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Sony Handycam Video8 - Problems with playback. HELP!

Hi. I have an old Sony Handycam (Model # CCD-TR31), and I am trying to transfer my old tapes to DVD. However, I am having a lot of trouble playing back my tapes. The audio is fine, and there is video...however, the video is flickering on every tape, as if the "vertical hold" is off. It appears this way both on the TV, as well as in the viewfinder on the camcorder.

Is there a way to fix this problem on my own? I don't see any buttons or controls that allow me to adjust the vertical hold on the camera.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  • devzin98 Jul 24, 2009

    No...this is strictly an NTSC camera.

  • DarkKnightBS May 11, 2010

    Does this HandyCam have an option to record/playback in either NTSC or PAL? Most Sony cameras and camcorders have this option available because of different video formats between the USA and European countries. USA = NTSC (Most of)Europe = PAL France = SEACAM

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: very grainy playback

This is typical symptom of a dirty video head. this ahappens especially if you play a tape with molds. Cleaning tapes may or may not work. the effectiveness is based on: 1. If the contamination is severe, sometimes the dirt really sticks to the head. You will not normally see this because the head is the tiny part on the head drum that spins. 2. If you use a non original head cleaner 3. If you re-use a tape cleaner. I had this problem on my Sony Hi8 camcorder, i had to mannually remove the dirt on the tape head. I will not recommend to do it as it may damage the head. What I would recommedn first is to buy a Sony head cleaner, and try to clean the head. You may try more than once, it will not damage the head right away. If this does not work, before you send it for repair, ask for estimate. Maybe it is cheaper to buy an analog Hi8 player on ebay rather that send it for repair. And BTW if you have a Hi8 camera, it can play both video8 and Hi8. If you have a video8 camera, it wont be able to play Hi8.

Posted on Jul 06, 2007

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SOURCE: very grainy playback

Same problem with my Sony CCD-TR416 recently. Know what finally worked? With camera playing a tape, I picked up the camera and tapped it sharply on a solid desktop. Had to do it 3 times. I held the camera with two hands, one on each side of the camera, raised it about 3 to 5 inches off the desktop and then quickly tapped it on the desk holding the camera parallel to the desktop so that it solidly hit with all of the lower surface of the camera body.

I know it sounds crazy. I swear it worked. I had tried cleaning the heads over and over. I examined them with a 20x loupe and they looked fine. I doubt that the problem was oxide and debris build-up on the heads.

I planned to order a new head/drum just to see if I could manage the replacement procedure by myself (I'm a chronic do-it-yourselfer/experimenter). I guess I don't need to do that now.

Why did the slam technique work? My guess: Inside the rotating head, there must be some sort of electronic track like the brushes of a motor or something similar.. Some sort of debris must have been involved in a corruption of the transfer of impulses from the heads. A few taps and it broke free.

If banging it on the desk didn't work, I was next planning to remove the drum to check for bad connections. I'm sorry I didn't have to do that.

Nevertheless, don't listen to everyone when they say that the "heads must be dirty." Nope. With the loupe, I could see mine were sparkling clean. But, I still had those multiple horizontal rows of short white streaks obliterating the video image. Tap. Tap. Tap. Now they're gone.

Try it. Couldn't hurt. Though chances are, you won't see this. I'm posting 6 months after your original post. I just happened upon your post as I researched the problem through Google. Neverthelss, someone might see my response someday and maybe they, too, will get luck with the tap, tap, tap procedure.

Posted on Jan 15, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: sony hi8 ccd-trv208e pal camcorder

Same problem, same frustration. Just flashing, won't open to insert tape, Battery relatively new. Is there any way to get it to open to put in tape? I hate this technology, not along far enough.

Posted on Feb 03, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Problems with playback of HI8 tapes...

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.

Posted on Jun 21, 2008

welcomejee
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SOURCE: Sony Handycam CCD-TRV87E

Its analog model of Sony camera series and you can not download its video in PC directly. You can connect Digital Model camera with PC.

Posted on Aug 06, 2008

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