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I recently purchased a Sony V800 Hi8 VCR from the UK, and was shocked to learn that this model, distributed in the UK, does not have a line recording  facility - i.e. I canít record using an AV line-in facility.  I understand that this facility is sacrificed to save on taxes.


Your advice on what modifications are to be carried out on the V800 to install a switch which would allow me to swap the existing AV terminals as in as well as out, would be appreciated.


S. Jacob

Muscat, Sultanate of Oman




I have recently managed to start copying some old slides and cine film onto tape.  I would like to add a commentary and though itís possible to do this on camera with slides, it is not acceptable with the noise of a cine projector.


Do I really have to have an expensive sound mixer, when all I want to do is replace the recorded sound with a voice over when transferring to full size tape?


Is it possible to put a mic input directly into the audio-in socket  of my VHS recorder?


D. White

Brixham, Devon



I have an Akai Hi8 camcorder and am interested in editing tapes onto my Panasonic NVF77B VCR using a video audio mixer and processor.  I see that the Videotech VEC1070 appears to meet most of my requirements.


However, I am keen on being able to adjust the red, green and blue colour components and possibly to do dissolves from one video image to another.


Could you please advise if there is an appropriate unit on the market that is able to perform these tasks - Iím looking to spend around £300 - £400.


T. Bell

Farnborough, Hants



Before I upgraded to S-VHS, I used to own a full sized Philips VHS camcorder.  The reason for this change was that the Philips developed an annoying problem.  Small parts of the image would have small blue dots appearing - like Ďblowní pixels.  I have seen this on other used cameras and would like to know what this problem is and how I can prevent this happening on my new camera.


P. Cornwell

Ely, Cambs




I would appreciate advice and tips on transferring cine film to video in order to achieve correct colour and as flicker-free video as possible using the following equipment: Super 8 film taken on Leicina Special camera, Noris Sonomat projector, Sony Hi8 CCD-TR705E camcorder and Ferguson TV and Video.


L. Williams

Hove, E. Sussex



I am at present transcribing some slides and negatives, via my Sony PHV A7E, and some Hi8 video onto S-VHS.  My desire for effects in processing and picture to picture wipes has led me to consider Panasonicís WJAVE 5 unit. 


I already have a VideoTech VTG228 titler; when I come to serious editing will the WJAVE 5 be compatible with, say, an RME500 and the RCTC of my V800, or must I consider rewriting my footage to VITC?


R. Vost

Sale, Cheshire



I have a Mitsubishi C35 and am having a lot of trouble with the batteries, in as much as they are supposed to be 1 hour batteries.  The most I get out of one battery, fully charged, without using any function other than record mode, is about 35 minutes.


I charge and discharge them according to the manufacturerís recommendations but with no luck.  Do you have any idea where I am going wrong - if indeed I am?


Can you also recommend a charger unit that will slow charge my batteries overnight, or a power pack that will give me at least 3-5 hours of use, suitable for my camcorder.


S. Wood

Llanedeyrn, Cardiff



Having searched through the magazines, without success, I have three questions for you.


Is there a VCR on the market which will play in reverse without generating noise bars?


Is the Grundig S-VHS edit VCR the only one that will give selective zoom during playback?


What hardware is necessary to achieve a full conversion of NTSC signals to PAL?


I would be grateful if you could find time to answer these questions.


J. Brook

Lobatse, Botswana



I have a Ferguson FC23 camcorder which I wish to use to edit my tapes onto my JVC 5800 S S-VHS recorder.  I also want to add a sound track and titles.


The JVC JX SV77 editor seems to be good value, especially as it also incorporates a character generator.  As Iíve never seen a review of this anywhere, can you recommend it, and would it work well with my set-up?


R. Arnoldi

Twickenham, Middx



Having taken several video films, Iíve decided to try editing them onto VCR.  I notice when sometimes cutting from one scene or title to another, I get a distinct Ďpopí on the sound track.


Could you please advise me what Iím doing wrong?


J. Woodland

Weybridge, Surrey



Could you please suggest a suitable editor and processor which would be suitable to use with my two Hitachi 770 video decks and Panasonic S7 camcorder?   


