Hi8 to DVD transfer is for the second generation of Sony's 8mm analog video tape format. Hi-8 is an abbreviation for "High-band Video 8," a term that offers a good introduction to the format.
Make sure you convert Hi8 video tape to DVD soon, since these tapes can be decades old. The format is roughly similar to S-VHS in quality. In fact, Sony introduced the Hi8 camcorder in 1988 to compete with JVC's S-VHS format. Like S-VHS, Hi8 included improved electronics, greater picture detail, higher-grade video tape, and an increase in luminance bandwidth.
Hi8 video cassettes are exactly the same size as a 8mm or Video 8 tape. A Hi8 cassette is 3 3/4" wide, 2 7/16" deep, and 5/8" thick. It contains the same length of 8mm-wide magnetic tape, wound between two spools within the plastic cassette, as well as the same release latch. Before we transfer Hi8 to DVD, we flip this cover open to see the tape's condition.
Hi8 was a very popular camcorder format through the 1990s, and many camcorders had extensive features, often including time-base correction, digital noise reduction, and stereo and S-video outputs. Sony even produced Hi8 equipment for the professional video production field.
In the late 1990s, Sony began developing the Digital 8 camcorder to replace Hi8, but both formats were largely overtaken by Mini DV. We can transfer Hi 8 to DVD as well as its successor, Digital 8. For more information about Digital 8, see our Digital 8 to DVD page if you are interested in transferring these tapes to DVD.
Hi8 to DVD is extremely similar to 8mm. Most tapes are recorded in the SP mode and holds up to 2 hours of video, which makes transferring analog video to digital very simple. Like Video 8, Hi8 also offers excellent audio performance due to its use of audio frequency modulation.
A Hi8 conversion displays a video resolution of 420 lines, a substantial improvement over that of Video 8, as well as VHS. Hi8 captures greater picture detail as a result and is similar to laserdisc quality. It also features hi-fi stereo sound, and some professional Hi8 equipment could record digital PCM sound on a special track. In the Hi8 transfer process, we are able to keep many of these features intact.
Unlike VHS and Betamax, Hi8 camcorders did not have tracking controls, so when you play back video, jitter and broken sound can be apparent. If we receive a tape that was recorded while your camcorder was misaligned, Hi8 to DVD transfer becomes extremely difficult. If you have tapes like this, please consider providing your original camcorder for when we convert Hi8 tapes for you, because it can make the end quality better when we transfer Hi8.