HD Tapes or Normal Tapes

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by wbennett01, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. wbennett01 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    #1
    I have a canon HD video camera that I use, and I have been buying the sony HD tapes from Best Buy but they are about 10 dollars each. I was wondering if it matters. Could I use the normal ones? Would I loose quality if I did. Thanks for your input.
     
  2. Toddgabweg macrumors member

    Toddgabweg

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #2
    I am new to this HD video (I just bought a Canon HV20- clearance)- anyway, from what I have read there is no difference in picture quality using the reg. DV tapes- my source for this is www.HV20.com
     
  3. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

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    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #3
    normal tapes...
    makes hardly any difference (if any at all)..

    save some money and don't fall for the marketing rubbish :D
     
  4. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    The actual tape format for DV and HDV is absolutely IDENTICAL. Picture quality is also identical, the only difference is if 1 tape was more prone to failing than another.

    I think it is just marketing designed to catch ignorant buyers. If they were touting higher reliability, then they should just say that, instead of giving people the impression that these were special 'HD' tapes.

    I buy cheap $2.50 tapes for my HV20 and am perfectly satisfied.
     
  5. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    #5
    There will not be any loss in quality. Digital is digital. There may be a loss in reliability, but this is of much debate.

    I'm showing my age here, but I see this akin to the "single sided vs. double sided" 5.25" disk notch argument of Apple II/C64/PC/etc in the 80's. Vendors would create thier single sided disks from the same physical media as the double-sided ones, and indeed simply by cutting a notch in a single sided disc, you could format the other side and pay half the price. Production wise, these disks were no different. It was only the vendor*would would not warrant against failure of modified disks. They never tested the quality of the other side so there might be problems. And sometimes there were... but most of the time, there wasn't.

    With these new HDV tapes, they are guaranteed to work in an HD unit. With the regular miniDV tapes, they may well be the same physical media as their HDV counterpart. They may use "unapproved" lubricants on the tape that may or may not reduce the life of your camera. They may be subject to lower quality control or they may work perfect.

    When you buy and HDV tape, you're simply paying for that promise that it will work.
     
  6. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    Your analogy is good, but not 100% IMO.

    The HDV format was designed specifically with the pre-existing DV format in mind. So there is absolutely nothing in terms of production standards, lubricants, QC, etc. that would be remotely incompatible between the 2 formats- the only thing that changed was the compression scheme and the data being stored on the tape, not the physical tape itself. So if you buy a regular DV tape, you're also paying for the promise that it will work.

    If you have had good success in the past with some particular tape brand with a DV camcorder, there will be no difference when you switch to a HDV camcorder.

    That's why the label is misleading and really meaningless. If they were guaranteeing somehow a higher reliability rate or something like that, then they should just state as such because that would apply equally to DV and HDV. But to call particular tape 'HD' is absolutely meaningless in the context of HDV and DV.
     
  7. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Actually, Sony's DVC-HD tapes claim "90 percent fewer errors and 50 percent fewer dropouts compared to DV Reference tape".

    And since a dropout on HDV I think equals 15 frames affected (1/2 second), I'm falling for the slick marketing of the "HD" tapes for anything that matters.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    So Sony's test conclude that Sony's more expensive tapes are better. Imagine that. ;)

    I've worked w/literally thousands of hours of HDV footage shot mostly on regular Sony brand DV tapes (some of it shot in the Caribbean, tossed in a zip lock bag, put in a FedEx box and shipped to LA) and I've only seen a few tape errors across all those tapes. On the flip side we got a bad case of BetaSP tapes once and every tape we shot from that case had errors on it (luckily we figured it out after just a few tapes and shipped the rest back to Sony for replacement). Even if you buy something that's supposed to be more reliable bad things can still happen.

    Just my 2 cents.


    Lethal
     
  9. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #9
    I'll bow to your greater knowledge regarding this.

    However, I have experienced many dropouts on regular DV tapes (usually not Sony brand). Often this was with tapes that had been used twice, but not always. Anyway, that was enough to make me nervous about using regular DV tapes with HDV.

    Maybe I just need to switch to Sony brand tapes... or SxS media...
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    I'm just throwing out my anecdotal evidence. If you've had problems before w/brand X and now yer using brand Y w/o a hitch then by all means stick w/brand Y. It's kinda like hard drives. Everyone has the brands they like or don't like based on personal experience (even if there is no empirical data to support brand A "sucking" while brand B is "bullet proof"). I know some people who hate Western Digital and say they fail too often but love Hitachi. But for me personally I've never had a problem w/WD and I remember 5yrs ago or so when the IBM Deskstar drives (now Hitachi Deskstar) failed in such massive quantities that they were renamed Deathstar drives and were to be avoided like the plague.

