Quantcast Hi8 analog or digital playback for capture? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
02-23-2019, 01:22 PM
colony colony is offline
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Hello All,

My numerous Hi8 tapes were recorded with a Canon UCS5 Hi8 Camcorder purchased in 1993, which I still have. It does not have TBC, and may or may not work.

Some years later I got a Sony DCR-TRV110 Digital 8 camera to continue in the 8mm format but also to playback the old analog tapes. It doesn't seem to have TBC either, but it works!

For playback/capture of the Hi8 tapes would I be better to:

1. Have a camera with built in TBC?
2. Use the older Canon Hi8 camera (if working) and feed S-video to the AIW card, or
3. Use the Sony Digital 8 in analog playback mode? And if using the Sony, should I use the S-video (to AIW) or Firewire output?

I know...if Firewire, it is not "capture" but I am looking for the likely best results to get off of those tapes, either to archive on hard drives, or ultimately onto DVD.
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  #2  
02-23-2019, 02:20 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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If you have PAL tapes and planning on lossy compression later on the D8 cam you have is all what you need (Although TBC is preferred for analog tapes), Hookup to computer with firewire cable a.k.a iLink cable and transfer with WinDV.

If your tapes are NTSC and/or not planning on using lossy compression later on then option 1 is what you need, Use S-Video cable and USB/PCI analog capture and capture lossless.
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  #3  
02-23-2019, 02:43 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is online now
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A Hi-8/Video8-capable player with internal TBC is likely your best option. (It might also have some noise reduction capability that you could try.)

The 1993 vintage Canon UCS5 did include internal digital signal processing, which in at least some Canons of that that era (e.g., the L2) amounted to an internal line TBC, all be it of limited bit depth. At least in theory it should give better playback of your video8 and Hi8 analog tapes recorded on it than the TRV0110. I say in theory because Canon camcorders of that era are known to have some of the classic electrolytic capacitor problems and it might not work at all, or might not work well. You will have to try it to see if it still works. Keep in mind that the other camcorder internals are ~25 years old as well. Rubber, plastic, and lub ages, drys, and fails so test with an an unimportant tape in case you have a problem. I've seen old camcorder eat tapes leaving parts unusable.

Analog tapes can behave differently on different machines. Bottom line is to give all three methods a try to see which gear and method works best for you and your tapes. With some tapes method "A" might work better while with other tapes Method "B" or "C" might work better.

Note that if you ingest the video via IEEE1394 (aka: iLink & firewire) you end up with a DV format file. While good for simple editing, it is not the best format for restoration or image processing work and you may want to convert it to a lossless format before proceeding further. If the tapes have high noise content (e.g., shot in poor light) you might find capture of the analog signal directly to a lossless format and then applying noise reduction gives you a more satisfactory final result.
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02-24-2019, 05:33 AM
colony colony is offline
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Thank you both for this information. I will try the cameras that I have but did suspect it might not be that straightforward. Appreciate the help. Regards.
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02-24-2019, 08:31 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is online now
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Good luck with your project, and with your gear. Only you (or you client if there is one) can decide how good is good enough. The cost of "better" is mainly more time, learning curve, and a short term investment in gear. And much of the equipment cost can be recovered by selling on the used market (where much of it can be bought) when done.

And for smaller projects it may be more efficient to "hire it out' to a qualified service provider if you do not intend to take this up as a hobby.
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  #6  
02-24-2019, 05:52 PM
colony colony is offline
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Well, I checked the old Canon Hi8 and it will load a cassette...but that's all. It's not working otherwise. And the Sony DCR-TRV110 does not have TBC, so I may be looking for another camera(s):

I've read before that it is preferable to play back tapes on the same brand of camcorder as was used to do the recording. All of my Hi8 recordings were done on the Canon. Would a later Canon Hi8 with TBC be preferable over a Sony/other brand?

Concerning the Sony Digital 8 cameras:
- Does TBC matter when doing a firewire transfer of Digital 8 recordings, or is it just there for the Hi8 analog to digital playback?
- Digital 8 cameras have firewire, S-video and composite outputs. When playing a Hi8 recording on a Digital 8 camcorder, is the S-video output a direct analog signal from the heads, or is it being reprocessed from digital conversion back to analog for S-video output? If so, would that not be inferior to pure analog when played from a Hi8 camera?
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02-25-2019, 01:04 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colony View Post
Concerning the Sony Digital 8 cameras:
- Does TBC matter when doing a firewire transfer of Digital 8 recordings, or is it just there for the Hi8 analog to digital playback?
- Digital 8 cameras have firewire, S-video and composite outputs. When playing a Hi8 recording on a Digital 8 camcorder, is the S-video output a direct analog signal from the heads, or is it being reprocessed from digital conversion back to analog for S-video output? If so, would that not be inferior to pure analog when played from a Hi8 camera?
- TBC does matter in D8 camcorders when using either the firewire or analog outputs but for analog tapes only, It has no effect on digital tapes.
- The video signal on video tapes is recorded in two bands, the luminence and the chrominence, When outputting to firewire the camcorder is processing those two signal into a DV signal, So essentially is taking the S-Video version of it. If you use composite out then the camcorder has to combine those two signals into one and that leads to a slight quality loss.

The only true composite format I know of is LaserDisc.

Playing the tape on the same camcorder is valid only if you have tracking problems or some other signal artifacts.
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  #8  
02-25-2019, 01:21 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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All Sony Digital 8 camcorders with analog playback have the same TBC/DNR circuit that late 90s Hi-8 HandyCams came equipped with. 8mm is a "color under" format like VHS and Beta, the chrominance signal is recorded separately on the tape.
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  #9  
02-25-2019, 04:44 PM
colony colony is offline
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Forgive my slowness here but if I understand you correctly, from a Hi8 tape played on a D8 camera I would be getting essentially the same quality of analog video through the S-video output that I would get from a Hi8 camera?

If that is so and the D8 is equipped with TBC, it seems that would be preferable to DV via firewire.

Unfortunately, my DCR-TRV110 does not have TBC/DNR.
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02-25-2019, 06:33 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colony View Post
Forgive my slowness here but if I understand you correctly, from a Hi8 tape played on a D8 camera I would be getting essentially the same quality of analog video through the S-video output that I would get from a Hi8 camera?
At the analog stage yes, But when converted to DV it looses some chroma details vs If you capture from S-Video with a USB capture device you have the option to go lossless besides MPEG-2, You are not tight to DV compression.
For PAL tapes essentially DV is slightly better than MEPG-2, They have the same chroma subsampling 4:2:0 but DV compression bitrate is higher. It is not the case for NTSC tapes @ only 4:1:1.
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  #11  
02-25-2019, 06:40 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Easy answer: Don't do it.

Keep DV for DV, analog for analog.
When you "analog passthrough" on DV gear, it's downgraded to DV color on output.

- If you have Video8 and Hi8 tapes, use a Hi8 player.
- If you have Digital8, then use the Digital8 player.

Note that Video8 and Hi8 (PAL or NTSC), and Digital8 (NTSC), are formats we handle with out conversion services, should you decide to outsource the project. And sometimes that makes more sense. Contact Us if you want to pursue that.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
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