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Transfer Hi8 video tapes from Sony ccd-trv98 to Mac?

by ktmtkt / November 3, 2014 8:32 AM PST

Hi ~
What is the best and fastest way to transfer Hi8 tapes from my Sony CCD-TRV98 Handycam to my iMac (v10.8.5) so I can edit and burn them on DVD?
Exact steps please. Also include exact cable descriptions so I can refer to them easily.

From what I see, my camera has a "S" video out connections, a A/V out connection, and a RFU DC out connection.

Thank you.

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by ktmtkt

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Those tapes,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 3, 2014 9:00 PM PST

transferring video to DVD is not really the way to go as once you have them on DVD it is very difficult to get them off the DVD, onto the Mac, and edit them.

What you need to be looking for is a method of converting the Analog tapes to a digital format. This is usually done with a Digital Bridge. Converting Analog to DV is the first step in getting the video into your iMac (iMovie) in an editable format.

Google will be your friend when looking for one of these. Dazzle made one, not sure if they are still around but if they are then eBay or Amazon are the best sources.

You do not mention what vintage your iMac is but Firewire is the best method of transfer. If you have a Mac with no Firewire then USB is the next transfer method.

This article may help you:

Details on your iMac will also help


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details on my Mac / converting Hi8 video to digital
by ktmtkt / November 3, 2014 10:39 PM PST
In reply to: Those tapes,

Hi ~
Thank you for your reply. I thought that a video could be imported into my Mac's software (I am not an extremely technically person, but do have some computer know how) and then edit it in iMovie or iDVD and then burn it onto a DVD?

In my original post I mentioned I have an iMac (v10.8.5). Here is more information: it is a 21.5" desktop (one of the newer models purchased a couple of years ago), it has iMovie, iDVD. I also have Adobe, like Bridge CS6 (but I never used it). I have used Illustrator and Photoshop.

21.5-inch iMac
With the following configuration:

• 2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
• 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x8GB
• 1TB Fusion Drive
• NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M 512MB GDDR5

I also cannot spend more than $150 on this process. Some converters out there are too expensive.

Which camcorder is the best to hook up my Sony CCD-TRV98 Handycam to so the analog signal can convert into my computer?

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I suspect you don't have Firewire but,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 4, 2014 8:37 AM PST

you may well have Thunderbolt for which an adapter is available to convert it to Firewire.

Any camcorder that has Firewire (IEEE1394, Sony i.Link) and is capable of playing your Hi8 tapes will feed directly into your Mac, via the aforementioned Thunderbolt adapter.

Failing that, you will need the digital bridge. Search for a USB version that is Mac compatible.


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Almost forgot
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 4, 2014 8:39 AM PST

Under the Apple Menu, top left of the screen, click on About this Mac and then on System Report.

Post the Model Identifier, something like iMac 12,2 yours will be different


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by ktmtkt / November 4, 2014 10:04 AM PST
In reply to: Almost forgot

Thank you. First, what is a "digital bridge"? Is that a mere reference to something that will convert the analog signal from my Sony camcorder to digital into my computer?

Also, here you go...
Model Identifier: iMac13,1

(I have never posted on CNET before, but don't understand why it requires a title with each reply. People that are replying are doing so to the original topic anyways.)

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The Digital Bridge converts your analog video signal
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 4, 2014 8:54 PM PST
In reply to: ~~

into a digital format (DV) that your Mac and its software can handle.

Here is one, this is just a suggestion,

Your iMac model number indicates that your iMac is somewhere between Late 2012 and early 2013, so it is not that old.
It also confirms that you do NOT have a Firewire port but do have two Thunderbolt ports. See earlier about Thunderbolt to Firewire.

Ideally the Digital Bridge you get would have a Firewire output but USB will work at a pinch.

Google "USB digital bridge for Mac" and "Firewire Digital Bridge for Mac"


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by ktmtkt / November 5, 2014 10:00 AM PST

Thank you for the link. I also found these links. Tell me what you think of (if you know of it) this convertor mentioned in this link:

You are right, I will need to get an adaptor for Firewire to Thunderbolt. So that would mean that the digital format converter that I will purchase would need a Firewire (or iLink) connection also.

At least my Sony camcorder does have the "s" video connections. So I would need to get that cable also from that camcorder to the digital format converter.

Do you recommend using another camcorder as a pass through as some suggest? I found this list below of analog to digital passthrough camcorders on line but I am not sure which camcorder is better than others to do the job of converting my Hi8 tapes from my camcorder. Maybe I could find a reasonable one on eBay. Or get the converter mentioned in the first link I sent above instead?


Elura 80
Elura 85
Elura 90
Optura S1
Optura 50
Optura 60
Optura 400
Optura 500
Optura 600
No pass through on the DC10 or DC20


DCR-PC1000 (3cc)
DCR-HC21-NO analog


GR-D73 and GR-D93
GR-DZ7US has analog input but not sure about pass-thru
GR-X5US has analog input but not sure about pass-thru



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That's a good list, but just the link would be better.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 5, 2014 8:57 PM PST
In reply to: ~~

First one I looked at, Sony HC32, has all the necessary bells and whistles, including Firewire, BUT, does it play Hi8 tapes?

The important thing about buying another camera, and I thought you did not want to spend too much money on this project, is to ensure that it will play your existing tapes. Without that capability it does not matter if it meets all the other requirements.

You don't need the "S" Video cable. You would be using the A/V out section of your existing camera. You should already have that cable.


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by ktmtkt / November 6, 2014 5:13 AM PST

Sorry if I misinformed you but what the other camcorder would function only is as a pass through. Meaning, how others described it as you hook up your own camcorder that plays the Hi8 tapes directly to that camcorder that can convert the signal as a pass through. The analog signal would go through the other camcorder that is able to convert the signal to digital, then into my Mac.

I was hoping I could get a used camcorder at a reasonable price online (like eBay) just for using it for my movie conversion project.

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This looks promising
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 6, 2014 9:12 AM PST
In reply to: ~~
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by ktmtkt / November 6, 2014 10:54 PM PST
In reply to: This looks promising

I appreciate you help with this. I should be all set now.

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Pretty well done topic.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 3, 2014 8:42 AM PST

There are some hundred models of iMac's out there but the transfer is so painful to today's crowd that if they can't use the prior discussions maybe Sony's DVDIRECT is best. Here's the thing:

So that's the best I know of today. You don't use your Apple till later. All the capture work is done there and later you can slip the DVD or BluRay into your apple to edit with your choice of editors.

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PS. I've used the "to DVD" and extracted such with
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 3, 2014 10:23 PM PST
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PS. Unsure which iMac?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 3, 2014 11:42 PM PST
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Recap. TRV98 hath no Firewire.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 6, 2014 5:26 AM PST
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