greatbear analogue and digital media > video tape transfer > domestic & educational > Video 8 / Hi8 / Digital 8

Video 8 / Hi8 / Digital 8

Hi8 Video tape machine


We are able to transfer all standards of 8mm Video 8, Hi8 and Digital 8 from the US (NTSC), UK (PAL) and (SECAM).

We can do motion compensated standards conversion, so if the video tape you have is in NTSC format we can deliver your digital file in PAL (and vice versa).

We are equipped for video noise reduction and overscan removal.

We can deliver your digital files in any of the following formats:  Apple Quicktime /MOV in any codec, 10 bit uncompressed (recommended), AVI in any codec; any MacOS, Windows or GNU/Linux filesystem (HFS+, NTFS or EXT3); DVCAM / miniDV and DVD.

We are happy to work with individual tapes which may be damaged and require special attention, to large orders of high functioning tapes which can be processed quickly (and everything else in-between!)


8mm tapes should be stored vertically, out of direct sunlight, in a dry, cool, dust-free environment. As with any media, they will eventually deteriorate and lose their recorded contents over time, resulting in a build-up of image noise and dropouts.

Tapes more than 15 years old may start to show signs of degradation. Amongst other problems, they can become sticky, jamming playback units, or become brittle and snap.

However, the 8mm format is no more prone to this than any other magnetic tape format. In fact, the metal particle technology used with the Video8 formats is more durable than the metal evaporated type used with MiniDV.

Because 8mm tapes use a metal formulation (either metal particle or metal evaporated), they are harder to erase than the oxide tapes used with VHS, S-VHS, and Betamax tapes.

The downside of 8mm tapes is they are thinner and have less width than VHS tapes. Despite this the 8mm tape tries to store the same amount of information as VHS tapes, and therefore is more susceptible to damage in the long run.


Video 8, Hi8 and Digital 8 are a range of related 8mm video cassette formats. Their user base consisted mainly of amateur camcorder users, although they were also used in professional television production. The original Video 8 format that was introduced in 1985 was entirely analogue and became very popular in the consumer camcorder market. The Hi8 was introduced by Sony in 1989 was analogue video and audio, with provision for digital audio.

In 1999 Sony introduced the Digital8 format, a combination of the older Hi8 tape transport with the DV (Digital Video) codec.

While analogue Hi8 video enjoyed widespread use in amateur home video, current affairs TV programmes, and some professional news organizations, Digital8 seems to remain strictly a consumer (amateur) product.

The popularity of the analogue 8mm formats has now dwindled considerably, and new camcorders that support the format are unobtainable. They have been superseded by digital formats, such as the MiniDV, which in turn is being superseded high definition camcorders which record directly to memory cards.


designed and developed by
greatbear analogue and digital media ltd, 0117 985 0500
Unit 26, The Coach House, 2 Upper York Street, Bristol, BS2 8QN, UK

greatbear analogue and digital media is proudly powered by WordPress
hosted using Debian and Apache