Sony camcorder firewire to DVD dub problem solved

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Gene, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Gene

    Gene Guest

    I have been unable to reliably copy (dub) a Sony Digital-8,
    or MiniDV tape to a set-top box DVD recorder. The Sony
    brand camcorders of either Digital-8, or miniDV will
    crash when trying to copy via the firewire to a Panasonic
    ES20 or ES46V player/recorder box. The Canon brand
    camcorders do not have a problem transferring data via the
    firewire ports - only my Sonys.

    After tinkering with this problem for some time, I have finally
    found a work-around solution that works 100% of the time.

    In summary, here is how you make a Sony Digital-8 or miniDV
    camcorder with firewire out dub to a Panasonic ES20, etc.

    1. Place a known good (brand new) digital tape in the Sony
    camcorder, rewind the new tape, then record onto the new tape for about a
    minute. Rewind and play back the minute of recording you just made.
    It should "fix" the Sony camcorder so that it plays the old tapes perfectly.

    2. Connect the Sony camcorder to the Panasonic (or other) recorder box
    and dub as usual. The Sony camcorder will now transfer via firewire
    as expected. If the Sony camcorder becomes contaminated again, then
    just repeat the steps above. I have to repeat the steps two or three times
    in 8 hours of copying Sony digital tape to DVD-Rs.

    For reasons that I do not completely understand, the Panasonic recorders
    seem to transfer "bad" code into the Sony camcorder's nonvolatile memory -
    causing the Sony digital tape camcorders to appear defective. That is, play
    a perfectly good tape as if the heads were VERY dirty, etc.

    Anyway, the solution is to "restore" the Sony camcorder memory by recording
    and playing back a minute or so on a NEW tape.

    Hope this helps someone... it's been a real pain for me, as I really wanted
    to get good quality Sony (low light) tape onto DVD-Rs. Working GREAT

    Gene, Apr 9, 2007
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  2. Gene

    davesvideo Guest

    I find this very puzzeling. As far as I know the recorder boxes are
    input only, so with no return signal, how does the Sony know that
    there is even anything hooked up to the other end of the firewire. I
    can see that there could be a reason that it might not copy correctly,
    but to cause the Sony to crash is very strange. Can anyone suggest a
    scenario how this could happen?

    davesvideo, Apr 9, 2007
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  3. Gene

    Steve King Guest

    Can't help with the crash. But, don't many DVD Recorders have the
    capability to send deck commands TO the camera? Certainly software capture
    programs do. Could the implementation of that be involved?

    Steve King
    Steve King, Apr 9, 2007
  4. Gene

    Gene Guest


    My gut feeling is that the Panasonic ES46V is
    resetting the Sony digital camcorders to standard
    8mm, or HI-8 mode, then they play garbage because
    the tape is digital. But that's just a guess...

    BTW: this Panasonic ES46V (same as ES45) is REALLY
    great at dubbing VHS to DVD. The quality of the resulting
    DVD-R is AWESOME! Much better than using a stand-alone
    VCR connected to a DVD recorder or PC. I think it creates ~ 500
    line resolution from the old 250 line stuff. Whatever it does,
    it does a GREAT job. I find that using the 1hr mode for the
    DVD-Rs out is worth the effort. The 2hr mode does not quite
    get the job done, that is, the 1 hr mode for the DVD-Rs out makes
    a slight difference - and worth it to me.

    Gene, Apr 10, 2007
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