Question about Sony Handycam DCR-TRV520 Digital Camcorder

2 Answers

Tape Cleaning on-screen warning

I recently acquired a used Sony DCR-TRV520 (NTSC), and upon putting in a Hi8 metal tape, the message "Tape Cleaning" with a flashing "X" appeared when recording. I secured the operating manual on-line, and read that the heads needed cleaning. I purchased a wet cleaning setup, 2 dry cleaning cassettes, and a can of moisture-free canned air. After cleaning with the dry setup, a new tape recorded without error for a few seconds before the tape cleaning message reappeared. This has happened consistently after each attempt to clean the heads, and the playback video is pixalated; less than the first few attempts, but still noticable. Also the audio is very spotty (frequent and intermittant drop-outs) upon playback. Is there something I'm doing wrong? Thanks for your time.

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  • sllano Nov 16, 2007

    I have the same message come across when I try to record anything. Also when I try to play back any tape, the lcd has wide gray lines across the screen. I went to Sony's online support and they told me to go get a head cleaner, that is not going to help, it's not fuzz it's gray lines. Any suggestions would be Great!

  • cdobbs Dec 24, 2007

    After cleaning the heads of our Sony Handycam, it continues to state the heads need cleaning or when it allows me to record, it plays back with a stutter or pausing throughout.

  • Tardykat Dec 24, 2008

    Hello, I have the same problem. I have the DCR-PC110. I was able to download one miniDV into my computer for VCD creation no problem. When I went onto the second miniDV, I get the gray lines during playback. I kept trying--rewind, eject, playback--in various sequences and I tried other tapes still getting the gray lines during playback. While attempting another, the camcorder has torn off a sliver length-wise of my film during playback and I only get a blue image, the tape doesn't even advance! I don't know how it's tearing up the film if it doesn't play. These are my treasured vacation videos with no replacements and they are getting ruined! PLEASE HELP.

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Depending on the age of the camera/cassette, it may be that the heads are not just dirty, but are actually worn down. The gray bars are the DV equivalent of snow - data has been lost or at least cannot be displayed. If cleaning doesn't solve the problem, the heads probably need replacing. Depending on the age of the camera, it may be more cost effective to upgrade to a new camera.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

  • Noelle Gable
    Noelle Gable Jan 03, 2014

    It's not gray bars... it's more like pixelization... I just tried playing the tape on the camera and it looked fine but after downloading it's all pixely... I'm thinking it might be a software issue maybe?

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Have you tried using a different tape? Try using a sony tape if you've been trying with another brand. Sometimes they work only with their own, and it can just kick in. Could also have something to do with the battery. Try replacing. Do not let your Li-Ion batteries run all the way down before charging and do not charge them fully and let them sit idle. both of these things kill these types of batteries. Hope it helps

Posted on Apr 02, 2006

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Please get into town, and buy the 8mm Camera cleaning tape from W.H. Smiths, Currys, Comet, Maplins, put that in your camera on record mode for 20 seconds and then remove it, and carry on filming, it is just dirty heads you have got, take care.
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