Goofy Question: Hi8 and 8mm compatable? at

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Old November 13th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #1
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Goofy Question: Hi8 and 8mm compatable?

I have not even dealt with the Hi8 format in years, but someone gave me a 8mm tape to convert to dvd. When I placed that in an old Hi8 camcorder and attempted to capture, all I recieved was static. I was able to play back two Hi8 tapes on this same camera without a problem, so I am wondering if the two formats are compatable?

If I remeber, wasn't 8mm the prelude to Hi8?

Any input is welcome and thanks,

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Old November 13th, 2007, 07:53 PM   #2
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I expect its D8 on the tape and this will only playback in a D8 camcorder ( most of which will play back 8mm, Hi8 and D8). The actual tapes is interchangeable but not what's recorded on them.

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Old November 13th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #3
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Agree with Ron... if it was regular, analog "Video 8" then your Hi-8 camcorder should be able to play it back. Most likely you've been given a tape with a Digital 8 signal on it; not compatible with a Hi-8 player.

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Old November 13th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #4
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Yep, if you are trying to run the tape through an analogue hi-8 deck or camcorder, it also sounds to me like you are running a D8 tape through it with no success.

Same cassette size....completely different data encoding system.

What you'll be needing to look for is a D8 camcorder such as one of the Sony D8 Handycam units.

With that in mind, and if you suspect that you might want to buy a D8 camcorder that offers backwards compatibility, it is important to note that not all D8 camcorders are backwards compatible in that not all of them will play back the analogue hi-8 or 8mm cassette tapes. Only a small number of models in the Sony line were actually backwards compatible, and I don't think any of their current product line offer this feature.

I think the last models that Sony produced that were backwards compatible were the TRV 460 and the TRV 480, produced in '04 and '05 respectively. They are now fairly difficult to find. Every so often you might find them used from an reseller for somewhat more then they went for when first introduced.

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Old November 13th, 2007, 09:53 PM   #5
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Wow and deep. Thanks guys.

To be honest, I think the tape is simply going to go back. It doesn't sound much like anything I really want to invest time in. It's not anything I am getting paid for, but I figured I would try to convert it to dvd if possible for something at work.

Leave it to Sony to some up with a million and a half formats that are not compatable with one another. But then again, it could be like the DV/HDV type of scenerio. I don't know, it's late here. LOL

Thanks again though. One question, I know at this date and time, Hi8 to me really sucks, how bad is the D8 in comparison? Better or worse as far as quality? I am basically examining if I should try an analog conversion with the original camera(if possible).

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Old November 14th, 2007, 12:06 AM   #6
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Digital8 is a digital format. The picture quality holds up about the same as DV, subject to optics of the camera. Other than changing over from analog to digital capture, the Sony Digital8 cameras appear to be the same as the original 8mm & Hi8.

Going back to your original post, very often, the heads in these Sony analog cameras seem to slip out of alignment. Many times when playing back a 8mm or Hi8 tape in a camera or player other than the original recorder, you will get a broken picture or no picture or audio at all, just static. When played back in the original recorder (camcorder), the tape will play just fine. An analog conversion via S Video to digital should yield very good results. I always have my editing clients include their camera if possible.
The outside of the cassette will be marked with the format, 8mm, Hi8 or Digital8
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Old November 14th, 2007, 11:22 PM   #7
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Actually some Digital8 camcorders will NOT play back analogue 8mm tape. I have a Sony TRV 130 Digital8 and from day 1 brand new it would not play back my old Hi8 tapes. Some later models did and their manuals cited that fact.

But mine flat will not.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #8
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I have a Sony Digital 8 camcorder (DCR-TRV280) as well and it does not play analog footage taped on Hi8 tapes. It does however, record digitally on Hi8 tapes and play the digital footage. (Hi8 and D8 tapes are physically identical).

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