MiniDV and DVCAM record ten bands of video per frame using two video heads (five per head). If dirt or debris clogs one of the heads, the signal cannot by read from tape in its entirety. Typically, a head clog will appear as wide alternating lines of frozen video or an alternating pattern of color indicating a loss of read/write capability at the video head. Two head clogs cause loss of picture altogether or a freeze-frame of the last decodable frame. If a head is damaged, this type of banding may occur with all record and playback functions of the failing VTR.

Can it be fixed?

Cleaning the media may help reduce this artifact. Exercising the tape may also help if the media hasn’t been used for a prolonged period of time.


The problem is difficult to see in the clip above, and much more obvious in the clip below.

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