Horizontal jitters when converting Hi8... Please help!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Alucardx03, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #1
    I recently began converting my old collection of Hi8 tapes to digital using a Canopus ADVC-300. As for my camera, I'm using an old Sharp, model number VL-H860. So far, I've been pleased with the quality that the ADVC-300 provides. However, I have noticed that occasionally, there will be momentary horizontal jitters that flash onto the screen. These jitters last only a fraction of a second, and usually appear towards the middle of the screen (although I think I've seen them other places). I don't think it's a problem with the tape, because when I rewind it, the jitter does not occur in the same spot.

    I also thought that perhaps the Hi8 heads were dirty, so I purchased a dry Dynex cleaning cassette from Best Buy and have run that through multiple times. So far, the occasional jitter still appears.

    As you can imagine, I'm trying to convert these tapes at the highest quality possible (hence my splurge on the ADVC-300), and would like to preserve these memories without the occasional horizontal lines.

    Does anyone know what these are from and what causes them? I'll try to take a screenshot from iMovie and post it later. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #2
    Here is a screenshot. The flash of horizontal distortion only lasts for a single frame, but it is still very noticeable when the video is played back at normal speed. Again, when I rewind the tape, the distortion is not there.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. DPA macrumors 65816

    DPA

    #3
    Bumps are against Forum Rules.
    I suggest you read these before offending anymore.
    As for your question, do these "jitters" appear on your screen when you capture the video? If the video is fine in the digital copy, which in your case is your hard drive, then I don't see the problem. It could be that your camera is just simply getting old.:(

    David
     
  4. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #4
    They do appear when I am capturing the video (in the iMovie capture preview box) and during playback. Also, even though the camera is older, it hasn't seen a ton of use, so I'm not too worried about the wear and tear on the camera. I just purchased a wet cleaning solution on eBay, so I'm going to try that.

    Otherwise, I'm not sure what it is. Any other suggestions?
     
  5. DPA macrumors 65816

    DPA

    #5
    See what the cleaning solution does. But like I said before, it's not a problem with the tape, it's not a problem with capturing, and your hard drive copies aren't affected. So I don't see a major problem with this. Do you have another camera where you can test the tapes on. If you do and there is no jitters, then it's a problem with the camera. Your hard copies (tapes) aren't affected and your digital copies aren't affected so your memories are safe!:)

    David
     
  6. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #6

    Thanks for the help David. Unfortunately, however, my hard drive copies are affected. Upon playback, I have the same distortion, so I think it's a problem with the camera that's attached to the capture device. So, even though there is no problem with the tape itself, I'm trying to capture them soon before deterioration eats at them further, which is why I have a sense of urgency.

    I don't know... I'll try the wet head cleaning and see if that makes a difference.
     
  7. DPA macrumors 65816

    DPA

    #7
    So if the digital copies are affected, I now see why this can be a major problem. It sounds more and more like a camera problem to me. You already cleaned it with a cleaner tape, you should see what the solution does. Do you have another camera you can use or a friend's you can borrow? I would stop playing and running the tape in the camera, this will only wear out the tape.

    David
     
  8. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #8
    Unfortunately, I do not have another camera to try. I even tried calling local camera shops to see if they rent or clean hi8 cameras, but no luck. I was also thinking about buying a hi8 deck, but they're very expensive ($450-$900), and I'm worried about buying another camera because it may have an equal, if not greater, amount of use.

    I stopped using the tapes to prevent any further wear, and I'll try them again after the wet head cleaner comes. I'm just frustrated because I thought the dry head cleaner would have been sufficient. Is it possible to have dirt on the play heads that only a wet cleaner will remove?

    Could it also be a problem of misaligned heads?
     
  9. DPA macrumors 65816

    DPA

    #9
    Tape decks are very expensive. The dirt on the playheads shouldn't of caused this after the cleaning because the cleaning tape should of gotten any lose dirt and dust out. This could very well be a problem at fault of misaligned heads. Is there a reason why the heads would be misaligned, i.e. did you drop the camera, bump it on a wall? Both of those could be the cause of your problem, I think that your only option is to wait for the wet cleaning solution to come. I recently saw The Unborn and something similar happened during the show. The teeth that grab the sides of the film and pull it forward on the projector were knocked off the film. The frames had a similar effect to yours because the film wasn't aligned with the lenses. The film eventually got jammed and started melting! It was quite an experience!

    David
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    I'd look on craig's list or eBay for another Hi8 camera to try. Consumer cameras don't adhere to tight tolerances like professional equipment does so tracking problems are much more common. It's not uncommon for some shipping cameras to be so out-of-spec that the tapes can only be played back properly on the cameras they were shot on.


    Lethal
     
  11. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #11
    I actually looked on Craig's List and found a few hi8 cameras, but they're all so expensive. I have my eye on one right now, but it's almost $200 and I'm currently out of work, so the funds have all but dried up.

    I know that some tracking problems are to be expected, and the screenshot I posted is from a worse-than-average example, but how much better do you think a new camera would be? Do you think it would be worth the money?

    Thanks for the advice guys.
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    Unfortunately it's a crap shoot. Using a different camera may or may not solve the problem.


    Lethal
     
  13. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #13
    High demand for Hi 8

    Yes, the Hi-8 cameras go for a lot of money. The only reason I can think of is a diminishing supply of working playback devices to use for digital conversion. I wouldn't worry about the purchase price, as long as you plan to resell it after you're done. It'll probably go for what you paid.
     
  14. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #14
    That's what I was thinking about doing. Now, I'm just trying to find a deck that hasn't been used that much. And, I'm still holding out hope that the wet head cleaner will work...
     

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