Mini dv tapes

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • Author
    • #86370

      Hi all

      I’m having problems with my camcorder , the picture to be precise. I have a Sony DCR-TRV 33E and use mini dv tapes. I have 8 tapes, which have successfully uploaded to my computer. That’s not the problem. Going back throughout the footage I have found lots of vertical pixelation moving across the screen.
      As most people keep mentioning to me about cleaning the heads of my camcorder with a cleaning tape. This works for a very brief time. I have spent the best part of a day cleaning and playing tape and keep coming back to the same problem with the vertical pixelation.
      When I clean the camera heads, the pixelation sometime stops on certain parts of the film, but after 30 seconds to a minute it’s back.. My only thought is that the tape itself is dirty or has some kind or dirt on it. So my heads are just getting dirty and not fixing the problem at all
      Does anyone know of anything or anywhere that could get these tapes cleaned?

    • #212804

      I’ll start with the last question: there isn’t any way to clean the tapes.

      Now lets look at some of the causes. Are you using a mixture of brands — e.g., Sony and Panasonic tapes? If you are, this could be the cause of your problem. Tapes have a microscopic layer of lubricant on their surface, different for each manufacturer. Mix tape brands and the lubricants can combine to create “gunk” on the record or play-back heads. It doesn’t matter which brand you use, but don’t mix brands.
      My inclination, if this were my problem, would be to take the camera to a repair shop and have it thoroughly cleaned and aligned. It’s possible, for example, that the problem is dirty rollers and guided in the camera rather than gunk on the heads.
      And perhaps most importantly, don’t clean the heads again yourself! You should be able to records dozens — perhaps hundreds — of hours between head cleaning. Repeated cleaning can cause undue wear on the heads.
      It’s also possible, although less likely, that there is some kind of electrical interference — e.g., a loose or damaged wire or something at fault in your computer. Have you tried playing from your camera to your TV monitor?
      Good luck

    • #212811

      Hi jack.
      I was clutching at straw about cleaning the tape, always worth asking. I don’t mix tapes, I have only ever used sony tapes same as the camcorder.
      I think that your right and I need to get it looked at, which I’m looking into now. I have recorded onto a new tape and replayed and all is fine, but pervious tapes have this pixelation line. So think your completely right about the alignment of the heads and have them properly cleaned.

      Thanks for your he in this matter, will let you know how I get on

      Cheers again

    • #213462

      Did you fix the problem? What was the final result? BTW, I was told you should never try to clean tape and that it will most likely result in damage to the tape, but I do know of a couple of services that offer tape cleaning for hardcore cases due to being moldy and flood damage, etc. Most video transfer places do not clean tapes. So the questions to ask is why nobody does it.

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Video and Film Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Best Products

Best camcorders for any video shooter — 2021

Professional camcorders are often smaller, lighter, cheaper, and have more controls than other cameras. These are the best on the market today.

Need help making a stellar first video?


Download our free eBook with 8 tips to get on the right track and create a video that you can be proud of.



Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide