Question about Canon HV20 HDV Digital Camcorder

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Dirty heads canon hv20 heads are dirty. camera won't record or play back ANY tapes. just cleaned heads with cleaning cassette. 3 times.

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  • Anonymous Jan 10, 2009

    Dirty heads, won't playback (the tape runs, but the counter doesn't move and blue screen...), but i think records fine... No way to know it for sure though ^^.

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I work for canon and when I get one this dirty I use a tape that has been recorded with used or almost used up. I let the tape rewind and fast forward all the way through. I then use a soft head cleaning tape for 25 secs. If that doesn't work then it might need an adjustment.

Posted on Jan 01, 2009

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Be sure you have rewound your cassette to the beginning before playing back your video. Also, be sure that the tape heads of your camcorder are clean.
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http://www.amazon.com/Sony-DVM12CLD-MiniDV-Cleaning-Cassette/dp/B0000632H7

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What's happening is that the tape in the cassette is being chewed on one side by the camera's tape transporting mechanism during playback, hence the distorted image and sound. The mechanism might be damaged (misalignment) or just dirty. Try not to play other tapes on this unit because they will become permanently damaged. The best way is to find another camcorder (if cleaning does not help). Note that some old cassettes of long recording time will exhibit this behavior more often because of thinner tape used.

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Alot of times dirty tape heads can cause this issue. Try loading a Digital Head Cleaning Cassette into the unit, and let it clean the heads. Many times this will solve the problem. Also, make sure it's not the 'wet-type' cleaners, as this will cause damage.

For the record issue, make sure the tapes do not have the prevent erasure tabs set - this is on the bottom of the tape, and is looks like a tab that says ERASE OFF or SAVE.

Not much else that can cause this issue. Never force the tape into the unit, and never hit the unit to get it to work. If nothing works, then I would suggest taking into a service center for diagnosis.

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1 Answer

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Some possible cause of lines, noise or pixelation during playback are: 1. Dirty heads on the recording machine. If the heads were dirty at the time of recording, the dirty heads didn't record a strong enough signal on the tape. The damage is done for this tape and recovery is unlikely. Best advice here is to use only premium grade new tapes and keep your camcorder clean by occasionally running a cleaning tape. 2. Physical tape damage. Any distortion of the tape will result in mistracking and subsequent loss of data. 3. Built up oxide deposits or other debris in the guidepost corners can also result in tape edge damage. Keep your machine clean! 4. Improper tape storage - Even short term exposure to high temperatures over 130 deg f. can permanently damage the tape. The black cassette housing readily absorbs the sun's infrared rays and internal cassette temperatures can soar even if left in direct sunlight on just a warm day. It doesn't take much heat to slightly distort the plastic shell or ruin the tape contained within. * Try other tapes to ensure the problem lies within the tape and not the camcorder. * If the problem becomes apparent on all tapes, try a head cleaner. After cleaning the heads, the tapes may not play cleaner if the recording was done while the heads were dirty.

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Digital video camcorder are recording signals in very thin line (as thin as 1/8 of a hair.) Therefore, following symptoms may appear if video heads become dirty even a little. If such symptoms appear, clean the video heads with a commercially available dry cleaning cassette. If the symptoms reappear shortly after cleaning, the video cassette may be defective. Stop using the cassette. Video heads may become dirty under the following conditions: (1) When using the camcorder in humid or hot places. (2) When using cassette with damaged or dirty tape. (3) When using the camcorder in dusty places. (4) When using the video heads without cleaning them for a long time. Note: Before you make important recording, clean the video heads and make a test recording first. We also recommend cleaning the video heads after use before storing the camcorder.

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1 Answer

Dirty Replay


Digital video camcorder are recording signals in very thin line (as thin as 1/8 of a hair.) Therefore, following symptoms may appear if video heads become dirty even a little. If such symptoms appear, clean the video heads with a commercially available dry cleaning cassette. If the symptoms reappear shortly after cleaning, the video cassette may be defective. Stop using the cassette. Video heads may become dirty under the following conditions: (1) When using the camcorder in humid or hot places. (2) When using cassette with damaged or dirty tape. (3) When using the camcorder in dusty places. (4) When using the video heads without cleaning them for a long time. Note: Before you make important recording, clean the video heads and make a test recording first. We also recommend cleaning the video heads after use before storing the camcorder.

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