Hi8 tape question from a non-tech noob - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I just started going through all our old Hi8 camcorder tapes and not all of them played. It was displayed on our TV as composite and of the tapes that played, the audio had lots of static and the color was almost non-existent. Several of the tapes did not play any images at all which makes me very nervous about losing the footage. Many of the tapes date back up to 18 years so I'm hoping that the technology of the TV's today may just not be compatible with the camcorders of 18 years ago.

Any suggestions on where to take the tapes to check they still have the images in tact? What is the best way to transfer these images to DVD so I can stop worrying about losing footage?

Thanks for any help.

Sony Handycam CCD-TR71
Tapes: Sony Hi8 120 minutes
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:26 AM
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Do the tapes play/sound OK when looking at the small LCD screen on your handycam?
You might need to get the heads cleaned on your handycam.

The best way to transfer your Hi8 footage is by using a Digital8 camcorder. Digital8 camcorders play Video8, Hi-8 and Digital8 tapes. The Digital8 camcorder converts your analog tape into digital and it will also have a Firewire connection which you connect to your notebook or PC.
It might be tough to find a new Digital8 camcorder new these days, but there are heaps on eBay. Search for Digital8

Use WinDV, Windows Movie Maker or your favorite NLE to transfer the footage onto your computer. The footage will take 13GB per hour and it will be in the AVI container (DV AVI codec).

Once you've got it on your computer you can make your edits (I'd recommend masking the bottom of the frame as analog recordings have head switching noise that is usually hidden on CRTs but are visible on LCD/Plasma) using a video editor and then encode it to the DVD format (MPEG-2 for video, AC3 or PCM for audio)

If you don't want to bother with processing it on your computer, you can plug the Digital8 camcorder to a DVD recorder (using Firewire if the DVD recorder supports it - otherwise using RCA composite cables) and then burn it straight to DVD.
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