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Author Topic: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes  (Read 1390 times)

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Offline nomotrouble

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Re: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2017, 09:49:08 AM »
I have also transferred 35 old tapes to digital. Think i still have the old camera in the box with the tapes. It takes awhile but it's straight forward. I would guess your best bet is to purchase a camcorder on ebay and try it yourself. Really rewarding to have digital copies. I transferred all of our old baby videos, my adult kids just love them now.

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2017, 04:28:21 PM »
I forget the Sony Camcorder model number that I used, but all I've ever done is transfer the hi-8 tape from the camcorder to my PC over firewire.  Would there be much room for improvement transferring the video over a canopus or other similar setup.  I've always assumed that the transfer from the camcorder was pretty much as good as it was likely to get because the original recordings just weren't that great to start with, but am I being mistaken?

Offline guitard

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Re: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2017, 04:32:01 AM »
I forget the Sony Camcorder model number that I used, but all I've ever done is transfer the hi-8 tape from the camcorder to my PC over firewire.  Would there be much room for improvement transferring the video over a canopus or other similar setup.  I've always assumed that the transfer from the camcorder was pretty much as good as it was likely to get because the original recordings just weren't that great to start with, but am I being mistaken?

I've used both methods quite a bit and have never noticed any difference.  Having said that - going straight from the video cam to the computer via firewire (known as analog to digital pass-through) only requires one connection (the firewire cable).  Going from a videocam to the Canopus requires RCA cables, and then from the Canopus to the computer requires a firewire.  So it stands to reason that you're increasing your chances for problems to occur if you use a set up that requires two connections vs one connection.

And on a related note - if you're in the market for a used digital 8mm cam that has analog to digital pass-through - be aware - some have it and some don't.  And there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of rhyme or reason in terms of some model numbers in a series having it and others not having it, i.e., the DCR-TRV 240 has it, the DCR-TRV 260 may not have it, but the DCR-TRV 280 has it.  Unless you already know for a fact that a particular model number has it, make sure you ask the person selling the cam if it has analog to digital pass-through.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2017, 03:58:52 PM »
Thanks.

Offline andante

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Re: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2017, 09:46:07 AM »
I forget the Sony Camcorder model number that I used, but all I've ever done is transfer the hi-8 tape from the camcorder to my PC over firewire.  Would there be much room for improvement transferring the video over a canopus or other similar setup.  I've always assumed that the transfer from the camcorder was pretty much as good as it was likely to get because the original recordings just weren't that great to start with, but am I being mistaken?

I've used both methods quite a bit and have never noticed any difference.  Having said that - going straight from the video cam to the computer via firewire (known as analog to digital pass-through) only requires one connection (the firewire cable).  Going from a videocam to the Canopus requires RCA cables, and then from the Canopus to the computer requires a firewire.  So it stands to reason that you're increasing your chances for problems to occur if you use a set up that requires two connections vs one connection.


I'm very interested in this topic because I've just inherited about 40 8mm videocam tapes to convert for viewing on computer.

So far in my researching I've learned that the analog-to-digital pass through method encodes your old video8 & Hi* tapes (in real time) to a lossy DV (Digital8) format for export which unfortunately discards much of the color information especially for NTSC tapes (4.1.1):

Color Subsampling, or What is 4:4:4 or 4:2:2??
http://blogs.adobe.com/VideoRoad/2010/06/color_subsampling_or_what_is_4.html   

Since most of the tapes I have are in excellent condition I think it is worth the extra effort to preserve the colors.  I went ahead and bought one of those tiny USB capture devices (Diamond VC500) and am in the process of setting up a computer for capturing.

And on a related note - if you're in the market for a used digital 8mm cam that has analog to digital pass-through - be aware - some have it and some don't.  And there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of rhyme or reason in terms of some model numbers in a series having it and others not having it, i.e., the DCR-TRV 240 has it, the DCR-TRV 260 may not have it, but the DCR-TRV 280 has it.  Unless you already know for a fact that a particular model number has it, make sure you ask the person selling the cam if it has analog to digital pass-through.


This guy put together an extensive list of Camera's that have firewire ports that will encode and export analog Video8 and Hi8 tapes to DV (Digital8) via the firewire port:

Digitizing Video8 and Hi8 recordings
https://tdb0.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/digitizing-video8-and-hi8-recordings/

These two forums have tons of information:
https://forum.videohelp.com/
http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/

Offline guitard

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Re: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2017, 10:21:45 PM »
So far in my researching I've learned that the analog-to-digital pass through method encodes your old video 8 & Hi8 tapes (in real time) to a lossy DV (Digital8) format for export which unfortunately discards much of the color information especially for NTSC tapes (4.1.1):

I don't think the analog-to-digital pass through encodes video - it just captures the raw analog video from the tape and converts it to digital.  And DV is as you said - a lossy format.  But that's all you're going to be able to get off of a regular 8mm tape.  It is possible to artificially bloat it out to uncompressed video after you capture it, but that's like taking an mp3 and saving it as a wave file.  Compressed digital video you capture from an 8mm tape is around 13GBs per hour of video.  Where as uncompressed digital video is much, much larger.  It's really only used in movie studios and it's something like 33GB per minute of video.

