View Full Version : The perfect way to digitize a Video 8 tape?

2006-06-08, 05:26 AM
Hi folks,

got a show filmed on a Video 8 tape. Now I'm wondering what the best way would be to digitize it: Plug the cam into a DVD-recorder and just copy it, or capture the video with a PC. I plan to add titles and fades to the video, so I'll have to re-encode the vid anyway, right? I guess because of that, it would be better to capture it with a PC on a high bitrate, but I have no prior experience with digitizing Video 8, so any help/advice would be appreciated.


2006-06-08, 03:16 PM
I'm no expert but I have heard the standalone DVD recorders are not as good as PC!

2006-06-08, 04:28 PM
standalone is no good. It will size the picture in a less than desirable range and capture at low bitrates. The modifications you describe would require rendering twice also.... Capture it to the PC. If it's a digi8 you can use the firewire cable and just capture directly to PC and then render once. It will capture in uncompressed format (avi) then render to mpeg2.

2006-06-08, 04:43 PM
Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately it's not digital 8, only the good old analogue 8mm tapes. Seems like I'll capture with a PC then. How much space would 90 minutes of footage be in uncompressed AVI?

2006-06-08, 04:51 PM
about 15-18 GB. I have an older hi8 too. It has a USB connector to got to PC with. Yours probably does to.

2006-06-08, 05:24 PM
Oops, then I probably better get an extra hd for capturing. The cam is not even hi8, so no USB, just a standard video out.

2006-06-08, 10:51 PM
you might want to get a Digital8 Camcorder and play the tape in it using either Firewire or Analog to capture to a PC

if your video card has analog inputs then you can just go from there into the video card, your file size will still be about 18 gigs

if your computer is too old it may not be able to keep up with the capture

let me know what band, if it is a band that interest me I can capture and author this for you

2006-06-08, 11:01 PM
You're gonna need an external capture device. I use Dazzle and it'll come with basic software. Shop around don't go low end but you don't need to spend a fortune either. Pretty much any thing like a Best Buy will have what you need. E.

P.S. You can get about 1hr 10mins of 100% A/V capture on a 4.7 Gb DVD. Capture at 100%, render the file 100%, Squeeze onto burnt DVD with you favorite Recode program. That way Your master data file will be the best it can be and you can make copies at your convenience.

2006-06-09, 12:37 AM
I would recommend finding a Digital8 video camera and play your Video8 video through that. Use a Firewire cable to transfer it to your PC (you will need a firewire card [also known as 1394] in your computer).
You can use WinDV (windv.mourek.cz) to capture your DV-AVI file (13 gig per hour). The DV-AVI file is perfect for editing.
This is the easiest solution and will retain most of the quality of the original tape. Once you've edited your video (in Premiere, Sony Vegas) you can render your timeline to MPG-2 using their built in encoders or you can use an external MPG2 encoder if you want...

Do not use a DVD Recorder if you want to edit the footage. Also, most DVD recorders produce sub-par encodes.

Do not use a USB connection from your video camera. It is only useful for low quality "web" video.

I would avoid using a video card with analog inputs. Firstly if your computer isn't up to it, you'll be dropping frames and if you want to use a codec that's comparable from what you'd get from a firewire card, your resulting file will be much larger anyway...

If you don't want to use a Digital8 camera to do the transfer, then take a look at the Canopus ADVC 110.
This will enable you to capture any analog source (video8, hi-8, vhs etc.) just as long as you have something to play your orginal recording. It will convert the video into the DV-AVI format.

2006-06-09, 04:02 AM
Thanks for all your input folks, much appreciated. I think I'll go for the uncompressed / DV-AVI file. Not sure if I can get a Digital8-cam for the job, if not I'll look for an external capturing device like Dazzle or the Canopus ADVC.

It's a dredg show I recorded by the way. As soon as I got it on DVD I'll of course torrent it.

2006-06-10, 02:21 AM
i use Sony Hi8 cam>S-video+RCA audio>DataVideo DAC-100>Firewire>Apple Production Suite.

That works pretty darn well, though i still have a GIANT stack of old shows on Hi8 that i have yet to transfer!

2006-08-09, 12:48 PM
It's a dredg show I recorded by the way. As soon as I got it on DVD I'll of course torrent it.

Hi hanshak2015,

which dredg show did you record?