What options do I have for archiving Hi-8 analogue video tapes

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My old Hi-8 video camera has just died & I now want to buy a new digital one. However, I have over 40 or 50 tapes in Video-8 and Hi-8 that I'd really like to convert to a more modern format without sacrificing image quality.

I've been told that mastering to DVD would be best, but that technology is still maturing and there are several competing formats for writable DVD, making it difficult to play "home-made" DVDs play on other DVD players.

It's been suggested that I could make Video-CDs in a domestic PC's CD-ROM which will preserve Hi-8 tape quality & still be playable on a wide ramge of DVD playes.

However, I do not know how to go about this.

Any & all suggestions gratefully recieved !

Thanks, Anil_Sharad@yahoo.co.uk

-- Anil Sharad (Anil_Sharad@yahoo.co.uk), February 14, 2002


Well, I would argue that VCD will NOT preserve the quality of your original tapes. The main thing going for VCD is that most DVD players recognize the format, but you have to have a DVD player that recognizes CD-R or CD-RW media to play ones you make yourself. Many players do not recognize burnable media. www.vcdhelp.com has a DVD player compatibility list that tells which players support CD-R/W. VCD can be burned to CD-R and CD-R discs are cheap, but it is not a high quality format. If you are willing to spend many many hours if not days encoding your videos to get the highest quality possible, it can give pretty good results. If you want the best quality possible, you should either go for SVCD (lots of DVD players won't play these though) or DVD. You will need some sort of capture card, various video programs (some free, some not), for DVDs you will need a DVD authoring program, and some kind of burning software such as Nero. The web site www.vcdhelp.com has a lot of good guides on making VCDs, SVCDs and DVDs and you might want to read it to see what you are going to have to do. To be honest with you, under the best of circumstances, VCD could look like a really good VHS tape, but it most likely will not give the quality you want. The bit rates and resolutions are too low.

-- Jason (Jason.Shumate@equant.com), February 14, 2002.


Volume disounts for your 40 to 50 tapes.

-- Ed Hartley (BCVIDEOCREATIONS@YAHOO.COM), February 14, 2002.

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