The Video 8 format was released by Sony in 1984.
It was also nicknamed "8mm" due to the width of the
videotape inside the cassette shell, but the format bears no
relation to the older 8mm movie film. We can transfer
Although Video 8 features the same 240 lines of resolution as
VHS (and VHS-C), it had two main advantages. First, the tape
cassette was less than half the size of a VHS tape, and thinner
than a VHS-C cassette. As a result, Sony was able to develop
smaller and smaller camcorders. And secondly, unlike VHS-C, 8mm
tapes could hold 2 hours of SP-quality video– the exact same
as a conventional VHS tape.
Video 8's main drawback was that the cassettes had to be played
in an 8mm video camera; VHS adapters did not exist for the format.
So for consumers whose main goal was easy TV playback (and not
video quality), 8mm was not the best choice. Some 8mm VCRs were
released, but the expensive price tag likely kept most potential
But for customers who wanted a more "prosumer" format,
8mm was ideal. Video 8 also featured the capacity for PCM digital
sound, a higher-quality audio track that is written at the end
of a video track (as opposed to VHS's Hi-Fi, which is mixed with
the picture). We can also transfer Video 8 to DVD with the PCM
Video 8 also offered time-coding that could be written
onto tapes after they had been recorded. Time-coding was very
useful for editing, since it allows edits to be accurate to a
single frame. This was a feature that had previously only been
available in top-of-the-line video cameras.