Video8 / Hi8 / Digital8

Hi8 camcorder Video8 / Hi8 tape

Video 8 and the higher performance version Hi8, were much the most popular type of camcorder sold right the way through the 1990's and were available until about 2010.  Picture and sound quality is very good, and at best can be outstanding.  Since the 8mm tape is completely different to VHS, no Video8 or Hi8 to VHS adaptor could ever exist, we need to play these tapes on the appropriate equipment.

You have come to the right place for your Video8 and Hi8 to DVD transfers, video99 has simply the best 8mm video equipment.  I can transfer your camcorder tapes to DVD with brilliant pictures and sound, using my semi-professional Hi8 edit systems costing well over 1000 each.  The signals are processed through a Digital Timebase Corrector to remove any flutter and wobble, and get the benefit of a digital dropout compensator in my players.  Then the video signals are handled in S-Video form for the ultimate in colour performance, to my DVD recorder or computer system where it is recorded to DVD with outstanding picture and HiFi stereo sound.  I can also deal with PCM digital audio recording tracks (most people can't do this).  What all this means is that the results will be much better than you can get by just playing the tape in a camcorder.  I've had cases of customers coming to me after other video transfer companies were unable to handle LP recordings and international recordings, but video99.co.uk won't let you down.  

Hi8 camcorders from 1998 onwards may include Hi8-XR (Extended Resolution) technology with suitable XR tapes.  If your tapes are recorded with this feature, let me know since I will make a point of selecting appropriate equipment to get the very best from your recordings.

Semi-professional Hi8 edit deck One of several identical Semi-professional Video 8 / Hi8 edit decks used for copying camcorder tapes to DVD.

Basic Menu, 12: Up to 2:30 hours on one DVD, but most camcorder tapes are only 90 minutes which fits nicely.  The menus are limited to just a title, but you get a chapter point every 5 minutes so it is easy to move around the DVD.  Extra copies of these DVDs cost just 3.50 each and are recommended.

Deluxe Menu 18:  Up to 1:30 hours on one DVD, so most camcorder tapes fit in one go.  Nice menu icons showing what is on that part of the recording, and if you email me with titles I will put them on the DVD for you too.  I place the chapter breaks at points of interest or new recordings.  These menus look like professionally recorded DVD films.  Extra copies are very cheap, just 2.50 each, and well worth taking.

Tape type

Running times (maximum)

Video 8 or Hi8 MP90, ME90

90 minutes SP or 180 minutes LP

Video 8 or Hi8 MP120, ME120

2 hours SP or 4 hours LP

Digital8 on MP90 tape 60 minutes SP or 90 minutes LP

Digital8 logo

Around the year 2000 a new variant of 8mm video recording arrived, called Digital8, marketed by Sony and Hitachi.  Camcorders of this type use standard Hi8 video cassettes, or Digital8 cassettes which are essentially the same, to record digital signals of the same type as other digital camcorders.  The quality is excellent and with suitable equipment, it is possible to transfer these recordings to computer or DVD in a completely digital way, retaining outstanding performance.  

Digital8 camcorder Hitachi Digital8 camcorder.

You can't tell by looking at an 8mm video cassette whether it has an analogue Video8 / Hi8 recording on it, or a Digital8 recording.  A clue may be in the vintage, recordings prior to year 2000 will be analogue, and later than that could be either.  If you have only a Video8 or Hi8 camcorder or player, and get a Digital8 tape to play, you see a grey screen full of speckles and the sound will just be a loud buzz.  Since I can transfer all of Video8, Hi8 and Digital8, there will be no problems with any of them.  Some transfer outfits will get caught out by Digital8 recordings as they cannot run them.  Furthermore I can handle recordings made on equipment from around the world, at no extra expense.

Basic Menu, 12: Up to 2:30 hours on one DVD, but most camcorder tapes are only 60-90 minutes which fits nicely.  The menus are limited to just a title, but you get a chapter point every 5 minutes so it is easy to move around the DVD.  Extra copies of these DVDs cost just 3.50 each and are recommended.

