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Sony Handycam DCR-TRV260 Playback Problem

by ORUTerry / October 7, 2006 1:20 PM PDT

I have a Sony Handycam DCR-TRV260 camcorder (approx 2 years old) that has developed a problem during playback. When the tape is played back, the picture (and audio) is herky-jerky (pauses for a micro second). The glitch is consistent. I have tried cleaning the heads (cleaning tape) but to no avail.

Any ideas what might be causing this problem?

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(NT) (NT) Do you know that recording is OK?
by boya84 / October 8, 2006 2:41 AM PDT
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Sony Handycam TRV-260
by ORUTerry / October 8, 2006 10:33 AM PDT

Yes, the recording was viewed previously and was fine. The hesitation problem in playback is a recent phenomenon.


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did this issue get answer?????
by jocelot / December 6, 2006 4:15 AM PST

I'm having the same problems, wondering if you were able to fix it.

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Sony TRV120 Camcorder playback hesitation
by epbrucke / December 6, 2006 6:08 AM PST

I have the identical problem. Changes to any of the camcorder functions does nothing to alter or correct the playback. My last shot was to clean the head- no help.

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Dirty Heads pop-up
by gordon chase / December 28, 2006 7:43 AM PST

I've recently bought a new head cleaner to remedy this problem
to no avail.
this keeps popping up even after this cleaning tape has been used several times,
Thanks in advance,

(Sony DCR-TRV260)

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have you tried contacting
by boya84 / December 28, 2006 8:44 AM PST
In reply to: Dirty Heads pop-up
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Sony playback problem
by star-avi8or / April 11, 2008 2:31 PM PDT

I have the same problem with my Sony DCR-HC42NTSC. I read that if you disconnect the battery for a while, then reconnect it after a day or so, it sometimes fixes it. It did for a while. Then it started again. I've never cleaned the heads so I guess I should. Anyone ever find the answer?

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jerky ditto
by HeAry / June 20, 2008 1:51 AM PDT

the info in the Sony TV260 accuses humidity as the cause of the problem. It also mentions removal of the batter and keeping the cassette mechanism open for a while, presumably for dryoff. I'll do this now and report back later.

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Playback Problem Solution
by keyhano / June 28, 2008 5:58 AM PDT

I used a Sony dcr trv 260 to record a Bride's wedding recently. When it came time to playback the whole video, the tape kept pausing and playing. It was very choppy in picture and sound. I tried cleaning it, that didn't work. Blew into it to maybe clear out dust, that didn't work. Fully charged the battery, that didn't work. Played other tapes in it, that didn't work. Frustrated I got online to read a "million" posts for help. Nothing helped. I was dying. When she got back from her honeymoon she simply said, "try hitting it or shake it hard." One hard hit while the tape was playing and the tape played beautifully. I hate posting this but if this 'bit of info' helps one single person in their frustration then so be it. I myself would have NEVER hit the camera.

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I cant believe that worked
by mjuar002 / September 15, 2008 3:21 AM PDT

the only thing being, I didn't have to hit it hard or shake it hard, I merely gave it a little tap/shake while it was playing back and it fixed itself, thanks

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Re: I can't believe that worked
by keyhano / September 15, 2008 8:09 AM PDT

I am thrilled I have helped someone out there!!!

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Thanks Great Suggestion
by Mike_DSP / October 24, 2015 5:13 AM PDT

Ecactly my problem and thanks for the advice
It really worked

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Sony Camcorder TVR310 Playback Problem Solution
by kmoll01 / January 1, 2009 3:10 AM PST

Well thanks to keyhano (another CNET user) who posted the 'hit your camcorder hard' solution, it actually worked for me too! I searched the internet for solutions finding a lot of 'try cleaning the heads with a cleaner tape' solutions but with no resolve until I came across keyhano's solution of 'hitting the camcorder hard or shake it while playing the tape' solution which worked! I put in a tape, pressed play, and then gave the camcorder a solid hit to the bottom of the camcorder with the butt of my hand. I guess sometimes camcorders need a 'little discipline' (spanking)! <grin> Anyway, I wanted to post this because I found so many other people who did not find solutions that I felt compelled to confirm keyhano's solution as a viable solution and no cost! I hope it works for you.

