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HDR-SR11 & SR5 (Buffer Overflow messages)

by Window_Seat / December 21, 2008 2:58 AM PST

Hay all!

This is my first post.

I had an HDR-SR5 last year, and used it as a "dashcam" on a truck (big rig) while driving. I would record everything, and get the good clips, then put it on youtube.

I was getting a "buffer overflow" message while recording, and in some cases, I would not be able to get more than 2-3 seconds of recording. I finally gave up on the thing, and sent it back to Sony's repair center, but they returned it to me with a note saying "nothing is wrong". Typical, but I gave up on the thing after about a year, and upgraded to the SR-11. I got the same thing as far as the buffer overflow messages, and I decided that even after putting black tape over the microphone, it was caused by the vibrations and shaking of the truck going over various bumps.

The amount of recording failures would depend on the type of loads I hauled. If I hauled double trailers with medium weight, I would get maybe 3-4 failures/night. If I hauled a single trailer fully loaded with the max weight, I would get maximum shaking and bumpiness, thus, in some cases I would get the failures more than 20-30 times/night.

I sent back the SR-11, and have decided to try again, and this time I'm going to use a 16GB memory stick duo, and hopefully that will work because if the hard-drive is getting all that vibrating, maybe it will not happen with the memory stick.

Anyone here using their SR-xx for anything different & unique (especially on vehicles/aircraft) & having the same problem?

When recording to a memory stick, will I be able to transfer videos to the hard-disk from the memory stick?

Any comments would be appreciated.



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That you were having these issues
by boya84 / December 21, 2008 8:26 AM PST

with a hard disc drive based camcorder. Vibration (and altitudes over 9,800 feet) causing the camcorder to not record are known issues. Flash memory and miniDV tape do not have these issues.

The different loads would cause different vibration.

The "buffer" in the "buffer overload" is a small RAM area where the camcorder tries to store video before writing it to the the hard drive. The hard drive heads would remain parked because the vibration was too great from them to release. The buffer would fill and with no relief, would overflow.

SR5's handbook:
Refer to pages 5, 88, 102 (among other entries).

SR11's handbook:
Refer to pages 93, 108 (among others.

There may be more detail in the operating guides.

The "workaround" is to turn off the drop sensor - but the risk is that the hard drive platters may get scruffed - essentially, a hard drive crash. Then you are out a camcorder hard drive that is not covered under warranty.

In your situation, a shock mount would be required... or use of MiniDV tape or flash memory based camcorders with no hard drive) that do not have the vibration (or altitude) issues that hard drive cams have... The shockmount would be suspending the camcorder from big rubber bands - bungee cords, I guess, and isolate the camcorder from the truck vibration. This assumes that it is the actual truck vibration and not the noise the truck makes that is causing the hard drives to park...

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re: HDR-SR11 & SR5 (Buffer Overflow messages)
by rockdave4 / January 4, 2009 11:19 PM PST


I just wanted to share my findings. I too use a Sony HDR-SR11, and found the "buffer overflow" error messages that halt recordings are a result of vibrations interfering with the spinning of hard-drive.

I took the camera to 2 live music shows, both extremely loud decibel settings. The first show had no sub-woofers (i.e. minimal vibrations), and I experienced zero buffer overflow errors. At the second show, there were several giant subs causing massive vibrations, and the buffer overflow error occurred countless times.

To rectify the issue, I've bought a "Sony 16GB Memory Stick Pro Duo Mark 2" card which I'll use whenever I record in high-vibration settings. As boya84 stated, flash memory and mini DV tape don't have this issue so I'm not expecting any more errors, but I'll try to remember to re-post in a few weeks with an update.

Thanks for the initial post!

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Solution found!
by Window_Seat / January 5, 2009 6:03 AM PST

After sending the HDR-SR11 back, I decided to take one more chance with it (I really like the Sony), and purchased the HDR-SR12 along with the 16GB Memory Stick PRO Duo (Mark2) Media. It's very expensive, but worth it. I can't wait until they start coming out with more storage space, maybe a 60 or 120gb someday real soon. Anyway, there are no "buffer overflow" messages because obviously there is no vibrating of the card. Sony REALLY needs to fix this issue with the disk drive vibrations...

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There's always the
by boya84 / January 5, 2009 7:20 AM PST
In reply to: Solution found!


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re: HDR-SR11 & SR5 (Buffer Overflow messages)
by rockdave4 / February 23, 2009 2:38 AM PST

As promised, I just wanted to re-post with an update. I returned to the settings where my HDR-SR11 Sony handycam video camera first encountered the buffer overflow message errors, but this time instead of recording to the hard-drive, I recorded to my new Sony 16GB Pro Duo Mark 2 memory card, and... success! My video camera no longer cuts out. Hurrah, and many thanks to all,


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by boya84 / February 23, 2009 3:11 AM PST

Thank you for sharing your successful workaround.

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by Rallysportdirect / June 30, 2009 9:21 AM PDT

hey just had a quick question. How did you switch from the HDD while recording with the Sony HDR-SR5 to recording using the Pro DUO memory stick? Thanks in advance

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buffer override messages
by desiusa / July 11, 2009 3:05 PM PDT

ok i have 3 sony hdr sr11, while recording a live heavy metal show being very close to the stage made my camera shutdown with these error messages. i lost sync with all 3 cameras in different times, so all was messed up... ive recorded live shows with less sound with no error... so its not the jerkyness on the camera that gives errors but the noise level thats going in....also do not record live blaring sounds with 5.1... just keep it to stereo. all is fine now but it took me 3 days to edit and sync all the vdos....neil 4082707322

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SR11 buffer overflow message and shuts down
by loupci / September 14, 2009 4:02 PM PDT

This is driving me nuts so I search the net and found your post.
Mine is doing it also. I put it on HD LP and it didn't so it the last time I used it but before this it didn't and I am not in a truck free hand video without to much shaking. I also format the drive after I download. The book says to do this once and while the drive gets fragmented. I set it to HD 7 it was doing ok for a while. Then it did the buffering crap very frustrating when your live videoing a band. Ruins the video basically. I put it on HD 16 tonight and ran it 40 minutes and never shut off once. I use an external mic also.
I wonder if it has anything to do with the temp of the unit? I have to figure it cause this is really getting to me. Anyone else figure this problem out. It takes great video when it works I just wish it had adjustable audio levels. The buffering message and stopping in the middle of the video has got to go or the camera does. Anyone have any ideas???????? HELP!!!!!!!

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SR11 buffering overflow messages HELP!
by loupci / September 14, 2009 5:00 PM PDT

I have a SR 11 got it back about 5-2009 I get the messages also drives me nuts to pay that much for a camera and not be able to use it. Buffer overflow? I never know why. Does it some days some days not. I have not pin pointed the reason. I format the drive almost every time I use it to clean the HDD like the book says. Still gets the buffering overflow. Temp to hot? I lowered the resolution to HD 5 and it has not done it once. maybe has nothing to do it. I am thinking more that it's the vibration from the loud music though. I video bands 99% of the time that play very very loud I wear ear buds plugged in to the camera to block the sound to my ears and make sure the audio is recording an using a Rode video mic and a inline attenuation to knock it down even more they play so loud. I put the camera in low audio mode and the mic is down 12 db. I ran it tonight in the house for 40 minutes straight never shut off. I shook the camera a little never shut off. I also didn't have loud music playing either. My next step is to try the memory stick like some other post suggest. I will try not using the HDD instead have it record to the memory stick. See if this fixes the problem. Any body know any think I would appreciate it, Thanks, Lou

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