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Converting Hi8 to Digital

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What do you do with the 8mm and Hi8 video tapes from your camcorder?

What to Know

Connect the camcorder with a VCR/DVD recorder.
You can also connect the camcorder with an analog-todigital converter and connect it to a computer equipped with a DVD-drive.
Both cases require that you record the source play to the target media.

This article will cover two methods to transfer 8mm and Hi8 to digital or DVD.
How to copy camcorder tapes to VHS/DVD

You can edit your footage by copying your camcorder tapes into a current format.

The camcorder should be connected directly to the VCR/DVD recorder, not the TV.

Use the VCR/DVD recorder remote or the front of the VCR/DVD recorder to switch the signal from the tuner’s AV inputs to the VCR/DVD recorder. (Usually colored yellow for video and red/white to audio).

Some VCRs permit access to the audio inputs by changing channel selections until you reach line, AV, or video in. If the VCR/DVD recorder has video inputs at the front or back, then the back inputs are line 1, AV1, Aux1, video 1, and line 2, AV2, AU2, video 2.

Connect the audio/video cables of the camcorder to the VCR’s AV outputs or DVD recorder’s AV inputs.
Lifewire / Robert Silva

The input or source select buttons on the remote and recorder can be used to switch the VCR/DVD recorder to AV, Line-in or Aux In (depending on the brand).

Place the tape to be copied on VHS or DVD in your Camcorder and then put a blank tape into the VCR or a DVD in your DVD recorder.

Then press record on your VCR/DVD recorder and then press play on your Camcorder. This will allow you to make a copy of your tape.

You need to press record first on your VCR/DVD recorder because it might take a few seconds for the VCR/DVD recorder to begin the recording process.

Your tape can be viewed on your TV while it is being copied. You can leave your TV on the same channel or input as you would when you watch a DVD or videotape.

Stop the VCR, DVD recorder or camcorder after recording is complete.

Once you have confirmed that you can play the copy, you will need to set your TV to the input or channel you watch the most. Then, you will need to change the tuner to allow you to record regular TV shows later.

You can find additional tips in your VCR, camcorder or DVD recorder manual. You will find information on copying tapes from your camcorder, copying to one VCR, and copying from a VCR or DVD recorder to a camcorder.
You can copy tapes to dvd using a laptop or a computer.

The production of new VCRs was officially stopped in 2016. Also, DVD recorders are extremely rare. Some DVD Recorders and VHS/VCR Combinations are still available, but they may not be as common as previously thought.

You can also make DVD copies of your tapes using a laptop or a computer. This involves connecting the camcorder and an analog-to digital video converter. The converter then connects to a computer (usually via USB).
What do you do if your 8mm or Hi8 camcorder is no longer available?

An adapter is not available to play 8mm and Hi8 tapes on a VCR. Consider the following alternatives:

Option 1 — Borrow a Hi8/8mm camcorder (free if you have one) from a friend/relative for temporary use.
Option 2 — Purchase an affordable HI8 or a Digital8 camcorder capable of playing back analog Hi8 and 8mm tapes. For used units, check Amazon and eBay.
Option 3 — You can take your tapes to a professional video duplicator to have them professionally transferred to DVD. This option is possible, but may be more expensive depending on the number of tapes involved. The service can make a DVD copy from one or two tapes. It might be worth asking the service to create copies of all your tapes if the DVD can be played on your Blu-ray Disc or DVD player.

Option 1 and 2 are the most practical, cost-effective options. You can also transfer tapes to DVD at this point and not VHS. If you need to, you could do both. You can have your tapes transferred to DVD using a service. After that, test the DVD to ensure it works on your player. If everything goes smoothly, you can decide whether to transfer your tapes using this option.
How to Watch Your Tapes

You can watch your tapes with a 8mm/Hi8 working camcorder by connecting its AV output connectors to the appropriate TV inputs. Next, choose the appropriate input from the TV and then press Play on your camcorder.