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Fixed mine too
by samwise1974 / March 13, 2010 12:21 AM PST

I have a Sony DCR-TRV120. I hit it 10 or 12 times (not too hard) methodically hitting different places. This is with a tape playing and the lcd out. With the lens facing away from me, the jerking stopped when I hit the bottom-left in front of the lcd. I'm curious if anyone else noticed where hitting it worked, could be useful diagnostically.

There's a wonderful short story about exactly this phenomina by Theodore Sturgeon from 1970, "Uncle Fremmis." An insightful and very funny story about a man who somehow knew just where to hit something to make it work. Or someone. If you Google Uncle Fremmis you'll see it in a couple of collections of Sturgeon's stories, especially "Sturgeon is Alive and Well," a great collection.

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by pam288 / May 1, 2011 1:23 PM PDT

When I tried to play the tape, I just had the blue screen and the counter didn't show it was moving for a short time, then it started and was skipping. I found this thread. I wacked it on the bottom and I got the blue screen with no playing. Then I tapped it hard on the top and it played skip free!!! Thanks so much! What a crazy way to fix it but I'm glad it's working again. I try hard to keep it protected and then hitting it fixed thanks

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BOOM tap slap n play
by Chzznet / June 14, 2013 3:36 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks!

Ive had this camcorder for years and years a SONY HANDYCAM TRV460. It works great except when u try to take a photo with it, it gives an error saying reinsert memory. Then the video became blocky and would drop out. I tried cleaning, nothing worked. Costs more to get repaired than its worth. I got disgusted with it and slapped the top of it while the tape was playing and BOOM.. its been working great. The fix has lasted and I think Ill transfer all my tapes to digital media as soon as I can. After a while tapes degrade. I just want to say thanks to whoever suggested tapping it.

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Your Sony DCR-TRV460
by boya84 / June 14, 2013 10:29 AM PDT
In reply to: BOOM tap slap n play

is a Digital8 camcorder. It records digital DV format video to the digital tape. Digital8 tape is digital media and should not be confused with VHS, VHS-C, Hi8, 8mm and other analog media. The zeroes and ones stored on digital tape are the same as the zeroes and ones stored to other digital media - just a different format. One cool feature (among many) with this particular camcorder is that it can playback the analog 8mm and Hi8 tapes, too - and they can be imported over the firewire connection as well...

Link to the manual:
Camcorder off...
Connect the camcorder's DV port (page 128, item 2 top part of the page)
to the computer's firewire port
with a firewire cable.

If your computer has no firewire port, hopefully it has an available expansion slot so you can add one. DV, firewire, i.Link, and IEEE1394 are all the same thing. USB-to-firewire cable/converter/adapter things will not work. USB won't work (used for transferring stills from the flash memory card only). Thunderbolt-to-firewire adapters do work.

Power up the camcorder and put it into Play/Edit mode (page 6).
Rewind the tape.
Launch the video editor in the computer. Import or Capture or Log and Transfer (depends on the editor) from the editor - and the importing should start...

Apologies for this being off-topic.

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Interesting and thank you.
by teewriter / October 13, 2015 8:10 PM PDT
In reply to: Your Sony DCR-TRV460

I am converting my 8mm videos and after previously playing through them once decided to get down to business and put them on digital. First tape won't play. Try another, same problem. Hmmm. Perhaps this analog device could use a reboot, so I disconnected the battery for a few minutes and success. But, one of these tapes is stubborn and will not succumb to reboot. So I'll try the reboot over night and attempt again tomorrow.

I believe in using the whack principle to fix things (I tried it with the tape but it did no good) and will try that if no success with the reboot, however, you say that I can play the 8mm video in a digital tape recorder and I do believe I have an old Sony camcorder of that type at work. I will give that a whirl if all else fails. As you know, these old tapes are important to the owner and if that is my solution, I give you big thumbs up this was helpful. That would have never crossed my mind.

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No no no!
by JonathanAlstad / October 14, 2015 8:02 PM PDT

8mm tapes ARE analog and cannot be played off a digital tape recorder. The original poster was saying that Digital8 tapes can be played off either an analog or digital recorder, but not vice versa.

I'm not sure, but I believe what you are considering doing could end up damaging the tapes.

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Tapping helped image
by guerrucci / March 18, 2012 3:55 AM PDT

I just stumbled on to these threads while looking for problems with a shaky playback which just started on my Sony DCR-TRV260 after hours of capturing video tapes. Although at first I distrusted this technique because it sounds like tapping a TV in the old vacuum tube days, I figured there was nothing to lose. It worked for me as well!!!! Of course, I will no longer trust this camera and just need it to live until I finish transferring all my tapes and then will switch to a Canon with digital flash card. This is the third Sony camcorder that has burned me and I am done with them. Thanks for the advice!!

