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Thread: Converting Hi 8 tapes

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    Converting Hi 8 tapes

    Hey guys,

    I have a whole bunch of hi 8 tapes which i need to convert to a format i can actually use (i.e. on dvds, files on a hard drive). what would you suggest as being the easiest (cheapest) way of doing this? we font have a camcorder any more, otherwise i would have tried that.

    Many thanks.

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: Converting Hi 8 tapes

    How many tapes are we talking here?

    Unless it is a huge collection, I would suggest finding a company that will convert them for you. You will spend a bit of money on equipment regardless, and then there is the time it takes to play back the footage and make sure it is capturing correctly. Companies that offer this service should have at least a semi-automated setup that should give much more predictable results.

    Just bare in mind that not all companies will do the same quality of transfer, so it might be worth either doing a lot of research, or going on personal recommendations.

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    Re: Converting Hi 8 tapes

    Quantity of tapes and available kit makes a huge difference.

    At home you'd need:
    • Hi8 player - preferrably a Digital version with firewire out
    • Firewire input on your PC
    • Recording software


    For players without digital output you'd need either a capture card (Matrox RT-series) or a convertor such as the Canopus ADVC300. This then outputs to firewire and will work with any software that can connect to a digital camcorder.

    Once you've got past all that you get to the biggest problem for the home-convertor - time.
    Tapes require you transfer the data in real-time so if you've a stack of tapes give serious consideration to how much your time is worth vs sending the lot for convertion.
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    Re: Converting Hi 8 tapes

    Im looking at around 30-40 tapes here.

    in terms of software, i reckon premier pro should be able to handle it and ive got firewire input on my pc too, so that leaves some kind of player. the cheapest (reliable) players ive been able to find are all around £150.

    really though, i would like to avoid sending these tapes off to some company given how important these tapes are to us...

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    Re: Converting Hi 8 tapes

    Are the tapes Hi8, Digital8 or MiniDV?
    Ensure you get the right player.

    When looking for players you really need either youngest drive or most robust. Old semi-pro kit bought by enthusiastic Dad's as overkill for home videos maybe your best bet.
    As the tapes are precious you really don't want to loose one in whatever drive you buy.
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    Re: Converting Hi 8 tapes

    Can you still get Premier Pro on a 30 Day trial?

    It sounds like over kill just for capturing off Firewire, and for basic editing. But then if you are familiar with it or already have it then that's great. I use Photoshop for simple photo resizing because I like it and I know how to use it

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    Re: Converting Hi 8 tapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    Can you still get Premier Pro on a 30 Day trial?

    It sounds like over kill just for capturing off Firewire, and for basic editing. But then if you are familiar with it or already have it then that's great. I use Photoshop for simple photo resizing because I like it and I know how to use it
    My concern is the Hi8 part. Just getting it to Firewire is going to be a pain - and quite possibly expensive.
    I'd go with the Adobe Elements pack for basic image/video editing. Unless you've loads of time (and no job) converting 40-odd Hi8 tapes in real-time will take more than 30 days.

    Abhik if they are Hi8 and not the other formats mentioned it'll be an eBay and cross-yer-fingers job. You're looking for either a Digital8 camcorder that also supports Hi8 tapes (usually an old Sony) and has digital out.
    If not it a Hi8 camcorder/player fed via composite cables into the previously mentioned Matrox card or Canopus ADVC300. The Canopus itself is £400 new.
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H" | 8.1 Pro
    2 : Q9450 | 4Gb | ASUS P5E-WS Pro | HD4650 | M4 256GB | 2 x 750Gb (RAID1) | Enermax 525W MODU 82+ | CM RC-590 | 17" | 7 Pro
    3 : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | M4 256GB | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    4 : Dell Precision T5500 | X5560 | 4Gb ECC | GeForce GTX 660 TI | 500GB | Dell SAS 5/iR | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W1 : Dell Precision 690 | X5355 | 4Gb FBDIMM | Quadro FX3450 | 2x 146Gb 15k SAS (RAID1) | 2x 500GB (RAID1) | Dell SAS 5/iR | 2x U2412M | XP Pro
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