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Thread: How to convert Hi8 to digital?

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    Default How to convert Hi8 to digital?

    Hi!

    I just found some old Hi8 tapes that were recorded a while ago. Unfortunately I haven't got the camera anymore. Does anyone know of an easy way to convert them to digital format? What do I need to buy? Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Snookerman; 12-01-2008 at 01:14 PM.
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    The only way to do that is to play it in a device that plays Hi8 tapes and somehow converts it to a digital signal (likely through firewire as DV), then capture it to your computer just like a digital camcorder.

    There are several ways:
    1. Buy a device (like a camera) that plays it, output through RCA cables to your other camera or tape deck that is digital through the line in, and then just record that. (Alternatively, you could put that signal into a DVD-R machine and record onto a DVD, then just copy the files off the DVD, if you don't have a way to capture DV through firewire.)
    2. Buy a device that plays Digital8 (same tapes, but miniDV FORMAT) and output directly from the tape through firewire. This means you must buy a SONY (only brand that made [now discontinued] Digital8) camcorder or deck [if decks were made, though those are usually expensive].

    So, the simple answer: get a Digital8 camera and capture, or get another digital camcorder and a Hi8 camcorder and play through the digital one into the computer.

    Buying a Sony Handycam (OLDER model) will be your easiest option, and probably possible on ebay, etc., for $100-$200.


    Short of this, you could look to a friend or a professional solution for just getting the tape copied (like VHS->DVD services exist, there is probably some place you can mail your tape to).

    EDIT: I should add: You included "8mm" in your title-- that is a bit confusing. 8mm refers to a few formats. One is film (obviously not what you're referring to), but then there is the older "8mm" tape format; it's like Hi8, but I believe it's actually not the same tape-- unlike Digital8 and Hi8 which share a physical medium. I don't think you can get an 8mm -> Digital device, so you'd need to go through the RCA cables, as described above. [And though Hi8 is actually 8mm in width, it's not quite the same as the other "8mm" format... for whatever odd reason someone decided.... ]
    However, I suspect you ARE actually working with Hi8, so this shouldn't be a problem.
    Last edited by djr33; 12-01-2008 at 11:28 AM.
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    Snookerman (12-01-2008)

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    Thanks for your help. I found a Hi8 to VHS converter today, it looks like a VHS cassette with a hole where you can insert a smaller cassette, possibly a Hi8 cassette (they didn't know). Now I just have to figure out a way to convert from VHS to digital, which shouldn't be that hard/expensive should it?
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    I forgot about those. I've never used one-- only for VHS-C --> VHS. I'm not sure how they work.
    But, anyway, if you get that to work, then you still need to get from VHS to digital. At least this way you can watch it with any VCR.

    The process from VHS to DV is about the same though-- you will need to run the signal out through RCA cables to a digital device (probably camcorder), then capture through that, using it just as a relay. [Note: not all camcorders can do this, but many can.]
    There are a few higher end VCRs that will output DV, but I doubt you'll have access to one ($1000+, probably).
    The other option is to get a convenient device that converts an analog signal to digital, which will then work from any VCR you want.
    Something like this:
    http://www.shopping.com/-analog+to+dv+converter

    (Or, of course, some computers just come with RCA/composite in, so that's easy.)
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    Snookerman (12-01-2008)

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