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Audio & Video Software forum

General discussion

Home Videos to DVD

by mickeyzitko / January 19, 2006 5:44 AM PST

have approx 30 home video tapes (Video8) of my children over the past 12 years. I am attempting to download them onto my computer using movie maker. I move along for a while okay then the picture distorts so i stop and put the video head cleaner tape in the camera, clean it then it works for a while okay. It is getting extremely frustrating. Are my tapes dirty? And if so is there a way to clean them? And is there a better way to do this project? I can't afford to have a professional company do it and I would like to be able to edit the video before burning a DVD. I heard there is some hardware I could purchase, but am having trouble finding any information on that. And even if I do find and purchase hardware, will I have the same problem with video quality? HELP. I'm fairly new at this and am beginning to panic at the thought of loosing these videos. I read that if I use the head cleaner too much on the camera, it could ruin the heads. I'm at a loss. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Mickey

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My Way
by timwerx / January 19, 2006 11:42 AM PST
In reply to: Home Videos to DVD

I would definitely avoid overusing the head cleaner.

What format are you using for capture? I would guess it's that or some other setting or glitch in the software or connection.

While a bit out of date, take a look at my page here:

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Re: Home Videos to DVD
by SunderlandFan / January 19, 2006 10:05 PM PST
In reply to: Home Videos to DVD

How is your video camera connected to your computer, through the video card or through a usb device? When you say the picture distorts is it just on the screen as you copy? Once it is copied to the computer is it distorted when you play it back. It may be a software issue with moviemaker, have you tried some other software? How do you view your movies on the tv? Are they distorted when you play them on the tv, if no then there is obviously a problem with the computer connection or the software.
Post back with some more info and hopefully we can resolve this.


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It does indeed sound like they are dirty, and your concerns
by Kiddpeat / January 20, 2006 7:45 AM PST
In reply to: Home Videos to DVD

are well founded. I assume you know that you don't have to redo what has already been captured. You only need to clean the heads and start the capture at the place where the distortion started. Since head cleaning resolves the problem at least for a while, it is very unlikely that you are experiencing a software or hardware problem.

You could try turning everything off for a little while to let things cool down. If the problem is still there when you start back up, it's probably dirt.

I would consider two things.

1. Pull the cover off of the playback device, and leave it off for the duration. When distortion occurs, clean the playback heads with a q tip and some head cleaner. Radio Shack may still have head cleaner. That should clean off the gunk without the abrasion caused by a head cleaning tape.

2. Look for a way to clean your Video8 tape. Perhaps the manufacturer of the camera (Sony?) has something to clean video tape. I've never experienced this, but a web search may turn up something that is able to clean the tapes which are probably full of dust and other debrie.

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I don't know how your tapes were stored, but
by jcrick / January 24, 2006 1:29 AM PST

they may have some deteoration to the coating or mildew, which can cause the same effect.If the player head keeps getting clogged, you might want to have someone at a local shop check the equipment and tapes. A damaged head can destroy your tape.

It may be worth it to have a studio dub the tapes to DVD for you then you can edit them as you want. Some local shops are reasonable, especially if they are just dumping your stuff to a DVD.


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