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It's only gone and bloomin worked! :)
by mummaonthaedge / December 29, 2013 8:15 AM PST

keyhano, you are officially the saviour of mankind, we are not worthy!
Here's why... my husband died 20 months ago aged 41 leaving myself and 4 young children (14,12,6 and 4). I have only now been able to dig out our old camcorder and tapes (after a mammoth search for appropriate leads) and it took me a few deep breaths to plug it all in and finally press play, so the kids could see their dad and all the happiness we had, not just the sad bit. I pressed play and, disaster, horrible grey bands through all our old tapes! I was horrified, thought I'd irreperably damaged these irreplaceable memories... until I trawled the pages and found this! AND it only went and flippin worked!! (After I stopped being a girl and actually hit the damn thing instead of tapping it!)
As other posters have said, if the first tap doesn't work or gives you blue screen, keep trying, it works!
You are my hero, thank you Happy x

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It worked
by a4342681 / May 24, 2014 10:30 AM PDT

I know this is an old thread, but this fix can help a lot of people. I dusted off my old Sony DCR-TRV103 (Digital 8). I'm just trying to play some old tapes, and my camera used to work so well, but it wouldn't play at all - just a blue screen. So, I gave it a light tap, and then some more decent smacks with a flat hand during playback (more than I would normally) and it's back in business! Now I can play my old wedding video!

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TRV-740 no digital8 playback fixed
by joanieloveschachie / July 12, 2014 2:25 PM PDT

I specifically registered here just to let folks know how a good firm wack fixed my playback issue as well. In my case, I had a blue Hi8/8 display while in VCR mode and with the tape rolling. I held the camera with my right hand as if filming and very firmly brought it down hard onto the palm of my left hand. I "drove" my left hand into the camcorder's bottom. After a few pogressively harder whacks, a substantially hard whack did the trick...all of a sudden it "realized" I had digital8 tape and started playing. For a moment it was skipping, but I whacked it gently a few more times and now it seems to be holding. Hopefully, I can now capture the last 10 tapes I have in full avi.

The C31 error seems to be fixed by this now that I search online some more. I have yet to find an explanation of how this works...I am an engineer and this is going to bother me until I know!


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Hit and run ?
by Papa Echo / January 1, 2009 7:23 AM PST

The "hit and run" solution proposed by the latter posts may work for indicates that something has been shaken into place.... I would have the rollers and drive belts replaced and the motor recalibrated ....

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Possibly but so far so good; and seems it was a tape problem
by kmoll01 / January 2, 2009 12:35 AM PST
In reply to: Hit and run ?

that could be but so far no issues. and since posting my first reply, it seems the issue may be related to a certain Metal MP tape because all other tape types are playing fine.

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OMG, Bump worked
by mike24s / November 21, 2009 11:30 PM PST

I had same problem and thought bumping would never work. Tried it and works great. Small bump to bottom of the camcorder while it was running.

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I just tried this too.- it works for now
by fvillaaz / December 18, 2009 12:24 PM PST
In reply to: OMG, Bump worked

I will still clean the heads and try to transfer all my videos to dvd before it really breaks.

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Tried it...I have a picture and sound
by gene riordan / January 2, 2010 4:13 PM PST

Something is out of place...I put this camera aside almost a year ago because it would play haltingly then stop, or just play with a blank blue screen. (display menu wording showed up, no errors). Playing around with it this past week, it suddenly started playing, then wouldn't the next day. Then, I found this series of posts, gave it a bump, and it plays.

Any service experience out there...does SONY know the problem and have a fix? Thanks

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Both problems
by kickoff877 / March 5, 2010 11:56 AM PST

I had both problems, I thought all my videos were screwed, then I smacked the thing. I'm an aircraft mechanic, I smack those too from time to time (Don't worry, this is military aircraft, not airliners), but I thought I smacked it too hard and everything went blue. A few smaller smacks later, it was all good.

Thanks everyone

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Yep - The bump worked on my DCR-TRV120
by agnitio / March 20, 2012 6:06 AM PDT
In reply to: OMG, Bump worked

Yep, the bumping worked on my DCR TRV120.

In further investigation, there appears to be a short on the menu 'wheel'. After replacing it, the problem has not returned.

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