Man, what a bummer. Tonight I went to playback about 45 mins of video from Xmas for my family and about 5 mins into it, the tape just started dropping out like crazy (freezing every few seconds). Eventually the tape just stopped playing. Lost all my family holiday footage.
I tried cleaning the heads twice hoping it was just a playback issue, but it didn't help. (I did record 5 mins of test footage on a new tape after cleaning the heads and it was fine.) I've had my HV20 since March 2007 and have never had a tape that didn't have some dropouts. I'm using Panasonic AMQ tapes too.
Over the years I shot dozens and dozens of tapes and never had one that was unplayable like this. Can't wait for a solid state 24p /HDV camera. This totally sucked tonight.