Problem playing back DV tapes

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by sierrab, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. sierrab macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #1
    I have a Sony handy cam which connects to my G4 via Firewire. Normally I have no problems copying from the Sony to the Mac. However an issue has just arisen. I have 2 mini DV tapes shot on another digital cam. These tapes play back perfectly OK in my camera, but when I connect the camera to the mac, the tapes refuse to play. I have checked the set up using one of my old tapes which I shot using my camera and everything is as it should be and works fine.
    Could there be some form of copy protection operating on the tapes?
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Los Angeles
    #2
    Do you mean that the tape doesn't move in the camera, or that the tape moves but you don't see the video appear on the Mac?

    What software are you using on the Mac for camera control and/or playback?
     
  3. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #3
    Maybe the other tapes were shot in MiniDVcam, not MiniDV.

    They are on the same tape, but MiniDVcam (dvcam on minidv tape a la sony) won't play back on regular minidv decks or cameras.
     
  4. sierrab thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 24, 2007
    #4
    More Info on non playing dv tapes

    Thanks for your replies

    I am using iMovie as playback software

    The tapes will playback on the camera

    The problem occurs when the camera is connected to the Mac. Although Fast forward and rewind controls work perfectly the Import control starts and then stops immediately
    Another complication is that at the beginning of one of the tapes there is a small edited piece of video which was copied from a computer onto the tape and that will play and import! Its the rough footage on the tapes that will not play on the Mac although as I said before it will play perfectly OK on the camera....completely nonplussed by this.
    I have again checked the set up using one of the tapes that I recorded on my camera and all is well
     
  5. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

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    #5

    It sounds like the tapes were not properly 'Blacked' beforehand, and iMovie may be seeing the gaps in the timecode.

    Another thing to try to check is the audio setup on the tape. It may or may not be unlocked, or at an odd sampling rate. I do not remember all of the codec variant iMovie supports, but DV has a couple ( THANX SONY!! )

    This issue may lead to transfering the footage via analog.

    Max.
     
  6. Espnetboy3 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 1, 2003
    #6
    how does ones Black a tape? Is this setting up timecode or something?
     
  7. sierrab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #7
    DV tape problems

    Again Thanks for the replies...how does one check the sampling rate of the audio and am I right in thinking that for the file to be transferred analog(ly?) I would need to have a video card on the mac as I don't see any other way of doing that. The tapes were able to be transfered with no problem to a PC running an Adobe video editing prog, so I am not sure about a misread time code
     
  8. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

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    #8
    Take a blank, record black on it from start to finish. The entire tape will then have time code, no matter how many re-records you do on the tape, and editing software will not freak out when there is a gap in timecode.

    Max.
     
  9. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

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    #9
    1. Some Camcorders ( my pany for instance ) will show in the menu when playing the current settings ( LP, etc. )

    2. You could use a miglia capture card to grab the video,

    Adobe ( maybe even FCP ) may be better about handling whatever is unique about your tape.

    Max.
     
  10. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    You black a tape by recording over the entire tape (or the portion you will be using) ahead of time, with the lens cap on. That guarantees that you'll have continuous timecode on the tape and makes it less likely you'll get into trouble when software can't sync to a timecode in recorded material.

    Some people say that's a good habit, while others say it isn't worth the wear and tear on the camera and film. Another choice to avoid timecode-sync problems is to make sure every scene you film has plenty of leader on it, i.e., you start filming before the part you'll want to import and save. That's a nice habit, but sometimes you just can't do it, and sometimes you already have a tape to deal with that wasn't recorded that way.

    I have a tape that Final Cut Pro wouldn't import via my timecodes, because I was trying to capture a scene right at the front of the tape. FCP tries to find the 0:00:00 time code but rewinds over it and gets lost in the tape leader. I had to transfer manually (telling FCP to record what's coming in live during playback) rather than rely on the timecode.

    I'm not sure if iMovie has a similar way to record "manually". In some cases, it's necessary to transfer video from one camcorder to another camcorder before it can be transferred to the computer based on timecode.

    The original question was why the camcorder stops playing when iMovie tries to read the data, and I wonder if that's because iMovie is confused by the timecodes and can't get its bearings.
     
  11. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

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    California
    #11
    Is the tape shot in SP or LP? I have had problems capturing LP shot with another camera. It will usually play back fine but has problems when trying to capture. Seems like different manufacturers have different methods for laying LP video to the tape.
     

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