So don't worry about losing color in the capture process - because it's already lost.
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Offline Charlie Miller

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Re: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2017, 10:12:32 AM »
So far in my researching I've learned that the analog-to-digital pass through method encodes your old video 8 & Hi8 tapes (in real time) to a lossy DV (Digital8) format for export which unfortunately discards much of the color information especially for NTSC tapes (4.1.1):

I don't think the analog-to-digital pass through encodes video - it just captures the raw analog video from the tape and converts it to digital.  And DV is as you said - a lossy format.  But that's all you're going to be able to get off of a regular 8mm tape.  It is possible to artificially bloat it out to uncompressed video after you capture it, but that's like taking an mp3 and saving it as a wave file.  Compressed digital video you capture from an 8mm tape is around 13GBs per hour of video.  Where as uncompressed digital video is much, much larger.  It's really only used in movie studios and it's something like 33GB per minute of video.

So don't worry about losing color in the capture process - because it's already lost.

Yeah I was wondering about that. Why would adding an analog step in the digital transfer make it better? Thanks for clarifying
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Offline andante

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Re: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2017, 10:50:36 AM »
So far in my researching I've learned that the analog-to-digital pass through method encodes your old video 8 & Hi8 tapes (in real time) to a lossy DV (Digital8) format for export which unfortunately discards much of the color information especially for NTSC tapes (4.1.1):

I don't think the analog-to-digital pass through encodes video - it just captures the raw analog video from the tape and converts it to digital.  And DV is as you said - a lossy format.  But that's all you're going to be able to get off of a regular 8mm tape.  It is possible to artificially bloat it out to uncompressed video after you capture it, but that's like taking an mp3 and saving it as a wave file.  Compressed digital video you capture from an 8mm tape is around 13GBs per hour of video.  Where as uncompressed digital video is much, much larger.  It's really only used in movie studios and it's something like 33GB per minute of video.

So don't worry about losing color in the capture process - because it's already lost.

Yeah I was wondering about that. Why would adding an analog step in the digital transfer make it better? Thanks for clarifying

The colors are "already lost" only if your tapes are Digital8.

OP has analog Video8 & Hi8 tapes.

----------------

Digital8 cameras are the ones with firewire ports because it was a new digital format Sony was pushing and they wanted to make it easy for people to transfer Digital8 video to their computer.

Digital8 = lossy DV encoded video
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital8

Understand that the only thing that ever comes out of that firewire port is lossy DV encoded video (easily verified with VLC codec information), which tosses away 75% of the color for each pixel.

(from previous post)
Color Subsampling, or What is 4:4:4 or 4:2:2??
http://blogs.adobe.com/VideoRoad/2010/06/color_subsampling_or_what_is_4.html   


The OP wants to transfer Video8 and Hi8 tapes which are an older analog format which potentially have more color than the newer lossy Digital8/DV format.

For backward compatiblity some Digital8 cameras can also play older analog Video8 and Hi8 tapes.  But Analog Video8 and Hi8 tapes will lose color (see adobe link above) when you transfer using the firewire port because the Digital8 camera ENCODES the analog Video8 or Hi8 video to lossy DV/Digital8 for transfer.

Luckily, Digital8 cameras also have the familiar analog composite video and S-video connections for connecting the camera to a TV. 

People who want to preserve the colors of their analog Video8 & Hi8 tapes use the S-Video output into a capture card instead of the firewire port.

The analog connections preserve all of the color of analog tapes when capturing.

Interestingly, the color of Digital8 taped video coming out of these older analog connections will be limited by the lossy DV codec since Digital8=DV

Offline guitard

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Re: Need Help With Hi-8 Tapes
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2017, 08:29:08 PM »
Luckily, Digital8 cameras also have the familiar analog composite video and S-video connections for connecting the camera to a TV. 

People who want to preserve the colors of their analog Video8 & Hi8 tapes use the S-Video output into a capture card instead of the firewire port.

The analog connections preserve all of the color of analog tapes when capturing.

I've done it both ways many hundreds of times and don't see any difference at all in the colors.
Mics: CA-11 (omnis and cards) & AT853 cards
Pre: CA-9100
Deck: Edirol R-09HR

Video: Sony FDR AX100 (4k), Sony DSC HX50V
Photo: Canon EOS 60D

A/V software: Sony Vegas Pro 13.0 (build 453) 64 bit / DVD Architect Pro 6.0 (build 237)

 

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