Stored DV Tapes pixelated



Firstly Happy New Year.

I am a little distressed because I have just discovered all the DV Tapes (family memories) that I have stored in the entertainment unit seem to have been damaged.
When all the tapes are played back through my camcorder there is digital damage to the image and loss of consistent audio.

The only tape that seems to have escaped damage is the one that was inside the camcorder.

Both the stored tapes and the camera live in the same place and very close to each other.

Not sure how they have become damaged and it must have happened recently. If the damage was magnetic fields what is the the chance that all stored tapes have been damaged at the same time with the same level of problem? :sad:


Could just be dirty tape heads in the camcorder- are all the tapes the same brand?



Thanks for the reply…

Most of the tapes are Panasonic.

Thought about the dirty heads in the camcorder but I can’t explain why the one tape still in the camera plays back fine. I will buy a new head cleaning tape and run through anyway.



If you have stored the tapes near a CRT TV then the magnetic fields produced by the set may have had an effect over time. Similarly, storing them near a loudspeaker can also do damage. The tape in the camcorder may have been shielded by the mechanism.

However it does take quite a long time to accumulate; have you had these stored for several years?


Most of the tapes have been stored for several years +, however there are tapes that are only 12 months old.
All tapes when played back through the camera seem to have the same problem. When viewing the tapes there is vertical banding with blocks of damaged pixels.


Good Morning Guru’s,

I am trying to sort out problems I am having when I review “ALL” of my pre-recorded DV tapes. The images have vertical banding (pixelation in bands)

There is a degree of weirdness about this case that I am hoping more brilliant minds than mine can solve. Firstly some of the facts;

15 X pre recorded tapes of various ages (1 - 13 years) all with the same problem and level of banding when reviewing. When I overtape on one of the old tapes the new footage was fine. Gets to the old footage and back comes the banding.

1 x tape that was still in the camera has no problem with review or record.

I have tried head cleaning but doesn’t fix the problem.

I am hoping this is a problem with the camera and not my tapes with treasured family memories. Searching the net reveals some problems when cameras heads get out of alignment.:sad:

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.


Try them in a friends camcorder.


Thanks for the reply;

Gut feel do you think it is the tapes or the camera?

Going to run the tape through a friends camera. Fingers crossed…


Camera- looks like crud on the friction wheels, or out of alignment on the playback head.


[I](two threads merged - please don’t create new ones about the same problem)[/I]


No problems.

Thanks for the help. Ran my old tapes through a friends camcorder and thankfully they are all fine.

Looks like my camera has had a knock recently and the head/s are out of alignment.

Now that I have calmed down I can make the decision to get the old girl fixed or upgrade. Even though the camera is going to cost me $$ its a relief to not have lost the footage.


That’s excellent news, eaglebrad. That picture was very helpful in diagnosing the problem.

Sorry about the cost of repair but at least your tapes are safe. :slight_smile:

Would you consider some form of back-up to ensure the footage isn’t lost in future? Maybe a digital copy to a hard disk? Reliable one-terabyte hard disks are relatively cheap now.


Firstly I am getting my tapes copied to DVD.

Once I have confirmed that I can edit the footage from DVD I am going to copy the edited footage to external hard drive and as many other media that I can so that I am not faced with relying on either my camera or tape.

My experience has inspired my friend to copy/convert his tapes to another media also.

Thanks again for the support. I guess the thread can be closed now.