04-23-2019, 02:23 PM
Zeze Zeze is offline
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Dear video gurus,

Like everyone else, I embarked on a mission to digitize a bunch of MiniDV and Hi8 tapes that are very precious to me. Just to give you the idea, two of them contain long interview that I did in 1997 with my late father, who fought in WWII, about his memories of war. This forum has provided most of my video education.

The MiniDV tapes were easy. I bought a Firewire card and installed it on my computer, connected my Panasonic DV901 to it, and digitized all tapes without a single dropped frame or any other hiccup. The Hi8 tapes are another story. I started by getting one of these cheap A/V adapters at Amazon. It worked. Sort of. The quality of the digitized videos was subpar and the output format was .MPEG, while I prefer .AVI since I plan to do further editing. I returned it and tried to use my Panasonic DV901 miniDV camera as a pass-through digitizer via the Firewire port, digitizing composite video coming from my Canon Hi8 camcorder. The image quality was much better, but it dropped frames like crazy. I am pretty sure the computer (i7 with 16GB of memory) or the hard drive (7200 rpm) are not the culprits. I thought either the Firewire port or the Panasonic DV901 could be the source of the problem. Just to be sure, I bought and installed an Osprey 201e video capture card and plugged the Canon directly to it via the S-video cable, using NCH Debut for capture. Same problem. Tons of dropped frames.

My conclusion and I am new to this is that the analog video coming from the Hi8 camcorder was problematic. I need a TBC device. Only that TBCs are pretty much impossible to find at a reasonable cost. My question to the experts: Is there any factor that I overlooked? Assuming that low-cost TBCs no longer exist, is there a commercial service that you would recommend for this job? Do they routinely do time corrections? Thanks.
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04-23-2019, 06:51 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Which Canon Hi8 camcorder?
Does the tape play ok if you connect the playback directly to a S-VIDEO input on a TV set?
Do you plan to do video restoration, or just simple "cuts" editing?

TBCs are discussed on detail in other forums here; e.g.,

I believe the operators of this site do offer a digitizing service. Try contact lordsmurf for details
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04-23-2019, 07:52 PM
Zeze Zeze is offline
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Hi dpalomaki,

My camcorder is a Canon ES3000. The tape plays perfectly without any glitches, judging from the screen image. I plan to edit the raw footage in Premiere CC. I am new to analog video and don't know much about restoration.

I've checked the forum on TBCs but am not sure my problem is timing. Probably it is, given all I've tried so far, unsuccessfully.

Only now I realized that the operator of the site do digitizing. I will definitely contact them. Thanks.
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04-24-2019, 01:26 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Yes, analog consumer formats like Hi8 and VHS need a full frame TBC.

What do you think a "reasonable cost" is? Because the best TBCs are like quality camera lenses, and bought at the same places like B&H, not something low-end found in Best Buy. Current prices of the best TBCs are about $750. Some years ago, pricing was less, but still at least 3-4 bills, and those days are gone.

You can try the ES10/15 for TBC(ish) passthrough, but it may also fail, and I think you're getting tired of finding what doesn't work.

Remember: Buy it, use it, resell it.

And yes, we offer conversion services, Contact Us if interested.

- 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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04-24-2019, 09:34 AM
Zeze Zeze is offline
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You are right that I am tired of trying things that do not quite work. I've spent uncountable hours on it already. It would be great learning if I were to digitize lots of tapes. Not the case. I will contact you about digitizing my Hi8 tapes. Thanks.
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digitizing tape, hi8, tbc, time base corrector

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