Quantcast Best cameras for capturing PAL Hi8 tapes? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
08-01-2018, 12:48 PM
Master Tape Master Tape is offline
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I have several old Hi8 tapes i want capture in the best quality possible (within reason)

I've come across the best cameras for capturing in another thread, but they are all NTSC.. What are the best PAL camcorders for capturing Hi8, which gives TBC with S-Video and stereo out?

And does the Sony CCD-TRV99E play back PAL tapes?
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08-01-2018, 06:29 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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The CCD-TRV99E version is PAL, (no "E," NTSC).
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08-02-2018, 01:00 AM
Master Tape Master Tape is offline
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Thanks, i've just re-read on the other thread that the CCD-TRV99E is among a list of the best for playing back Video8 tapes (so disregard that) i thought it said for Hi8 (but they meant Hi8 cameras) It was just there's one currently on ebay and thought i'd ask.

I still have the original camcorder the tapes were recorded on which i believe was a Sony Handycam from 1999 (unsure what model it is as it's in the shed somewhere..) But that camcorder chewed up 2 of my tapes back in the day, so wont be putting anymore in that!

I also wont be using Digital8 cameras as i got one last year and it stretched one of my tapes during playback (i think this was to do with the head drum running 2.5x faster than Hi8 camcorders, though it being a cheap Emtec tape probably didn't help matters either..)

So what's a good PAL Hi8 camera to do the job (preferably with S-Video output?)
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08-04-2018, 10:53 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I really like the CCD-TRV228E, and use it for PAL playback. I prefer the EOL models of Hi8 (about 2005), as I think those play better than old 90s models. It has s-video and line TBC, something I require.

Pet peeve: Please don't whine to me about the audio only being mono. Those "stereo" Video8/Hi8 camera were nonsense, simply recording the same data into two channels. I get irritated when I always get countered with "but it doesn't have stereo". Well, I hate to break it to you, but your "stereo" also wasn't stereo. When it comes to consumer camcorders, I'm all about the video quality. Audio just needs to not be noisy, muffled, or whatnot. Being "stereo" was a sucker ploy for the manufacturers of the era (sort of like megapixels were/are), and I hate to see people still getting suckered by it 10-15 years after the format vanquished.

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08-04-2018, 12:58 PM
Master Tape Master Tape is offline
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Cheers Smurf Will look into getting that camera then. Stereo/Mono is no deal breaker here, just thought it'd be nice to have (i have no idea if the tapes were even recorded in Stereo in the first place..) but as you say nothing more than a blatant marketing gimmick that serves no real improvement.
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08-09-2018, 04:16 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
Stereo/Mono is no deal breaker here,
One observation, while almost all consumer handicams did poor stereo (and poor sound in general), a few were OK, especially if used with external microphones. While the stereo image may not have been precise, depending on the content/program material (e.g., live music), it may add some desirable depth and vibrancy to the sound. Your tapes of course, so I suggest you consider investigating whether or not the stereo, such as it is, adds to the listening pleasure.
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08-12-2018, 04:17 PM
Master Tape Master Tape is offline
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Would the mono audio play through two speakers anyway once captured or can you just do that with software or whatever, since that's what 'stereo' handycams seems to do as LS mentions playing the same data through 2 channels.

Also since it's mono out, would you get better sound quality with a higher quality cable (such as gold plated) or would the standard audio cable that came with the camcorder suffice?
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08-12-2018, 04:42 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Tape View Post
Would the mono audio play through two speakers anyway once captured or can you just do that with software or whatever, since that's what 'stereo' handycams seems to do as LS mentions playing the same data through 2 channels.
It doesn't play exactly the same thing thru both channels -- it plays two channels with similar content but with phasing differences due to the original stereo recording process. If you play only one channel at a time each will sound dull and flat, with perceptually limited frequency and spatial response. The same flat sound would also result if the two channels were combined into one mono channel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Tape View Post
Also since it's mono out, would you get better sound quality with a higher quality cable (such as gold plated) or would the standard audio cable that came with the camcorder suffice?
Gold plating has nothing whatever to do with sound quality.
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08-12-2018, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
It doesn't play exactly the same thing thru both channels -- it plays two channels with similar content but with phasing differences
Yes, true.

But, more often than not, what happens is that one channel sounds great, while the other is weaker. The actual sound is 99% identical, but with poor "stereo" tricks that make it worse than just piping identical audio through both channels. If you look at it visually as a waveform, one channel is 50% height of the other, and at most a tiny fraction of a second delayed.

Stereo is intended for sound recorded from true left and right of a scene, and that simply cannot happen with a single on-camera mic.

I see a lot of VHS-C, Video8/Hi8, and Digital8/DV footage that has no sound on a channel, because the audio processing tricks quit working. So then you have audio from only one channel.

The best course of action, for "stereo" tapes, is often to load them into SoundForge/Audacity, and copy the good track over the crappy track.

The first few times I saw this, I didn't know what caused it. But that's what did it, a "stereo" camera.

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08-12-2018, 07:28 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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The stereo effect depends on phase (time of arrival) and amplitude differences. Single point stereo microphones, (essentially what a camcorder would have) rely on directional patterns of their internal elements and mixing techniques to record the stereo effect. And it can be quite good in the context of home video.

Unbalanced channels, dead channels, etc. indicate a problem with the gear, or the operator. Out of phase connections to stereo VHS VCR can result in a near silent linear track, or significant other defects in the sound due to inartful attempts to mix stereo sound into mono tracks. Connecting a mono mic to a stereo camcorder jack can result in no sound in one channel. Connecting a balanced mic with simple adapters can result in out of phase sound in the left and right channel. But good, well maintained gear in the hands someone who does not mess up can give good home video sound.

So the bottom line is what you have on your tapes will depend on the gear used, and what the shooter did. The approach I would take is to capture stereo recordings in stereo, then evaluate the capture audio to determine whether or not to keep it stereo, mix it down to mono, or mix to two-track mono.
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