Video Cameras forum

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Can I Transfer Hi8 videos to PC ?

by speedbird2 / October 1, 2009 2:23 AM PDT

I have hundreds of hours of Hi8 analog tape recordings that I would like to transfer to my PC. Is that possible? The Sony camcorder has analog video/audio outputs but what would I need to do to make the signal digital?

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An "analog/digital converter".
by boya84 / October 1, 2009 4:14 AM PDT

Canopus makes good ones that use a firewire connection (ADVC55 or ADVC110 among others).

If your computer does not have a firewire port, then you can add a one if your computer has an available expansion slot.

Or you can look into the lower-end units that use USB... Pinnacle (Dazzle), Roxio, Hauppage... many others...

Or if there is a local video conversion business that can do the conversion for you - for a fee...

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Hundreds of hours of tape won't fit on a PC
by Scott Markowitz / October 1, 2009 7:36 AM PDT

I recommend that you find a digital 8 camcorder (SONY was the only company to make these)
You could then play back the analog Hi8 tapes and get a MiniDV stream out of the camera.

With a Digital 8 camera acting as a playback machine for those hundreds of tapes, then you won't have to digitize them ALL to your computer's hard drive.

This would be good, because that much footage in a DV codec would take up an awful lot of space.
Likely way more than you would have available on your computer.

Also, the video tape containing your footage is a more reliable archive medium.
(How many hard drives have you gone through while your Hi8 tapes sat by- doing their duty- waiting to be played again? I would guess you've had to replace at least 4 hard drives since the 1990s when you first started using Hi8.)

The other thing I would recommend is to transfer your footage all to MiniDV. You would need to use a digital 8 camera and a miniDV camera to do this. This is what I have done with all my Hi8 footage because I wanted easier access via the miniDV tapes to my footage. (Digital 8 was a short lived format, and is no longer supported by manufacturer.)

SO... check ebay, and see if you can get a digital 8. or see if you know somebody that has one.

Scott Markowitz

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