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Converting Hi8 video to digital

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 21, 2011 3:20:41 PM

Hi All

I am trying to work out how to transfer my old Hi8 Sony Camcorder video tapes on to my PC.

I currently have a Dell Dimension 9150 (service tag 12vw32J) that does not seem to have a TV Tuner; I have looked under the devmgmt.msc option and can see no reference for any TV card there.

I do have Windows Media Centre for XP if this helps!
My camcorder has cables which are yellow and black if this helps!

My question is how is the transferring of these videos on to my PC best done?

Do I need to buy some form of convertor?
Will I need any special cables?
What steps will I need to go through?

Any and all help will be most appreciated

Kindest regards

Kevin
August 21, 2011 5:00:51 PM

Kevin, I have a similar Sony camcorder DCR CR7000. I transferred the video files to my PC by using an external Hauppauge capture device HVR-1950 (internal capture cards will work fine too).

Here is the manual: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/support/support_hvr1950.h...

You will need a firewire cable to connect the camcorder to the PC. Initially, my Dell Dimension 4600 did not have firewire, so I installed a firewire card.

The transfer process is CPU intensive and therefore slow.

Good luck!
August 21, 2011 7:09:37 PM

Thanks for the reply Ubrales

My Sony is the Sony CCDTRV37 Hi8 Camcorder - http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/model-home.pl?mdl=CCDT...

the HVR-1950 seems like a little expensive for what I need, do you know of any other more cheaper options?

what sort of internal capture cards are there available at a cheap price? Would these give me the standard AV conectors this tutorial says I need? http://www.kb.sony.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do...

Sorry to be such a spaz but really am a beginner at this.

Cheers

Kevin
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August 21, 2011 10:18:59 PM

Kevin, here are some more choices at attractive prices: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Please read the reviews and feedback from users before you purchase.

Don't worry about being a beginner; weren't we all at one time beginners in everything?

I picked Hauppauge because of products quality and good support.
August 22, 2011 4:16:41 AM

My 2 cents here, watch out for some of the USB options. Many use software recording(encoding). This is not a cpu limited issue anymore, but I generally find the quality suffers(lots of interlace artifacts).

I honestly like my Hauppauge cards as well, but had to give up my good old PVR-250 when it had no windows Vista/7 64 bit support with more then 4 gigs of memory. That said, i tried many USB stick type tuners and they all left me unimpressed when watching high speed and panning videos.

I could be wring, but with firewire, do you not bypass the need to capture video in analog(just capture a .dv file). Premiere used to capture off firewire back in the day(DV Tape).

Off topic. Ubrales, How is that HVR-1950? My ATI USB 650 has very good video(as long as i do not use coaxial cable), but very bad audio(distorted) as well as being somewhat unstable at times(needs power cycle from time to time, heatsinks on the encoder helped a bit.).
August 22, 2011 2:24:09 PM

nukemaster said:
........ Off topic. Ubrales, How is that HVR-1950? My ATI USB 650 has very good video(as long as i do not use coaxial cable), but very bad audio(distorted) as well as being somewhat unstable at times(needs power cycle from time to time, heatsinks on the encoder helped a bit.).

Nuke, I am very satisfied with my HVR-1950! Been in use for over 2 years (3 I think), and I move it from computer to computer. That's why I went with an external device.

Hauppauge's products are great and their customer/tech support is adequate.

I found some British quirks in the user's manual. Lending credence to the old expression that the US and Britain are two countries separated by a common language!

:) 
August 22, 2011 5:32:06 PM

Gonna keep an eye out for one of those then. Lists MCE support and that is what I use. My current Media PC is SFF(Small form factor) and the only slot it has contains its video card.
August 25, 2011 2:27:04 AM

Ubrales said:
Kevin, I have a similar Sony camcorder DCR CR7000. I transferred the video files to my PC by using an external Hauppauge capture device HVR-1950 (internal capture cards will work fine too).

Here is the manual: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/support/support_hvr1950.h...

You will need a firewire cable to connect the camcorder to the PC. Initially, my Dell Dimension 4600 did not have firewire, so I installed a firewire card.

The transfer process is CPU intensive and therefore slow.

Good luck!



Hi, I have both Hi8 and Digital 8 sony camcorders. The Digital 8 camcorders connect via firewire and that is a very good way to transfer the video. The older hi8 cameras do not have firewire, they have the choice of USB and std def AV cables. These are the yelow/white/red cables OP ref'd.

It was years ago, but i remember not being happy with the quality of the output from USB.

For firewire (i-link, IEEE 1394), I don't think i needed a video capture card. The digital8 camcorder sent the data over firewire to an application.

I agree that a good way to record the hi8 video is to play it back on teh camcorder and capture with a good quality video capture card. I've used the old giga pocket hw and several versions of the hauppauge tv capture cards to do this.

As an alternative, there are many services that will convert hi8 to DVD for $10 per tape. I've never used one of these services. If you have 100 tapes gets expensive. But if you have only 5-10 tapes to move to dvd the equipment used by the converters and the software used to clean up will be better than what you can reasonably buy. one picked at random, i've never tried them http://www.imemories.com/microsite/transfer/video/prici...


EDIT: missed this from the original post: "...I do have Windows Media Centre for XP .." Does your media center PC have VIDEO inputs? I don't see them in the spec, but it's strange to have MCE withotu the video hardware. 2nd thought, your PC is "IntelĀ® PentiumĀ® 4 Socket-T with Hyper-Threading or Dual-Core support". This will be below minimum spec for many of the video capture boards, especially the USB based tuners. If you get a video capture board be very careful to get one that people have used successfully with older hardware. External capture devices, as suggested above, may work out better.
April 17, 2012 5:41:17 AM

Another option would be to pick up a Sony Hi-8 VCR deck on Ebay for <500 and possibly even resell it when you are done.

I picked up professional Sony EV-S7000 which was about $2,500 a dozen years ago. It was the best they made then but now I think they are only in demand by video conversion shops and individuals with tapes to convert.

You'll need a decent capture card as well. After doing some research I bought both the Hauppauge 2250 and later the Colossus. I was happy enough with the Colossus which comes with ArcSoft's ShowBiz capture Software v3.5 and works well but there are some others that might be better such as the "AVERMEDIA Game Broadcaster HD" or the "BlackMagic Intensity Pro"

I originally went for maximum image quality (within reason) and planned to captured at 720x480/60fps/progressive/constant 8MB bit rate/ H.264(AVCHD) compression format (*M2TS file extension). As it turns out I think I ended up with 30fps, for most of it, but I was happy with the quality. The files end up about 7-8GB per 2hr tape, so if your planning to burn to DVD, you may want to think about splitting them to 1hr each or possibly going with slightly lower quality settings. I didn't bother to burn mine to DVD yet and just keep them mirrored across 2 drives on a Raid1 array for safety.

I would recommend CyberLink's PowerDirector v10 Ultra for any editing. It is stable and produces faster than any other consumer video editing software out there, esp if your running Intel i5/i7 on win7/64bit.

From a process perspective I would recommend consider going through the tapes to label them with the general start dates and end dates in a standard format. It makes it much easier to put the tapes in order, keep track of them, and name the output files something similar. Example: 1998-02 to 1998-05 [720x480 8Mbit.M2TS]
!