cause?

But a few questions remain.

1) Are there any signs or symptoms besides the "snow" mentioned above that a playback device needs cleaning before using it for capture or transfer? Anything specific to other formats like Hi8 or they are all the same? Dirty equipment shouldn't cause any kind of color shifting or aberration, right?

2) I think DV camcorders like MiniDV make digital files, but store them on analog tapes (did I get that right? ). Would the camcorder have to be cleaned before filming or before transferring to PC? or both?

3) Anything in particular I should look out for when cleaning a camcorder as opposed to a VCR? Cleaning the VCR was easy. This tiny Handycam, not so much.

My apologies if this is the wrong section, the videography section seems more suited to viewing content than playing it back for capture, so it was a tossup between here and the project planning section. And I may need some coffee.
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02-08-2018, 07:59 PM
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1. Symptoms

Yes, a dirty image is usually what you'd equate with dirty heads. But it can also be a loss of audio, or just noisy audio.

Just be aware that it's not tape based, but an issue you'd see on all tapes played with it. When you have issues with a tape, it's the tape at fault.

And no, correct, color shifting is not really a problem of dirty heads. Damaged heads, maybe.

2. DV

Correct, tape is analog, but the data is digital.

And therefore, since the heads issue is mostly one of tapes shedding oxide/gunk, it stands to reason that DV is also affected. The digital nature of the signal has no bearing on the analog nature of the mechanics.

3. Be careful!

Be very careful with the liquids/solvents and cleaning tools used.
- No Q-tips (cotton swab), no cloth, no paper (tree fibers)
- No acetone, no tap water, no generic/unknown "cleaners", no overly impure alcohol

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