Converting 8mm Tape to DVD – Are Hi8 And Digital8 the Same Thing?

Over the years, there have been numerous formats of videotape. That makes it difficult to determine which type you have at home. Identifying which kind of tape you have becomes more complex when you realize that many are physically similar. This is particularly the case for the various 8mm formats. However, if you’re converting 8mm tape to DVD, you need to know which type you have. Hi8 and Digital 8 are both types of 8-millimeter tape. They look so similar that many people wonder if they are the same. Here, we take a look at these two old formats and how they are similar and different from each other.

What Does 8mm Videotape Look Like?

All types of 8mm videotape are very similar in appearance. All have a magnetic tape that measures 8mm in width wound between the two spools. Both have spools that sit inside a hard-shell cassette that measures 95mm x 62.5mm x 15mm. In this respect, Hi8 and Digital 8 are identical. This is why it’s challenging to determine the difference between the two.

Spotting The Difference Between Hi8 And Digital8 Video Tapes

When the Super-VHS format first came out, Sony introduced Video Hi8. In the same way as SVHS, the Hi8 used the latest media formulated and recorder electronics to boost picture detail. Meanwhile, Digital 8 first appeared in 1999. It represented the first wave of recording in the digital format. While it could record on Hi8 tapes, you had to run the tape at twice the usual Hi8 speed. This allowed you to store the digitally encoded video and audio. That meant a Hi8 120-minute tape was only capable of holding 60 minutes-worth of Digital 8 video. When you’re comparing Hi8 and Digital 8 tapes, you’ll notice they’re virtually identical. However, it’s possible to spot the difference in one respect. Digital 8 videotapes have both a Hi8 and digital run time displayed on them.

8mm Tapes – A Short Lifespan

One common problem with all types of 8-millimeter tape is that it has a short lifespan. Ideally, you should keep an 8mm tape in vertical storage. It must be out of direct sunlight and stored in a cool, dry, and dust-free location. However, many people did not store many tapes in perfect condition. People kept them in humid, dusty or damp environments. Even those preserved to the highest level will deteriorate and lose their recordings over time. Any tape that is more than 15 years old will already have started to degrade. This can result in sticking and jamming when you play them. They may also become so brittle that they snap. Since virtually every form of 8mm tape out there today is more than 15 years old, it’s time to act.

Whether you have Hi8 or Digital 8 recordings, we can help to preserve them. Here at Reborn, we specialize in transferring all types of 8mm tape to DVD. Take advantage of our affordable service and you won’t need to worry about your precious recordings deteriorating over time.

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James Nordby