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Digital jagged frames on SR tapes

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Mats Skoglund
Digital jagged frames on SR tapes
on Feb 18, 2009 at 5:26:27 pm

We use a HDCAM SRW 5000 with a HKSR-5003 together with a DeckLink HD Pro PCIe to capture feature films for blu-ray production. We are getting SR tapes from filmlabs that have digital jagged frames here and there, and when we get a replacement tape, sometimes these artifacts can be seen on other scenes of the same feature. We have got "bad SR tapes" on 8 to 10 occations, from different filmlabs.The timecode and tape itself is ok as far as we can tell. It makes you wonder if the SR tapes are prone to damge from metal detectors or other bad treatment during delivery. The jagged frames appear from five frames to a few seconds, and sometimes the audio drops-out aswell, and on one tape the screen went grey for almost a second. The jagged frames is visible both on the capture screen and on the SRW 5000's LCD preview window.

Has anyone had any problems with digitally jagged frames from SR tapes or on the SRW 5000?

Does anyone know what might be the cause for this?

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Mark Raudonis
Re: Digital jagged frames on SR tapes
on Feb 19, 2009 at 3:59:21 am

Have you had YOUR deck cleaned or checked lately?

If you're receiving "bad" tapes from multiple different sources, chances are it's NOT the tapes... it's your deck.

The frame you're showing looks like "dirty or worn" heads to me. Take that same "bad" tape and play it on another SR deck. If it's OK, then it's definitely your deck. If not, might be that specific tape.

My money's on YOUR deck... unless all your other sources have equally bad decks.


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Mark Spano
Re: Digital jagged frames on SR tapes
on Feb 27, 2009 at 9:03:57 pm

Also might be a good idea to reseat the cards. I've had stranger problems pop up that have been nicely fixed (or temporarily gone away) by reseating the cards. Another thing to make sure of is that you've got that ultra high bandwidth cabling for 4:4:4. Lots of info over those cables with that card and cable quality is crucial to the transmission. Good luck.

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Steve Herring
Re: Digital jagged frames on SR tapes
on May 22, 2009 at 9:53:57 pm

Hello Mats,

We have been noticing that long-format SR tapes that are shipped frequently (via FedEx or other carriers) can sometimes get edge damage due to the jostling of the shipment. This seems to be caused by the wound tape slipping slightly on the reel and causing a little fold-over at the edge.

Re-packing the tape by fast-forwarding to the end and then rewinding to the beginning can sometimes fix/minimize these problems. I'd advise resetting your VTR log (shift->Diag->Log) and then looking at the log to see what errors are reported after you have played through the problematic sections.


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