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Digital 8 samples, please order our Sample Disc.

A Digital8 to DVD transfer is a job we don't often see at Timeless DVD – but this is a shame, because Digital 8 tapes are on par, quality-wise, with Mini DV and regular DV. In fact, all three tapes employ the exact same DV file specification, and transfer to DVD well.

On the right is an excerpt from a Digital 8 video tape that was transferred to DVD by Timeless DVD transfer services. The video was shot in 2007, and covers a fall Saturday soccer game played by elementary school boys. Note how we were able to preserve the clarity of the digital tape in the DVD encoding. An extended version of this segment can be watched on our Sample Disc.

Our Sample Disc also features two additional clips, including a family's Florida vacation in 2004 and a wedding from the late 1990s. Digital 8 was a great format to use, but sadly it was never able to distinguish itself from its 8mm and Hi8 predecessors. But we can convert Digital 8 to DVD!

Digital 8 conversion

Digital 8 was the third major – and final – variant of Sony's 8mm camcorder tape technology. It was preceded by analog ancestors Video 8 (released in 1984) and Hi8 (released in 1999). Unlike those two formats, Digital 8 is not analog-based.

A Digital 8 tape is exactly the same size as a Video 8 or Hi8 tape, and records on exactly the same 8mm-wide plastic videotape. However, only one hour of SP fits on the tape, unlike the earlier formats. But because of the cassette shell similarities, many Digital 8 video cameras and decks are backwards compatible with Video 8 and Hi8 tapes (but not all – check the specifications!). This makes it easy for consumers to transfer Digital8.

The data stream that is recorded on a Digital 8 tape is completely identical to what is recorded on a Mini DV tape. Both record to the DV bitstream in exactly the same quality. Both will connect to a computer via Firewire as a digital camcorder and convey DV video.

Unfortunately, DV and Mini DV beat Digital 8 to the market and it never became a popular format. Consumers did not see a difference between an 8mm/Hi8 tape and a Digital 8 tape, and the tiny size of Mini DV meant that those camcorders could be much smaller (and more appealing) than the larger, heavier Digital 8 models. Sony might have spent more time repeating that the quality of Digital 8 was equal to Mini DV – at a lower cost – but it was clear that the consumer video camera market had simply moved on from the 8mm size.

Transfer Digital 8 to easily preserve all of the original digital information on your tapes.

Digital8 to DVD

For more information about how to transfer camcorder video to DVD, please see:
Digital 8 to DVD - Additional details about the Digital 8 video tape format
Reunion Video - Project ideas for videos and DVDs about class, armed service, and family reunions

A Digital 8 conversion saves your video tapes for the future!


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