Deluxe Menu 18:  Up to 1:30 hours on one DVD, so camcorder tapes usually fit in one go.  Nice menu icons showing what is on that part of the recording, and if you email me with titles I will put them on the DVD for you too.  I place the chapter breaks at points of interest or new recordings.  These menus look like professionally recorded DVD films.  Extra copies are very cheap, just 2.50 each, and well worth taking.

Also available, Video8/Hi8/Digital8 to MPEG or AVI(DV) files for your own computer editing.  The price is small quantities is the same as Deluxe Menu.  For larger quantities of tapes there are good discounts possible.  In particular, if you would like to transfer Video8, Hi8 or Digital8 to hard disk, the price is just 7 per hour using the very high quality DV-AVI file format.  Just email me for details.

There is a limitation of the Digital8 format:  Hi8 or Video8 90 minute tapes record for 60 minutes with the Digital8 format unless LP (long play) is used to extend this to 90 minutes.  If LP (long play) mode has been used using a cheaper Video8 tape, it is possible that the recordings may not play so well, occasional blocks and patterns are possible.  So far I've never experienced this effect on my equipment.

Television systems explained

PAL NTSC  
YES YES *  

* Note about NTSC recordings (USA television standard):  Other companies in the UK may say they can run these, but most will get stuck if your recording is in Long Play.  We have imported Hi8 NTSC equipment from USA for this reason and so won't let you down. 


How to request a Video 8 to DVD transfer, Hi8 to DVD or Digital8 to DVD or video files.

We have a new and easy order page, just select what kind of tapes you have and supply your details.

If for any reason you get stuck filling out the form, just email me and I'll help you personally.  It's a personal service I offer, not like some of the big video editing houses.  I understand that in many cases you will not be able to tell how much material is on the original recordings.  In which case, assume that the tapes are fairly full and send payment accordingly, I will refund any surplus by means of a cheque sent with your finished recordings.  

If recorded on equipment from another country, see the Television systems explained.

If you want your tapes back after you have the copies (recommended):

Not everyone needs their tapes returned once they have the transfers, but I do recommend it. For a single video tape in the UK, this is just 1.50 For larger quantities, and tapes from outside the UK, I will let you know.  Ideally can you ensure you send the tapes in a package which is sufficiently large and robust for me to use to send back your original tapes. Usually I will send the transfers to you ahead of returning your tapes, then when you've confirmed you are happy with the work, I will return your tapes. This way I can help you further if necessary - for example you can now see you want a different part of a tape transferred on its own or you want extra copies.

When you receive your tapes back, you may notice that the record tabs have been switched to safe. The first thing I do with a tape is make sure that it cannot be recorded on, so protecting your important recordings.

Please read our Terms and Conditions, which form part of the agreement.

Back to the main www.video99.co.uk page.

Also see the video99.co.uk Questions and Answers (FAQ)

If you have a Video8 or Hi8 video recorder, click here to join the Video8/Hi8 Video recorder Yahoo group, it's free.
If you have a Video8 or Hi8 video recorder, click here to join the Video8/Hi8 Video recorder Yahoo group, it's free.


Mould

All video tapes can develop mould due to poor storage, such as in a loft, shed or garage.  Tapes stored indoors in the UK virtually never have mould problems, though some foreign climates can be more hostile to tapes.  With large formats like VHS or Beta, the mould is a nuisance but if it's not too severe then it will peel off the tape when it is played.  But with the very thin tape used in 8mm cassettes, even the smallest amount of mould will "glue" the tape together and cause the tape to snap in a distinctive long tear starting from the top or bottom edge of the tape as it is played.  If a tape has snapped with this long tear along its length, I always know that it is a mould snap, and simply splicing the damaged tape out will probably not be enough to make the tape playable, since it will snap again.  Most video transfer businesses will simply give up if there is any hint of mould on an 8mm tape, but here at video99 we're not put off so easily.  We've developed a technique for clearing mould from 8mm tapes, but it is a very slow and manual process so it does add to the cost of transfer.  In the case of a tape with minimal mould build-up, this may be as little as 5 extra on the transfer cost, but if the tape is very mouldy then it could be around 30.

