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Choppy Playback - Sony DCR-TRV120

I recorded my daughter's recital, and went to play it back and began getting very choppy video and audio. I then let the camera sit for a long time, and used it the other day, and it worked fine for about an hour, but then had the problem again. It seems to come in and out at regular intervals, and the tape counter seems to surge and pause along with it. I believe it has something to do with the playback, but am not familiar with this. Please share any ideas you may have. Thanks

John Rhymer
Sat, 02 Dec 2006 11:40:08 -0800

I have a trv 120 that was having the same problem. I tried the solution in this thread and it instantly fixed it. I've got to say I was more than a little skeptical but it's working now!
Error Code C:31:40

Try it if you dare!

Wed, 24 Jan 2007 22:24:05 -0800

THANKS....I have the same problem for a while. I have been shopping for a new camcorder.
I tried your fix, just whacked the cam in the side and........IT WORKS..

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 00:49:12 +0000

My sony digital 8 starting playing all tapes back choppy. I got it cleaned twice- didn't work. After reading the above, as a last resort before shopping for a new one, I whacked it on the side with tape side up (holding side to the bottom), and for whatever reason it's working now. ???

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 15:59:17 +0000

my trv310 had this choppy playback problem, the tape door up, whack on bottom technique worked. who'da thunk it?

thanks to the many who posted this fix.

Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:05:55 +0000

Thank you so much! I had a wedding and my 5 year old's birthday party on tape and it was so choppy that it was painful to watch. I took the advice below (hold it on it's side and slap it and it is working. I don't think I will trust it in the future, but at least I can transfer the footage to DVD.

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 13:21:41 +0000

I'm an engineer. The solution didn't sound like something I would accept. However, as the last resort, I tried it. I worked like a charm!

Sun, 06 Jun 2010 09:41:57 +0000

I had Choppy distorted video on my Sony TRV525 digital-8mm on playback. While playing I slapped the tape door a couple of times and SUCCESS!! Problem solved after 2 years thanks to this thread. Thanks guys.

Sun, 08 Jan 2012 00:30:59 +0300

I have the trv 120e had grey lines tried head cleaning had to hold upside down give a couple of sharp thumps to the base with butt of hand and alls well now, daft solution but it works fine, have tried loads of times and still working, did it today,something must get jarred out of place, give it go you have nothing to lose, it looks like others have done something similar on other net sites

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 00:50:38 +0300

This answer is still relevant on 2017.
I am transferring my old 8mm tapes to digital.
A little thump on my Sony and playback is back to normal.

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 22:15:19 -0700

Amazing! Smacking the bottom of my TRV120 twice worked. Before that I wasn't able to play most of my old tapes. Whew, now time to convert them all before it's too late. Gotta love these old threads...

Joe D
Sun, 26 Nov 2017 11:28:04 -0800

Holy Crap! My camcorder actually works after I smacked it!
Thanks camerahacker!

Mel C
Sun, 24 Jun 2018 17:00:48 -0700

Happy to report this firm slap method still works for my 1999 Sony D8 HandyCam. I am currently digitizing 20-year-old footage.

Jason Dovel
Wed, 13 May 2020 10:30:31 -0700

I just started the process of converting my 8mm tapes recorded on my Sony TRV310 and experienced shaky playback. I googled my issue, found this thread and was thinking no way the solution can be that easy. All these years after the original posting....the solution was still that easy. Thank you!!

Thu, 17 Dec 2020 09:31:42 -0800

Just like others, its Jan 2021, I am dubbing old miniDV from my Canon HV10 camera. Mine was skipping on the 15th video. I followed hitting the Canon HV10 side with the cassette in, and rewound the video and it plays perfectly! Don't know for how long!!!

Darren D
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 18:40:49 -0800

Its 7-23-21
My Sony 525 was chopping
I read this and laughed- Ive been slapping stuff all my life
Figured what the hay- SLAP-FIXED

Fri, 23 Jul 2021 19:06:45 -0700

Initially laughed at the idea of whacking the camcorder. But worked like magic for my TRV310! One of those rare occasions where the "solutions" suggested on internet actually work.

Wed, 22 Sep 2021 04:07:45 -0700

Here we are in 2022. I've struggled with my SONY HI-8 for years now. I bought it in 2000. I've bought about 3 or 4 replacement cameras, none of which would play my tapes so that I could digitize them in my computer and DVDs.
End of rope.
Wife says,...."ask Google".
I did, this page popped up.
I followed the directions and I'll be damned if this didn't work. Feeling relieved as I've duped off three tapes already with no problems.
I feel both relieved and really stupid.
If you're having this problem,.... give it a whack!! hhahhahaha!

Jerry Thomas Wilson
Sun, 20 Mar 2022 13:16:51 -0700

Not something I would have every thought would work! The camera had sat for several years and when I tried to play a tape, it was choppy. Tried this, against my better judgement I might add, and it worked!

John Horstman
Mon, 28 Mar 2022 13:20:32 -0700

This worked on my old Sony camcorder that was playing back an important recording with vertical shaky bars on the video and choppy audio. I was so frustrated and ready to try anything. I followed the advice on here, and while playing the choppy tape went whap whap whap! Omg it worked yay!

Sat, 04 Mar 2023 11:17:34 -0800

I would like to report that to this day, May 2024, this solution still works. Thank you for the easy fix!!

Sat, 11 May 2024 14:36:28 -0700

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