#1  
03-23-2023, 11:06 PM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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Hello Everyone.

I have been doing some research as I have gotten to the point in my family collection where I have Hi8 and MiniDV tapes.

I have been doing great with my VCR > TBC > ATI AIW > Virtual Dub 1.9.1.1. I keep the Huffyuv AVI files as my archived backups and deinterlace in hybrid with avisynth to make mp4's to share with family online and also with flash drives they can use to watch them on their Modern/4k TVs.

So the issue I am having is if a Hi8 is recorded in a Sony Digital8 Camera such as the DCR-TRV340, it is technically a Digital format tape now, so what is the best workflow to properly transfer this digital tape to my PC?

My understanding, based on the forum posts I have read is:
-Play the tape in the Sony Camcorder > Firewire > Firewire card > WinDV > AVI.

Is this the correct workflow?
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  #2  
03-24-2023, 02:19 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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No Hi8 is not D8, two very different formats, Yes you can do the DV route for Hi8 but the previous method is much better, DV is compressed and chroma sampling is very low compared to what you have before lossless AVI 4:2:2. For D8 and miniDV tapes, the DV workflow is the best, because they're already recorded in DV format.

https://www.youtube.com/@Capturing-Memories/videos
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  #3  
03-24-2023, 03:51 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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The question is really what to do with the Hi8 tapes:

1. Play them in the D8 camera and transfer via Firewire

or

2. Play them in the D8 camera and capture via S-Video using the AIW.

I'd do both and compare.
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  #4  
03-24-2023, 01:44 PM
BW37 BW37 is offline
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(Now) three responses, all interpreting the OP's question differently. It is confusing because the subject is confusing... Here's my take:

If the "Hi8" tapes were "recorded in a Sony Digital8 camcorder" then they ARE Digital8 tapes as far as what is recorded on them. Sony D8 cameras cannot record in analog Hi8 format. They can only record in the digital "DV" format (same data as a MiniDV tape, just on an 8mm tape). So if indeed the OP's tapes were recorded on a D8 camcorder, then "transferring" them to a PC via firewire is a "correct" workflow, preferred by many as it is an "exact" transfer of the digital data from tape to PC.

So yes, for Digital8 tapes originally recorded on a Digitla8 device the workflow would be:
-Play the tape in the Sony Camcorder > Firewire > Firewire card > WinDV > AVI.

As latreche34 states, Hi8 and D8 are not the same recording format. Hi8 is an analog recording format and is recorded on "Hi8" tapes in a Hi8 recording device (camcorder usually). D8 is a digital format (as the OP correctly states). The confusion comes in because the physical tape (media) used for both is the same whether it was labeled for sale as a Digital8 tape or a Hi8 tape. Thus one part of the confusion.

The second part of the confusion is that many Sony D8 camcorders can play back analog Hi8 and Video8 tapes and are a good/preferred playback device for capturing these analog tapes (recorded on another non-Digital8 device). The primary reason to use D8 camcorders is that they include a line TBC that helps (usually) with the picture quality of the capture. There are also Sony Hi8 camcorders that include these features.

For analog tapes (Hi8 or Video8), your preferred workflow would be:
-Play the (analog) tape in the Sony (D8 or Hi8) Camcorder (analog outputs) > TBC > ATI AIW > Virtual Dub 1.9.1.1.

Optional, generally less preferred workflows:

-Play the analog (Hi8 or Video8) tape in the Sony D8 Camcorder > Firewire > Firewire card > WinDV > AVI. This workflow digitizes and compresses the analog recording to the DV format in the Camcorder which reduces the color content and quality. It is possible to do, just not a preferred method.

