Quantcast Dealing with tricky Video8 tapes - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
09-26-2018, 06:37 PM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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I've encountered several problematic Video8 tapes lately, that I can't get to track properly in any of our cameras or VCRs. I can't really upload an example capture right now as it's customer tapes, though it's similar to the example here here, though in my case there has usually been only one taller (maybe 1/4 - 1/5 of the image) noise bar on the top or bottom.

Do the other people here that digitize video8 have any suggestions for dealing with this sort of problem tapes? I've seen trying the original camcorder suggested, but though that's not possible in all cases as it may be broken or unavailable.

Some observations:

Playing tapes back on our Sony EV-C2000 Hi8 deck in shuttle mode (at normal speed) can be helpful for tracking on some tapes, there seem to be some sort of frame sync in the deck that's active when using jog/shuttle and pause and for some reason the tracking is different from normal playback. Unfortunately the sound is muted in this mode, but at least it's helped me get a stable picture on parts even my TBC-3000 couldn't handle.

On the flip side my Sony CCD-TR840E camcorder seems to have a special ability to play back sound where none of the other devices do, no idea why, maybe they mute if the sound is to crackly?

All of the Sony camcorders I've used (except the really old CCD-V100 video8 PRO camera) has had tendency to blue screen if the signal is too bad, don't know if there is a way to disable this? The Sony VCRs, Hitachi D8 cam and Samsung Hi8 cam (though this one's missing a tape guide so the image output is super warped and unusable anyhow) we got don't seem to do this.

I even tried to mess with the alignment on one of my cameras to see if it could help track a bad tape, but it didn't seem to work. Though, at least I'm starting to get a hang of aligning these things now.

Questions:
Do the Sony D8 cameras track any better? I don't have any working ones at the moment, I've been trying to get a pinch roller for my DCR-TRV460, either new or from another camera but no luck so far.

Alternatively, do the high-end TBC-equipped decks, or the professional broadcast decks, or any other device have any extra tracking capabilities?

The current working video8/hi8 gear we've got if you got any extra suggestions (not including D8 only gear):
2x Sony CCD-TRV66 Hi8 XR camcorder
Sony CCD-TR840E Hi8 XR camcorder
Sony CCD-TRV218 Hi8 Camcorder
Sony CCD-TR805E Hi8 Camcorder
Sony CCD-V100 Professional Video8 camera
Sony EV-C2000 Hi8 VCR
Sony EV-C400 Hi8 VCR (though I think this has some head damage, not really using it)
Sony EVO-250 Video8 portable VCR (NTSC)

Hitachi VM-D865LE Digital8 camera (with Hi8/Video8 playback)
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  #2  
09-26-2018, 07:37 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Video8 and Hi8 has no tracking. The alignment data is written into the signal. If the camera cannot "track" it, then it was recorded with a misaligned camera. There's no way to fix it, aside from use the recording camera, or purposely break/misalign a deck/camera to match it.

There's no TBC during jog/shuttle, but rather the playback is handled in an abbreviated manner. I did some advanced restoration some years ago, where I played a tape at about 1.3x, slowed it down in an NLE, and then resynced the audio. It's weird, but workable. (I forgot what I did about the interlace, but fairly certain I just ran a Yadif on it.)

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  #3  
09-26-2018, 10:18 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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The D8 units perform similar to the late 90s Hi-8 camcorders. They have the same TBC/DNR and the transport is very similar (other than loading from the bottom of the camera vs. the top).

Sony branded tapes are notorious for playback problems as well. If you are getting audio, but no picture, the heads are likely clogging from the tape. Typically with the Sony tapes, they will play fine, gradually lose picture and then drop the audio as the heads gum up.
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09-27-2018, 05:47 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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D8 recordings moved the tape 2x faster than Video 8, so there are some differences in the transports. Given how susceptible analog is to the playback machine condition, if you can lay hands on a Digiral8 player with 8mm/Hi8 capability (beg, borrow, etc.) it is worth a try. (Nothing is assured, but my GV-D200 does a better playback these days than my EV-S7000.)
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09-27-2018, 10:53 AM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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The D8 and analog only sony cameras from the same generations seem to have the same tape mechanisms (granted I haven't examined in detail), though the drum is different. I was hoping that I could get a pinch roller for my DCR-TRV460 eventually. My Hitachi D8 cam has worked better than the Sony cams on a handful of tapes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Video8 and Hi8 has no tracking.
Yeah I am aware that they work differently to VHS, I was not sure what term to use, though the Sony VCR we got uses the term tracking at least (there is manual tracking adjustment in 2x and 1/2 speed modes). Track following is also a term I've seen.
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09-27-2018, 03:12 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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FWIW:

"8mm did not use a control track on the tape to facilitate the head following the diagonal tracks. Instead 8mm recorded a sequence of four sine waves on each video track such that adjacent tracks would produce one of two heterodyne frequencies if the head mistracked. The system automatically adjusted the tracking such that the two frequencies produced were of equal magnitude"

Thus no user-adjustable tracking, a perhaps mixed blessing.
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09-28-2018, 05:45 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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FWIW: some video8/Hi8 tapes might have PCM audio on them as well as AFM audio. This was a capability found on high end and professional gear, and not common to consumer handicams, so that audio is invisible and unobtainable unless you have the right gear. (I believe some very early Video8 may have used a linear track for for purposes of audio voice over as well but that feature was short lived.) The Sony EV-S7000 Hi8 VCR could dub PCM audio to existing recordings retaining the AFM recording.

The PCM audio was a 32KHz/10-bit sample compressed to 8-bits for recording. It was in the helical scan with the time/data code and indexing information (180 for video, 4.68 for time/data code, and 31.32 for PCM audio).

Last edited by dpalomaki; 09-28-2018 at 05:56 AM.
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  #8  
10-03-2018, 11:12 AM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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I managed to successfully capture a problem tape by misaligning a camcorder today, so it seems it will work on some tapes.
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hi8, problem, tracking, video8

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