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Thread: Hi8 ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Hi8 ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL

    I have loads of Hi8 analogue tapes (approx. 2 from my old Sony camcorder and want to convert them to digital formats that I can store for future and watch and maybe even edit if I ever got the time. I didn't put them onto VHS as I wanted to retain the original quality.
    A few years ago I attempted to convert them using Pinnacle Studio Version 10 with the 500-USB device on my then nearly new computer Dell P4 3.2 GHz, 1 Gig Ram Windows xp service pack 2 with NVDIA QUADRO FX540 graphics card. This proved to be a complete waste of time and money and after numerous attempts and alot of emails to pinnacle support I gave up. Basically the quality was useless.

    What options are there to get the best quality saved in a digtal format either by paying somebody to convert which I am not keen on in regards to the cost or using a Canopus device which seems to be a popoular suggestion. Are there standalone machines that could be pisked up on Ebay?

    PS. The old camcoder is starting to squeek so might not be upto playing all the old tapes.

  2. #2
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    The Canopus device should work alright but if your old Hi 8 machine is starting to play up you should be able to pick up a cheap one on ebay (just make sure it's working 100%, and go and check it in person if you can as there is a lot of rubbish on there too). Do you have a Mini DV camcorder?

    If you have one, a technique I use occasionally is to plug the av leads from a VHS deck, into the Mini DV and then run a firewire cable from the Mini DV into the computer. This is known as analogue to digital conversion where the analogue video and audio go into the Mini DV, it gets digitised and then goes out the firewire cable and into the computer.

    Unfortunately you need a Mini DV camcorder with all the connections on it, and they are becoming less available now on all but mid to high range (and price) camcorders.

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Hi8 conversion

    Fortunately I do have a mini DV camcorder with the bits and it worked. Brilliant thanks.

    A few more questions though.

    1. Is the conversion quality through the camcorder the same as the canopus?

    2. My old camcorder svideo plug doesn't seem to work. I don't think it ever did. How much picture quality is lost by just using the RGB cables?

    3. Also I have used the Pinnacle Studio to capture the files. Are there other recommended reasonably priced programmes that perform better without crashing all the time?

    4. Finally what is considered the best file format to store for future editing?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    1. That depends on which video codec the Canopus uses, if it is different to the one you are using on your video capturing software (not what the camcorder uses, as it goes through the circuitry instead). If the Canopus uses DV AVI then it is the same as your capture software, although you can change it but DV AVI is the highest standard definiton format you should use everytime.

    2. About 50% loss between using S-Video and composite, S-Video has around 470 lines of resolution whereas composite video has around 230. This has got nothing to do with the 625 lines on a standard tv.

    3. I've used earlier versions of Pinnacle but stopped as I had problems with it aswell. Download a few 30 day trials of editors such as Adobe Premiere Elements or the more expensive Adobe Premiere Pro (Elements is on sale for about 65 - and will do all you need to get video onto your computer, allow you to edit it and make dvd's). Also look at Sony Vegas but again it is more expensive. Other video editors are listed here on the forum so look them up aswell.

    4. Store your files as .avi video files.

  5. #5

    Lightbulb

    Thats brilliant thanks.

    So running it through the mini DV using S-video as DV AVI will produce as high a quality transfer as the Canopus then is that correct?

    Looks like I might have to get an old Hi8 machine that can output the signal via S-video unless I can get it working on mine.

    Tanks again.

  6. #6
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    Yes using the S-video connection would be better but if the original video was shot on an Video 8 camcorder (using composite video) then it would not offer any improvement.

    So running it through the mini DV using S-video as DV AVI will produce as high a quality transfer as the Canopus then is that correct? Yes that is correct.

  7. #7

    Lightbulb

    It's all on Hi8 as back in 94 I wanted to ensure the best quality for the furture so will have to go via S-video to keep the quality.
    Thanks.

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