    I'm of the opinion that at some point in time every brand will go thru a sucky phase so there's really no point in being vehemently brand loyal. Use what works when it works and avoid it when it doesn't.


    Lethal
     
  11. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #11
    "Digital is digital" is a good argument when you can rule out bit errors during transmission. DV and HDV, much like digital TV broadcast (whether satellite, cable, or VHF/UHF over-the-air) were designed to be somewhat robust in the event that part of the digital data is lost. The rationale was that some loss of data is expected even during normal operation - unlike, for example, a hard drive where you would call a single bit error a fault of the drive. The question is not: "will you lose data", but rather: "how much will be lost".

    Now, the effect that a partial loss of data has depends on the amount of lost data, and the codec. Anyone trying to watch satellite TV during a heavy thunderstorm knows what happens when data is lost - the more data, the worse the picture gets. And as far as the codec goes, they differ in how much loss of data they can swallow without making things look or sound bad. DV is more forgiving here than HDV, so I fully buy into the argument that a more reliable tape is a good investment for HDV. Note that more reliable doesn't necessarily mean more expensive, and I agree that a proven track record with a given camera/deck is probably a better argument than statistics that the manufacturer posts.

    - Martin
     
  12. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #12
    we always use the 'correct' tape - if we're shooting in DVCAM we use DVCAM tapes, if we're shooting in HDV we use HDV tapes.

    I'm sure the footage would look just fine on regular DV tapes, but when you only get one chance at a shoot, why take the risk? The client pays for the tape stock in the long term anyway so you might as well use nice expensive tape!

    I've also heard that when they make the tape they cut the sheet in such a way as the edges of the sheet go to the cheap tapes and the better quality middle bits of the sheet go into the higher quality and higher priced tapes.

    You really shouldn't skimp on tape. You spend thousands on a camera and then use bargain bin tape? Thats like feeding a pedigree dog hyper value tinned food.

    Also like someone said a dropped frame in HDV is really 15 frames - 1/2 a second!

    We never reuse tapes either - unless it is for something unimportant that won't need to be presented for anything, and we have a stock of oldish tapes for that purpose.

    We always use the same brand - sony - and the same 'sort' of tape (grey box orange sleeve) as you don't want to be mixing brands and lubricants.

    These are my personal policies for professional work - for personal home use i would be ok with using DV tapes for HDV filming but for professional use it's not worth the risk of dodgy tape.
     
  13. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Dec 17, 2003
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    Except that DV tape IS the correct tape for HDV. HDV was designed specifically to use the pre-existing DV format. The difference is not in the tape, it is in how the image and sound is compressed prior to laying the bits down on the tape.

    I'm not saying 'HD DV tape' might not have better quality, but there's nothing inherently dodgy about using DV tape. Also, recording times for HDV and DV are the same, so I think a dropout will cause the same sort of loss on either format.

    Another way of stating this is- Do you need a 'HD' hard drive to store HDV footage? Of course not. But of course regardless of what you are shooting, the best HD available will give you best reliability, etc. But there's nothing 'HD' about the physical format itself. It's the same 1's and 0's at the same bitrate, simply decoded differently during playback.

    Far more sensible is your advice to only record onto a tape only once for important footage. Another sensible thing would be to minimize the amount of playback as well- capture the footage to your HD, and then keep the tape as a backup.
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    The different compression schemes is what can make a drop out in HDV more problematic than DV. In DV every frame is self-contained so a drop-out on frame 5 will only effect frame 5. But w/HDV only every 15th (or 6th if you are using a JVC camera) is a complete frame and every frame in between is incompletely and basically interpolated by the compression scheme. So if a drop out occurs on frame 7 then everything between frame 1 and 15 could get hosed because required data to "create" those frames is gone. So instead of having one damaged frame you could have 15 damaged frames.


    Lethal
     
  15. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #15
    I use the HDV tapes. I used the DV tapes for a while, but did in fact experience these dropped frames they speak of multiple times. Since switching to the HDV tapes, I have not experienced one. Take it for what it's worth.

    P-Worm
     
  16. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #16
    That obviously makes a lot of sense, thanks. I really wasn't sure, so I qualified my statement with a "I think..." ;)

     

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