Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › What went wrong with tapes › The type of tape formulati
The type of tape formulation used in digital video recording is very different from the old ferric oxide cassette audio tapes that could be damaged by being close to a strong field. I had up until last year an eraser designed for reel to reel audio tapes. I tried it with DV tapes and it was incapable of bulk erasing a DV tape. If you’ve been using tape cleaners regularly, I’d guess you’ve just prematurely worn the heads out. If so – it’s not curable apart from by replacement – a costly job!
Like the others, I use a cleaning tape only if the short test recording I make before using the camera on a critical job shows problems. I mark the box with the date I used it, and once the manufacturers number is up, I dump it. I also keep track of when I do these cleans – and as the heads start to wear to dodgy levels, the period between cleans shortens.
I have also followed the policy of standardising on one brand of tapes, and sticking to it. I’ve still got plenty for my old DV cameras, and cannot complain about unreliability. I also record, and then eject the tape. I rewind on a playback machine in the rack and capture it into the computer. I eject the tape, number it, log it and put it on the shelf. It will only only ever be used again, if the data file is lost or damaged in some way. When I have had to re-capture a tape, it’s only the third time past a video head and I’ve never had a problem with storage. It also means the camera mechanisms seem to last longer too!