Hi8 to digital

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by rkeith, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. rkeith macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2011
    Chicago area
    I am a novice at movie making, but I have about 15 - Hi8 2 hour tapes that I want to edit into a movie. I am now retired and I thought this would be an interesting hobby/project. The first thing I did was send one of my Hi8 tapes out to have made into a DVD. Then I made an appointment with my local Apple Store for one-on-one training. I was disapointed when told by my trainer that Apple had no application for converting the DVD to iMovie. It was suggested that I purchase an ADVCmini and convert from Sony Hi8 camcorder to my iMac. I followed this advice and was able to convert a tape however the quality of the conversion is very poor (the picture is warped at the top of the frame and the sound doesn't sync). I used the S Video connection. I am looking for the most user friendly solution (not the lowest cost), I don't plan on shooting anymore with my Hi8, I just want to save what I have and work with it in iMovie. I presently have iMovie 08 7.1.4. I appreciate any help.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    If you already have the footage on DVD and can spend 20 USD, then look at these two short videos:
    1. Ripping a video DVD (copying a video DVD's content to your HDD)
    2. Transcoding the ripped video DVD to a format iMovie recognises

    MRoogle is a good tool to search these fora for already existing threads about questions you have. It might be able to answer you quicker than waiting for an answer.


  3. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Ingesting the tapes directly into your iMac is ALWAYS going to be a better solution than ripping DVDs.

    Think about it this way-- the tapes are ingested and compressed to fit on DVDs, which degrades video quality substantially. Then, you're ripping that degraded video and compressing/encoding it again. Whereas, if you ingest it natively, you can save it at it's full quality.

    What kind of ADVC device do you have? I've had excellent luck with my ADVC300. I've also used a 110 with great success.

    I would suggest not using iMovie '08. Try downloading iMovie HD or upgrading to the latest version of iMovie.

    If possible, try using a different S-Video cable (maybe even try composite just to see if it's still producing out-of-sync audio and warped video).

    Also, are you using an external hard drive? It's possible the HDD is too slow.
  4. SidBala, Apr 16, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011

    SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    Best solution is to find a Sony Digital-8 Camcorder. These were essentially using the DV format, but took in hi8 tapes.

    Most models could play back hi8 analog tapes and also pass through the video to firewire. This means that you can basically use any software that captures DV over firewire to digitize your video. iMovie will work nicely for this.

    The quality is probably the best you can achieve from any method.

    Try to find a Digital 8 camcorder off craigslist or ebay (usually sell for ~$100) that plays back analog hi8.


    Use this page for reference.
  5. rkeith thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2011
    Chicago area
    I appreciate all the comments and suggestions. I am using an ADVC mini. I have read in other posts that the ADVC 300 has built in TBC which may improve quality. I am using my internal hard drive. I will try suggestions on a different S Video cable and/or the composite connection and upgrading to iMovie '09.

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