Thanks but -
No picture means no picture - no snow, no dropout - nothing except in pause where I do get a picture.
Yes the tape is PAL but the machine is multi - standard (PAL, SECAM and NTSC) - it is a Sony VO -5630 or Sony VP 7040
Nothing happens when I play with the tracking - the audio stays the same, there is no meter to check.
I don't think its Umatic/SP Hiband because the color is correct even in fast forward.
I do see snow in the unrecorded area so I'm guessing misadjusted tracking.
I am going to see about another machine this morning and hope.
Thanks for all your help.
Director and Client Services Librarian
Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
From: Association of Moving Image Archivists
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Ted Langdell
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [AMIA-L] Umatic problem-Is it a PAL tape?
Ted Langdell Creative Broadcast Services
Main: (530) 741-1212
What country did the tape come from?
If it's from Europe, it may very well be a PAL standard tape, and you'd
need to have it converted to NTSC (our standard) in order to watch it
on your machines.
One easy way of finding out if it IS a PAL tape is to try playing it in
a PAL deck.
The good news is: There's obviously something on the video track of the
tape or you wouldn't see a picture of some kine using what I think is
the "Search" function.
What make and model of machine(s) have you tried the tape in?
Do you have a knob labeled "tracking" and/or meter labelled "tracking?"
What happens when you turn the knob slowly from the center detent
counter-clockwise or clockwise?
Adjust the tracking knob for maximum level (meter vane to the right) as
After doing that, If you watch the meter while the tape is in play and
it bounces up and down on a regular basis, it may be an indication that
the tape is the wrong standard, or was recorded with a control-track
Many (most?) Umatic machines have a "video mute" circuit that shuts off
the video output when there's no signal present so you don't see "snow"
on the screen with no tape in the machine, when there's no tape
playing, or when in fast forward or rewind if the machine unthreads the
tape from around the video head drum.
It "unmutes" in play, or if the machine has a "search" mode, which
allows you to see the tape at speeds between still, play and say, 5x
play in forward or reverse.
I think you're in the "search" mode when you see some kind of video.
If there's a problem with the tape in play, (low signal, misajusted
tracking, wrong tape standard) it may not "unmute" and you won't see
video. If you use the search function, it generally unmutes the video
path in order to see some kind of picture, even if it's not something
that would be considered playable.
That's why you'll see snow in search at the end of a tape when you've
gone beyond the recorded area.
Hope this helps...
On Jan 2, 2006, at 7:50 AM, Frank Wylie wrote:
> OK, is the non-picture black/blank or is it "snow"? You may have
> video head clogs; try cleaning the tape path. If the image comes
> back briefly at regular speed after cleaning and then disappears, you
> may have a sticky-shed tape that needs to be baked.
> The audio head is linear and the video heads spin, so it usually takes
> much longer for the audio head to pile up enough oxide, thus the audio
> keeps on playing, while the video tends to clog almost instantly. In
> the past, I have had the same problem; the reason you see it in scan
> mode is the increased amplitude of the signal overcoming the crud in
> the video head gap(s) but dropping below usable levels when going back
> to regular playback speed.
> Of course, it it is PAL or SECAM like others have suggested...
> Frank Wylie
> Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive wrote:
>> Need help! We have a Umatic tape that when played we get perfect
>> sound but no picture on the other hand when we play it in fast
>> forward we get fast forward picture with fast forward sound. We
>> have tried both our machines, can someone please explain where the
>> picture is?
>> Thanks a lot,
>> Deborah Steinmetz
>> Director and Client Services Librarian
>> Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
>> Phone 972-2-5881511
>> Fax 972-2-5812061