Importing Hi-8 tapes

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by anewman143, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2008
    I've got a TON of old hi-8 tapes that I'd like to digitize. I've got a new ElGato Video Capture that worked great for some old vhs-c tapes.

    I "thought" I did good research and bought a used Sony CCD-TRV108 to import my tapes. The camcorder came with a tape in it (from the previous owner) and it plays that tape just fine. But when I put any of my tapes into it, I just get static and noise.

    Ideas?? I'm not keen to send my tapes out as I have already invested a bit so I could do it myself, but I'm baffled as to why the camcorder won't play my hi-8 tapes, but played it's own...does Sony use a proprietary format???

    Thanks for ANY help!
  2. Surfmavs, Aug 17, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    Merida Yucatan Mexico
    Cpying 8mm tapes

    You might have 8mm tapes or digital 8 tapes and your camera obviously is not, either back compatible (with 8mm) or plainly compatible with digital8. It has happened to me, if your camera is hi8 most probably you have digital8 tapes, if your camera is digital 8 your tapes might be 8mm or hi8.... Yes i know its a bit confusing but there were three video standards based on the same exact media tapes...
    And there is only one or two models that are backwards compatible with all three, and they are a pain to find.
    Good luck!
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Like the last post says could be a problem for you. I have a digital8 and all my format check fine.
    Some things you could do. Check the red tap and see if that is shut. Go on web page of Sony and find the specs of your camcorder.
    In practise all 3 formats should play.
  4. macrumors 68030


    I do know for sure, the TRV-108 was a Hi8 camcorder. If it was just dirty heads causing the problem, the previous owner's tape would have exhibited the same problem. Therefore I suspect you may be getting static and noise due to alignment issues, between the recording unit (your old Hi8 recorder), and the playback unit (that TRV-108), which is quite common, and also plagued VCRs of yesteryear.

    But most VCRs had a user-adjustable tracking alignment, that you could fine tune for best results. I don't believe your TRV-108 has such a user-adjustable tracking alignment.

    You may want to find out if Sony service can still do this procedure for you, in which case they will need one of your old tapes to fine-tune the alignment of the TRV-108, to match your tapes.

    Failing that, your only hope is finding another Hi8 camcorder, or playback device, and trying out your own tapes, before purchasing it. Good Luck!
  5. thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2008
    Thanks everyone for their input - I pretty much have it narrowed down to either an alignment issue or the possibility that my old tapes were recorded in digital 8 rather than hi-8.

    I'm in the process of trying to find SOMEBODY near me with a digital 8 camcorder so I can test the theory. Fingers crossed!
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
  7. thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2008
  8. macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Can you remember the model number of the camcorder you used to record your old Hi-8 tapes?

    I too have a closetful of old Digital8 camera tapes, and a working (at least, I hope it's still working) Sony Digital8 camcorder. I think I should plan to sit down sooner than later and digitize my tapes before they start to degrade too much!
  9. macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    I live in NC. If you want to send a test sample I can test it for you. I'm pretty sure your original recordings are D8, and I KNOW your new camera is Hi8.
  10. thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2008
    I am pretty sure that you are right - gonna try and pick up a digital 8 camcorder and go to work - then I can always resell on ebay and my net cost is pretty low...

    Thanks so much for offering to test one of my tapes - really appreciate it!
  11. thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2008
    All is once again well in video import-town. Got a digital-8 camcorder and it is happily playing my old tapes.

    Using the ElGato Video Capture is a breeze...simple, just works.

    Thanks all for the input and advice!
  12. macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    If your digital 8 camera has a firewire connector, which I'm sure it does, you should use try that to import the video (assuming you have a firewire port on your computer) you would get much higher quality video than over RCA / Svideo
  13. macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2008
    It can be quite a process, but the results are nice. I had to go from Thunderbolt > Firewire 800 > Firewire 400 (6 pin) > Firewire 400 (4 pin).

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