J. Browne

Rushdine, Manchester



I have in my possession two worn out JVC nicad battery packs.  Is it possible to have these reconditioned, so that they can be used for a further span of time?


M. Burminster

London W4



A fault in the sound recording has developed in my Sanyo VM-ES88P video camera.  After filming, the sound on playback is virtually non-existent, only evident at random for a couple of seconds. 


This developed after I used the mic socket to record a sound track while filming still pictures.  The sound source was a Sanyo hi-fi connected via the headphone socket to the video camera mic socket.  I have cleaned the heads and recorded using the videoís built-in mic and external mic - the result of this was only low level sound being recorded.  When there is any high level background noise, no sound is recorded using either microphone.


D. Ayrton

Uphall, W. Lothian



Having recently purchased a JVC GP-323 camcorder and now understanding how to use the majority of buttons, I feel I want to try something else, such as animation.


Iíll need some sort of computer editing package - which would you suggest?  My computer is an Amiga 500 and as Iím only 15, I canít afford much either.


It must be able to produce single frame colour digitalised pictures without me having to upgrade my computer; it would also be helpful if it would allow me to add sound to my work.


M. Clay

Wymondham, Norfolk



During a recent holiday I took two 90 minute 8mm tapes and on my return I transferred them, unedited, onto a VHS tape.  Shortly afterwards, we were burgled and lost the video camera which contained the second tape.


I want to edit both tapes but I need to copy from the VHS tape back on to 8mm for editing purposes.  I have tried making a copy of the VHS tape by pointing my video camera at a domestic TV, but I get a striped pattern which starts as an arc on the left hand side and moves to the vertical near the centre of the screen and stays there.


Can you please advise so I can copy the VHS tape back to 8mm so I can edit the tape?


N. Abbott

North Shields, Tyne & Wear



Can you tell me what leads and equipment I would need to add music and commentary to my films when I transfer from one tape to a full sized one?


I have a Sharp VLC 690H VHS-C camcorder and a Ferguson Videostar FV50B VCR.


A. Howarth

Sheffield, S.Yorks



I have a Panasonic NV-S20B camera and NV-SD40B VCR.  I recently purchased a VW EC1E editor which is recommended in the cameraís manual.


I find it impossible to get a recognisable  picture on the TV using the pause/still or still advance buttons on the editorís camera control buttons, making it impossible to locate the start or finish of the scenes to bee edited.


The instruction book states that by connecting an Edit Controller to the cameraís edit socket highly precise and speedy editing becomes possible. 


Is there something Iím doing wrong, or is it a fact that the camera doesnít work with this editor?


J. McCready

Greenock, Inverclyde



I recently purchased a Sony V800E to make use of the RCTC code.  Iíve noticed that it appears to miss some frame codes - anything from 5 to 15 frames in small groups every couple of seconds.


This occurs on both re-written codes on some original 8mm tapes as well as on new Hi8 tapes, recorded on the V800 in short play.  This has made editing, using my PC and video software, lose track of the tape position - sodís law says that a start or stop will be in a blank frame.


Is this a camera or tape problem, or do hardware video controllers manage this frame drop in a better manner than a PC controlling the camera?


D. Barton

Penhow, Gwent



Having recently purchased a Hi8 camcorder after using Video 8 for some time, I now have the problem of choosing a tape from the large number of tape types available.


Could you please explain the apparent difference in performance between the tape types which, after all, have considerably different costs?


B. Elliot

Portishead, Bristol   



Using my Samsung 8mm camcorder I recently tried my hand at a spot of animation, simply by stopping and starting the camera every few seconds.


My concern, however, is could all this stopping and starting of the recording action be damaging the camera in any way?


Your advice would be appreciated.


R. Small

South Shield, Tyne & Wear



Realising that the start of each tape is subjected to very hard work, I thought it would be economical if one could use the end first, so to speak.


I assume the tape has no inherent horizontal specials - itís the same initially from edge to edge.  So I undid one cassette and proceeded to make the end come first and the original end  the starting point.  This took a long time to unwind by hand and to keep the magnetic side the right way round.