If the tape is very mouldy, then furthermore the picture and sound are adversely affected even if the tape snapping problem can be resolved, and it can make running the tape very slow and difficult as mouldy tapes can clog the heads of the players.  I can generally
get an idea of just how bad a tape is going to be by visually examining it, to advise on whether it's worth attempting the process.  Fuji branded tapes seem to be particularly susceptible to mould build-up, where other brands of tape stored in identical conditions may be almost perfect.

If you think your 8mm tapes might be affected by mould email me to discuss it.


TESTIMONIALS  

Some previous testimonials for www.video99.co.uk Video8, Hi8 and Digital8 video transfers

For older testimonials, hundreds of them, see the archive of testimonials.


Can I play Video8 or Hi8 tapes on my Digital8 camcorder?  Which Digital 8 camcorders play Video8 or Hi8 tapes?

Which Digital8 camcorders support analogue Video8 or Hi8 playback?  I've been asked which Digital8 camcorders play Video8 or Hi8 tapes.  Most, but not all, Sony Digital8 camcorders can also play older analogue Video8 or Hi8 recordings.  Here is a list I have put together from information collated from user manuals.  Note that the European models have an E after the model number, whereas NTSC market models do not, but otherwise the features are likely to be similar.  The DCR-TRV350 appears not to have been sold in Europe.  Many Sony European PAL models such as the DCR-TV120E which support analogue playback, also support NTSC tape playback provided the tape was recorded in SP (Standard Play) speed.  They do not play LP (Long Play) NTSC recordings, and note that some such as the DCR-TRV310E do not support any analogue NTSC playback.  The list is supplied as-is with no responsibility for errors, and is (c) copyright video99, 2011-2013.

Camcorder Model (Sony unless stated) Hi8/Video8 playback?
DCR-TRV110E yes
DCR-TRV120E yes
DCR-TRV125E yes
DCR-TRV130E no
DCR-TRV140E no
DCR-TRV145E no
DCR-TRV147E no
DCR-TRV210E yes
DCR-TRV230E yes
DCR-TRV235E yes
DCR-TRV238E yes
DCR-TRV239E yes
DCR-TRV240E yes
DCR-TRV241E yes
DCR-TRV245E no
DCR-TRV250E no
DCR-TRV255E no
DCR-TRV265E no
DCR-TRV270E no
DCR-TRV285E no
DCR-TRV310E yes
DCR-TRV320E yes
DCR-TRV325E yes
DCR-TRV330E yes
DCR-TRV340E yes
DCR-TRV341E yes
DCR-TRV345E yes
DCR-TRV350 yes
DCR-TRV355E yes
DCR-TRV356E yes
DCR-TRV410E yes
DCR-TRV420E yes
DCR-TRV430E yes
DCR-TRV460E yes
DCR-TRV461E yes
DCR-TRV480E yes
DCR-TRV510E yes
DCR-TRV520E yes
DCR-TRV530E yes
DCR-TRV620E yes
DCR-TRV720E yes
DCR-TRV725E yes
DCR-TRV730E yes
DCR-TRV738E yes
DCR-TRV740E yes
DCR-TRV820E yes
DCR-TRV828E yes
DCR-TRV830E yes
DCR-TR7000E yes
DCR-TR7100E yes
DCR-TR8000E yes
DCR-TR8100E yes
Hitachi VM-D865LE yes
Hitachi VM-D875LE yes
Hitachi VM-D975LE yes
(c) Copyright 2011: video99.co.uk

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If you have any questions, just email me and I'll reply promptly.   Also see the video99.co.uk Questions and Answers (FAQ)  All material on this web site is copyright www.video99.co.uk and www.colin99.co.uk though trade marks remain with the manufacturers.

Last updated 17 November 2013

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