I've been transferring a bunch of family and friends videos for the past year and have been having issues with Hi8 tapes over the last couple of months. Equipment I use - Sony EVO-250 NTSC and I also am using the Sony TRV615 Handycam which I have two of. On all three decks I'm constantly having no video playback, just snow with a few horizontal lines. This has happened on numerous tapes over the past few months, but I thought initially it was the tapes, but now I'm wondering if something else is going on since it happens so frequently. Also, all these tapes have labels on them, so I know they were recorded on. Also, all three decks do work with some tapes, but unfortunately I have not been keeping notes on what play and what don't play. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Sounds similar to the problem this guy had with the Video8 version of the Sony MP120 & HG120 tapes. But he got blackness + audio, not snow with some horizontal lines (and silence?). He seemed to semi-resolve his issue by playing with the playback controls, but that sounds a bit scary to me if the tapes might be shedding oxide, destroying themselves and the player.
That thread was surprisingly hard to find using the search tool, and sadly doesn't come up under "Similar Threads" below. I guess because he said Video8 and you said Hi8.
8mm tapes are almost always metal particle, not oxide. Some of the later tapes released in the late 90s were evaporated metal, but those are rare. I can't remember who made the last 20 year old 8mm tape I transferred, but it worked without a problem. If the tape has sticky-shed problems, you would have a mess inside of the player and the tape would likely jam in the transport. I would check to see if "known good" tapes still work in the player, it could also be a clogged head.
I do have a handful of Sony tapes here with Digital 8 recordings on them and they appear to play fine still. I was never a fan of Sony brand tapes though. Their MiniDV tapes like to bind up, likely because of the lubricant. Maybe its a problem with their 8mm tapes too?
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I have faced the same problem with my Sony Handycam TRV615. I read somewhere that if you disconnect the battery for a day and then reconnect it, then it might solve your problem. I tried it but no help. I tried cleaning it, that also didn't work. Played other tapes in it, that also didn't work out. I tired many ways out but no success. I was completely frustrated, during my frustration I hit the camera and shook it hard. I am thrilled that it worked out, video tapes are running smoothly. Try out this, in might help you.
The title says it all. if you have any home videos on Sony 8mm or Hi8 tape better transfer it to DVD while you can. Sony wasn't the only manufacture guilty of this, but their tapes were much worse than some other brands. Very disappointed that some of my priceless tapes can not be played in only 16 years, and they have been stored properly. I have many old Beta format, and VHS tapes that are much older and they are fine. It is only these metal particle 8mm tapes that are the problem. My DV tapes which are ME type tape so far have been fine, but after this nightmare I am not trusting anything I have on a Sony tape
when i replay the video, it shows a few seconds, then goes to blue screen. If I fast forward, I can see the video. I checked 3 tapes and it all did the same thing.
Originally Posted by Answered 6 years ago
if some of the cassettes were marked for Hi8 MP type, then that may be the problem. The MP tapes had binder failure issues that allowed the particles to spall off the tape which clogs the head almost immediately on playback. Digital8 and ME type tape do not have this problem. If you have a combination of ME and MP tapes, try playing just the ME ones, if that works then that is half the problem solved.
All three tape components - magnetic particle, binder, and backing - are potential sources of failure for a magnetic tape medium. The Magnetic-Media Industries Association of Japan (MIAJ) has concluded that the shelf life of magnetic tape under normal conditions is controlled by the binder rather than the magnetic particles ("DDS Specs Drive DAT Reliability," Computer Technology Review, 13 (5), May 1993: 30).
Binder hydrolysis can lead to a sticky tape phenomenon characterized by a softer than normal binder coating, higher friction, and/or gummy tape surface residues. A sticky tape can exhibit sticky shed, produce head clogs, result in stick slip playback, and in extreme cases, seize and stop in the tape transport. Tape binder debris resulting from binder deterioration will result in head clogs that will produce dropouts on a VHS tape when played back.
Metal evaporated (ME) video tapes are prevalent in the 8mm video formats. These tapes require no binder polymer, as the entire magnetic layer consists of a single, homogeneous metal alloy layer that is evaporated onto the tape substrate. These tapes have chemical stabilities similar to those of metal particle tapes. However, because the magnetic coating on an ME tape is much thinner than the corresponding layer on an MP tape, they are generally not as durable and do not hold up well in repeated play or freeze-frame video applications.
Durability doesn't matter as much for transferring as lifespan, I suppose.
Later "Digital 8" MP tapes from Sony are really just Hi-8 tapes with their D8 runtime printed on them, the format didn't require any special tape (I have a few of these I got with a D8 camcorder). If anything, they indicate the tape was made in 1999 or later. All of my Video-8/Hi-8 recordings were on Maxell or TDK tapes, which seem much more durable.
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