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Thread: Symptoms of dirty miniDV heads????/

  1. #1

    Default Symptoms of dirty miniDV heads????/


    I have a miniDV Sharp PD6 ViewCam which I have borrowed from a family member. I have not cleaned the heads. I unsure when it was cleaned last. However I am curious as to what the symptoms of dirty heads are? Could it be a subtle degation in quality or is it obvious pixellation.....???

    Obviously I need to get a head cleaner and clean it.... but just curious.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    The most obvious sign is drop-out (sometimes seen as excessive pixillation, sometimes the picture freezes). With a digital signal it's either there or it isn't. It's not like analogue tape where the sound goes "muddy", with DV the signal simply isn't there and either the images freeze until the next image is available or you get weird artifacts as the processor tries to "make up" the missing components.

    Providing it's not done to often or too long, you should use a cleaning tape regularly (ten seconds after every ten hours tape is what I was told) but not after every tape as it can increase the wear on the heads. Sony cleaning tapes are supposed to be the most "head-friendly".

  3. #3


    Thanks for this.... I sort of suspected this. I am not getting any obvious drop outs. However I was wondering whether it would improve the quality of recording... Better go and get myself a Sony head cleaner.



  4. #4


    Just ordered a Sony package of 1 head cleaner and 3 premier miniDVs all for 5.99 !! Cannot be bad. Oh and the cleaner in question had positive reviews.

    So while I have TDK at the moment it will be interesting to compare with Sony media post cleaning.....



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by SamJolly View Post
    So while I have TDK at the moment it will be interesting to compare with Sony media post cleaning.....
    There won't be any. As Gaffer says - it's either there or it's not. If you're having no problems now and you have no problems with the new tapes/after cleaning there will be no difference.
    Do be careful not to clean your heads unnecessarily - that can cause damage a it wears the heads.
    I've no idea how often is too often but I make sure I have at least 20 hours use before cleaning.

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