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Problems with playback of HI8 tapes...

I recently purchased this Canon UCS2 HI8 camcorder on Ebay to transfer my old HI8 tapes to dvd. These tapes were originally recorded on a Sony HI8 camcorder which was stolen.
When I play these tapes in my new (actually used but in working condition) camcorder the video is distorted or shredded looking,almost looking like it is playing at faster speed, like a fast scan. Also the audio is distorted and warped sounding. This happens with numerous tapes of various age and brands.

When I record a tape on this camcorder the playback is fine at first. When I take that tape out and reinsert it the payback is distorted as well.

Is it possible that tapes recorded on one HI8 machine will not playback on another? I did try cleaning the heads with a Sony HI8 cleaning cassette.
No better. Should I take this machine to be repaired, perhaps have the tape heads realigned?

Thanks for any help.

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Re: 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

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