12 Vertical sections in Playback-Dirty Head??



Hi, I have a JVC GR-D270EK mini DV camcorder.
I have used this camera with no problems untill now, i went on holiday so bought a pack of JVC mini dv tapes (previously used TDK).
After a few minutes of recording a message was displayed saying i should insert a head cleaning tape but then went off so i thought the problem had gone, untill i played back the tape!
On some of the recording the picture and sound is fine but then it displays the video split up into 12 equal vertical sections, every other section displays the moving video whilt the other 6 displays a frozen picture from earlier footage, then again the next scene of captured video can be fine. Unfortunately though most of the tape is of the vertical sections.
I did put in another JVC tape after and recorded some more video and this time there is no problem so far. Is the tape faulty or could it be that the head needs cleaning, could it be due to me changing to a different brand of tape. I'm guessing the tape has recorded the pictue this way and that nothing can be done to repair it.
Any advice gratefully recieved. Many thanks


Distinguished Member
It could be either.. or indeed both but a brand new tape is most unlikely to be dirty or faulty
but I have had a tape head of a £1500 camcorder permanently damaged by using different brands of MiniDV tapes believing them to be identical in all but name.
While my experience may be less common. I cannot honestly advice that using different brands of MiniDV tape is safe practice
The badly recorded tape will remain so .. I would also caution against playing that tape elsewhere as it possesses the potential to "dirty " that tape head

See this


Well-known Member
I have had the same thing on my new Sony. I am useing the Sony premium tapes. It has happend twice on the same tape the first instance always has the bars but the second time it happened it only happened on the first playback, the second time it was fine :confused: I have not used a second tape yet so don't know if it is that or the head being dirty.

Not sure if I sould buy a cleaning tape to try and sort the situation or phone the store I bought it from to get it replaced. Someone at my work who is clued up about mini DV said I should not use the tape cleaner unless the cam says so as the cleaner tapes are abrasive and too much use could end up damaging the head. I have had the message once after while using it the first time (just before the first instance of the problem). I have not had it since and it did not warn me before the last time it happened. What should I do? If I should send it back or try a cleaner? I think I will wait untill im back from my holiday on the 4th of Sept as I don't want to be without it.



Distinguished Member
Use a cleaner. used according to directions, and not used if not needed you should be fine. continuing to use a dirty head will result in useless footage and may damage the head permanently

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