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Camcorders: my tapes ruin playback quality?

My Samsung camcorder, recording on analogue tape, suddenly would not play back a recording just made - the screen was all fuzz and flicker, with the images just discernible but split horizontally. I borrowed a camcorder to play my tapes: it worked at first, then just played fuzz, which it has done ever since with the owner's tapes too. I bought another Samsung and it worked perfectly - at first, then flicker and fuzz all over the image, even on the tape which initially played well, and all my other tapes too. On the face of it, it seems one or more of my tapes is destroying camcorders' playback; but HOW? and what can I do about it?

February 2012
Magnetic tapes do not have an infinite life, the more you play them the quicker the erode the magnetic coating which is then transfered onto the recording/playback head. Try to clean the heads if you can, then throw away your old tapes and try some new ones. If the problem is still exists, just buy a new digital camcorder, simples!

Alexandre Meerkat
February 2012

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