Quantcast MiniDV transfer tearing errors? (with sample) - digitalFAQ Forum
04-02-2019, 01:18 PM
GBDW2 GBDW2 is offline
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I am having a problem with some tearing showing up in footage transferred from MiniDV to computer hard drive using a Firewire 400 card with a Texas Instruments chip. The clip I have included is the left edge of two separate transfers. As you can see the errors are not exactly the same in both transfers. The errors are always along the left edge. I am transferring with a Sony TRV900 camcorder which is what the footage was shot on. I had it cleaned and serviced with no improvement. I am using ScenalyzerLive for transfer and it reports 40-50 errors on the transfers with the bad frames as compared to 4-5 on good transfers. It always reports zero dropped frames. Would a slight tracking error cause this or is it just dropouts from the age of the tapes? I wish I had another camcorder to try. I just want to make sure it is not an equipment problem before moving on and figured someone on this great site will have some insights.

The computer that I resurrected for this purpose is an HP xw4100 workstation with a Pentium 4 - 2.6 GHz processor and 3 GB RAM. I installed three hard drives, one for OS and two for capture. I have also installed an AIW 9000Pro for the next stage which will be the capture of VHS-C camcorder footage.

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File Type: avi DV_Transfer.avi (49.28 MB, 14 downloads)
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04-02-2019, 01:47 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Don't know for sure, but we have a digital8 camera that had errors on the side, which turned out to be a result of the tape guide alignment being a bit off. I think miniDV may show similar symptoms. miniDV tapes recorden in LP mode are especially sensitive to alignment/tracking issues.

Does it happen on all tapes, or just one specific one? One thing you can test if you have a spare tape is to record something (ideally movement) and see if the error shows up on the new recording or not. If it's purely about alignment the newly recorded tape may play back fine. It would be helpful if you had another camera to check on as stated, as messing with alignment can be a bit tricky and risky.
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The following users thank hodgey for this useful post: lordsmurf (04-02-2019)
04-02-2019, 10:53 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Ouch, digital tearing.

DV doesn't really have "tracking" in the traditional (VHS) term. And I don't think anything can be adjusted. It's all about alignment, and hodgey is probably correct here. Try another camera.

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04-03-2019, 09:48 AM
GBDW2 GBDW2 is offline
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Thanks for the feedback. It is good to know that trying to repair the TRV900 would most likely be a waste of time and money. I will look for another camera to redo the transfers. I see in the archives that LordSmurf in the past has recommended Canon ZR series, or Elura series camcorders. Is that still the recommendation? Is there a model preference? Is there any difference in transport mechanism since I will be using it only for transfer? Thanks again.
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04-04-2019, 07:30 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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It's possible to adjust the alignment on miniDV cameras, but the mechanism is really small so it would probably be somewhat tricky.
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09-10-2019, 04:53 PM
ofesad ofesad is offline
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Sorry to resurrect old post, but didn't want to make a new one and I have a similar issue.

I have a curious case that I've been dealing for over a month. I have a set of 12 minidv tapes to transfer.
I have been using my SONY DSR-25 DVCAM wich can plays and outputs either NTSC or PAL, so that's a plus.

Transfered all the tapes with WinDV, then joining all the files with VirtualDub secuence.

All tapes were transfered as PAL (or most at least). Most did ok. Then I did the restoration process with Avisynth.

However some tapes act weird. Like some weird pixelation / small random squares and sound dropping in/out. For what I know seems that those tapes are recorded in LP. (will upload video later, right now the PC it's encoding 8hs+ at 4fps ).
Sadly the DSR-25 doesn't work with LP. Just SP.

For what I read in this forum and others, LP on miniDV can vary from brand to brand (Sony, JVC, Canon, so on) and it's prefered to know wich was the camcoder used to record it.

The owner gave me a Samsung cheap DVcam. But this it's NTSC... so how all the tapes were PAL?
Sadly the samsung eats tape so I didn't play much with it.

So, question time:

A) I am looking for a camcoder for MiniDv LP playback. Any recommendations? I guess most will recommend Sony. If can specify models, better. Also, is there a camcoder that will play most of LP formats from different brands?

B) When connected via firewire, can a NTSC MiniDv camcoder play a PAL format recorded MiniDV tape and output properly?
I have seen mixed opinions on this subject.

Thank you all!

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