However, after all this tedious effort, to prove a point, I couldnít record anything - why?


J. Kemp

Chippenham, Wilts



  My video camera is a Sony Video Handycam, and having recorded some archive material Iíve included some old 8mm cine film and transparencies via a projector. I now find that some of the sound track is far from being acceptable.


Having read that audio dubbing is not possible on 8mm camcorders Iím now wondering if I can use an Editor with my Sony.  Iíve successfully coped with some insert recording, but am I asking the impossible to keep my original video, but add a different sound track when transferring to a VCR?


M. Stanbridge

Lymington, Hants




Why do manufacturers of video equipment, such as camcorders, decks, processors etc., inform you to switch off the equipment before connecting any AV leads to link them together?  What possible harm can be done to equipment that is left switched on when linking up AV leads?


Also, why canít we have long-life video heads fitted to camcorders and video decks?  Weíve had them on audio cassettes for years.


D. Godwin

Dublin 9, Eire



Iím having trouble with my RocGen Plus Genlock.  The equipment I use is a Sony V600E Hi8 camera, Sony VX1E Hi8 camera, run through a Panasonic WJ mixer to a Sony SLV-715 VCR.


Everything is fine until I want to make a copy of the master.  When I play back the copy which is only 2nd generation for the Genlock, all the places Iíve used RocGen are now black and white, with only the occasional flash of colour.  I thought Iíd got a fault on my RocGen, so I tried it on my friendsí machines - same result.


I always read the test reports on things before I buy them and, yes, it is a good machine, until you want to make a copy.  Is there a way to correct this problem, or do I have to purchase more expensive equipment?


R. Smith

New Holland, S. Humberside



For the past five years Iíve lived quite happily without a television.  I play a lot of sport and quite often matches are filmed and a copy made for me to watch.  Of course, I have to ask my friends if I can watch my tape on their sets.


What would be ideal for me is a training TV player, sold by Mar.Com, but its price makes it prohibitive.  Iíve purchased a Goldstar video player; now I want to find a monitor television to screen the tapes, but not receive the dreaded air waves.  Any suggestions?


T. Hutcheson

Creekmouth, Essex



Back in 1986 I bought a Rendale 8600 Genlock, with the intention of superimposing titles and graphics onto my home videos.  After a lot of problems and a modification done by Rendales, I packed it away as I was told it was all to do with my using the Amiga A1000, which was an NTSC machine.


Last year I upgraded to a new Amiga, A1500 - and thought that now the Genlock would come into its own.  It hasnít!  I can get a superb genlocked picture on the computer monitor but the video recording, stable as it is, is in black and white.  When I go into x2 playback mode it appears in colour.


The equipment I use is as follows: Sony CCD-V100E camcorder, Sony EV-800 Video 8 VCR, Olympus VX-301E VCR and Panasonic NV-870 VCR.


Is there anyone who can help me sort this out?


R. Porter

Hockley, Essex



Having used the Sony CCD TR60 camcorder for a while, Iím now interested in editing my tapes.


Iíve been advised that it is not a good idea to use the camcorder for editing as this will impose an additional burden on its working life.  It has been suggested that a better option is to transfer 8mm tapes to a video recorder with a good quality tape and then purchase a second video tape recorder and use it in place of the camcorder.


Have you any suggestions on the advice given me?


P. Longleu

Stanmore, Middx



For the first time in my life I am frustrated.  After being in the white goods trade for 30 years, I am now a customer.


I purchased a Sanyo camcorder from Dixons and unfortunately found them to know less than I did about tapes.  Can you please advise me which are the most suitable 8mm tapes for my camcorder?


S. Porter

London NW1



Feeling the time is right to purchase a camcorder, I have more or less decided on the Sony CCD-TR1 Hi8.  Reading various articles, I understand that to obtain the best results, I require a compatible TV and VCR.


My present TV is a Nokia 6320 fitted with a Euro AV socket and the VCRs are an ITT VR3917 and Matsui VX 2700.  I would like to obtain maximum picture quality from camera to television and also when transferred to VHS tape.


Do I require a Hiband TV and VCR?


D. Shawcross

Grasmere, Cumbria 



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