-Play the Digital8 (DV content) recorded tape in the Sony (D8 or Hi8) Camcorder (analog outputs) > TBC > ATI AIW > Virtual Dub 1.9.1.1. This workflow can solve some "issues" with the Firewire transfer, in particular, the segmenting of the content into many small files. The negative is that the content goes through multiple D to A, A to D conversions so is technically less desirable. Whether the viewer will be able to tell the difference is sometimes a source of discussion/disagreement

Hope this helps!
BW
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  #5  
03-24-2023, 06:41 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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DV route is less painful for analog tapes but the quality is obviously better via S-Video, This applies to any analog format.
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  #6  
03-25-2023, 01:48 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW37
Play the Digital8 (DV content) recorded tape in the Sony (D8 or Hi8) Camcorder (analog outputs) > TBC > ATI AIW > Virtual Dub 1.9.1.1.
Delete the "or Hi8". You can't play D8 on a Hi8 camcorder. If you have D8 content, you should use the Firewire method, unless you can't, in which case, analogue capture of D8 is quite acceptable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BW37
This workflow can solve some "issues" with the Firewire transfer, in particular, the segmenting of the content into many small files.
This is misleading. WinDV and Scenalyzer both can be set to capture one large digital file; that said, my preference is to have "many small files".
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  #7  
03-26-2023, 10:57 PM
BW37 BW37 is offline
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@Hushpower

Looks like I got sloppy with my cut/paste/edit process. You are correct, a Hi8 camcorder cannot read a D8 tape. You must use a D8 camcorder to play a D8 tape.

I was unaware that WinDV and Scenalyzer can both be set up to record longer files ignoring breaks between "takes", etc. Thanks for educating me!

BW
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  #8  
03-26-2023, 11:38 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW37 View Post
I was unaware that WinDV and Scenalyzer can both be set up to record longer files ignoring breaks between "takes", etc. Thanks for educating me!
... but it doesn't always work. You can set to have no breaks, yet it breaks.

- 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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  #9  
03-27-2023, 12:53 AM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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Thank you to all who have responded to my thread.

The replies so far have been spot-on advice (including the corrections) as my Hi8 and video8 tapes WERE recorded on a Sony Digital 8 Camcorder. I have not found a thread on digitFAQ that discusses this actual situation... Until now.

I have played and transferred the Hi8 tape (that was recorded on the Sony Digital8 Camcorder) using the analog workflow (Sony Camcorder S-video out > TBC > ATI AIW > Virtual Dub 1.9.1.1) and the results were extremely good.

My results using the same Hi8 tape (that was recorded on the Sony Digital8 Camcorder) using the workflow (Sony Camcorder > Firewire > Firewire Card > WinDV > AVI) has not been without digital noise.
I have a dedicated Dell XP computer with a newly installed Firewire Card
I also have an HP Windows XP PC with a built in media center & firewire card that transferred the same Hi8 through WinDv with less digital noise.
Is this an inherent issue with transferring DV with firewire?


My next question is about the steps with the transferred DV video (AVI FILE from WinDV) at this point? To my understanding it is to encode it into a lossless "more common" format so that it can then be edited, filtered, and deinterlaced (if posting to the web). What is the best encoding format to encode the files to and with what program?


Thank you and I look forward to your replies.
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  #10  
03-27-2023, 01:39 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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To give you a perspective of what is the route of both methods for the same Hi8 tape, here is the breakdown for both workflows (ADC is analog to digital converter, DAC is the opposite):

1- Hi8 (analog Y-C) -> ADC (TBC internal processing chip) -> DAC (internal chip) -> S-Video -> ADC (Capture Device) -> lossless 4:2:2 AVI on HDD.
2- Hi8 (analog Y-C) -> ADC (TBC internal processing chip) -> DV encoder (DV chip) -> iLink (Firewire) -> Lossy 4:1:1 on HDD.

The major difference is DV compression (encoding), However if you have to process DV further the first method seems to be the obvious winner.

As to what to do with DV (DV processing) whether originated from miniDV/D8 or from analog tapes via firewire, I personally put the file into vdub2 and convert from AVI DV 4:1:1 YUV1 to AVI 4:2:2 YUV2, de-interlace with QTGMC and encode to h.264, For youtube I add an upscale to 1440x1080 after de-interlacing and upload to YT directly without encoding to let it do the encoding to h.264 on its own, I uploaded a section of a D8 wedding footage 2 hours ago it will be ready shortly on my YT channel.

https://www.youtube.com/@Capturing-Memories/videos
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  #11  
03-27-2023, 04:18 PM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
To give you a perspective of what is the route of both methods for the same Hi8 tape, here is the breakdown for both workflows (ADC is analog to digital converter, DAC is the opposite):

1- Hi8 (analog Y-C) -> ADC (TBC internal processing chip) -> DAC (internal chip) -> S-Video -> ADC (Capture Device) -> lossless 4:2:2 AVI on HDD.
2- Hi8 (analog Y-C) -> ADC (TBC internal processing chip) -> DV encoder (DV chip) -> iLink (Firewire) -> Lossy 4:1:1 on HDD.

