Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by dandeco, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. dandeco macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2008
    I recently remembered I still have some of my old Hi-8 analog video tapes somewhere from back when I used a Hi-8 camcorder. But since I don't have the camcorder anymore, I am considering getting a Digital8 camcorder capable of playing them back and for archiving them to DV.

    For those unfamiliar with Digital8, it was a format Sony came out with in the late 1990s, back when MiniDV camcorders were more expensive and MiniDV tapes were more hard to find. They used the same DV codec as MiniDV did, but recorded onto 8mm or Hi-8 tapes, and would be able to import/export via FireWire. As a result, it will work with all Mac versions of iMovie and with Final Cut Pro. It was seen like an upgrade path for people with 8mm or Hi-8 camcorders.

    I am looking into getting a Sony DCR-TRV460, which I heard supports analog playback of Video8 and Hi-8 tapes. Any comments or suggestions?
  2. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010

    Those old Handycams were great. My high school tech teacher bought two of them, an original Sony VX1000 and one of the first generation PowerMac G4s and a copy of FinalCut 1.0... 400Mhz, 256MB of RAM, a 30GB HDD, and 16mb of video memory. Those were the days.

    One of the best things about the early DV/FireWire devices was how versatile they were. Even the low-end models could be used as an analog to digital passthrough capture device. The TRV460 should work perfectly for what you want to do. I did the same thing with my Family's old video8 tapes a few years back.

    Just make sure you test the camera with a tape you don't care about first, in case there is something wrong with the tape path. You don't want to much up an important memory. I would even consider taking whatever unit you end up with and having the entire tape path and heads cleaned to make sure I got the most optimum signal quality out of those analog tapes. Depending upon their age and quality, the signal on them is going to have degraded quite a bit.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes to the above. Those older machines can eat up tapes and jam. I would test the camera for quite some time before I would trust it. Rewind and fast forward the tapes to re-spool/re-tension the tape before reading it back.

    Those old cameras are cheap now on eBay under $50 each so it is not big deal to buy two. Then when you are done sell them back on eBay. Clean the heads after after few tapes.

    Keep the data in DV format just as it came off the camera. That is the best archive. Make a few backup copies and keep an off-site backup.

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