The major difference is DV compression (encoding), However if you have to process DV further the first method seems to be the obvious winner.
Your analogy assumes the Hi8 tape is analog but in our case the tape was recorded on a Sony Digital8 Camcorder and is digital. Therefore, to my knowledge, the internal TBC will not work with that digitally recorded tape.


Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
As to what to do with DV (DV processing) whether originated from miniDV/D8 or from analog tapes via firewire, I personally put the file into vdub2 and convert from AVI DV 4:1:1 YUV1 to AVI 4:2:2 YUV2, de-interlace with QTGMC and encode to h.264, For youtube I add an upscale to 1440x1080 after de-interlacing and upload to YT directly without encoding to let it do the encoding to h.264 on its own, I uploaded a section of a D8 wedding footage 2 hours ago it will be ready shortly on my YT channel.
Thank you for sharing your process. I will give this a test run today.
Also, the youtube video you shared looks extremely nice.
Have you always used the pinnacle 500-usb capture card and how is it working for you?


One more added question for all. Does the firewire capture card have a major affect on transfer quality.
As noted above I purchased a firewire capture card from amazon (listed above) and am wondering if I should be using a different card?
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  #12  
03-27-2023, 07:00 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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The IEEE1394 (aka: firewire, iLink) card works reliably, or it doesn't. It is a file copy process. (It is unlike digitizing cards that may corrupt color, brightness, add noise, lose resolution, etc.) Some cards work more reliably than others, but if they work they all bring in the same data. (It is essentially like putting an SD card from a camcorder into a card reader in a PC.)

However some capture devices are designed for analog video in and DV out via firewire, that is a separate thing and there are differences in quality.

Microsoft started to phase out routine support for firewire with Windows 8; to do firewire with Windows 8 and newer you have to hunt for drivers, download, and install them. Cards using the TI chip set were usually more reliable.

FWIW: Sony produced some D8 Walkman VCRs, (e.g., GV-D200 and GV-D800) as well. They are available on the used market but at higher prices than camcorders. They do have some additional features compared to basic D8 camcorders, and also play Video8 and Hi8 recordings.

Whether or not an analog output of a D8 recordings looks better than a firewire transfer is a function of what is in the signal path. The analog output of a D8 recording may have been subject to some filtering and other processing in the player or capture card that reduces noise and other artifacts while the firewire transfer is a copy of the digital data on the tape.
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  #13  
03-28-2023, 10:36 PM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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I have begun running some tests with the setup and I think I am getting there. I ran into the issue of not knowing exactly how to re-encode the AVI from the dv capture in virtual dub to either (lagarith or Huffyuv) for use in hybrid.
Do you load the video into Vdub and use direct stream copy like for analog videos or how do you go about properly rendering out the new video?

Thank you
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  #14  
03-28-2023, 11:16 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Closecall View Post
Your analogy assumes the Hi8 tape is analog but in our case the tape was recorded on a Sony Digital8 Camcorder and is digital. Therefore, to my knowledge, the internal TBC will not work with that digitally recorded tape.
That would be Digital8 or D8, Just because the tape says Hi8 it doesn't mean it is analog, D8 format can use either Hi8 or D8 tapes but D8 camcorders can only record in D8, they cannot record analog format. So to avoid confusion from now on address the tape by the format of its recording not the type of the cassette.

As to vdub, I think you would have to have DV decoder plugin, not sure it's been years since I installed vdub. The output should be in full processing mode not direct stream copy.
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  #15  
04-12-2023, 11:01 AM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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So I figured it out. You can use Vdub 1 to run a full processing mode (audio & video) and go into the video compression and color settings to select Yuy2 or your preferred color settings, and then under compression select Huffyuv.
Save as an AVI and it will convert the whole video & audio accordingly.

Is working very well and then can be deinterlaced via hybrid for internet use, but the results have been great!

Thank you all for your assistance with this.
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