backing up Hi8 ftg to miniDV or Media100 - which is higher quality?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by rynato, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. rynato

    rynato Guest

    I have a lot of footage I shot in Italy on Hi8, back in the mid 90s
    when Hi8 was state of the art for industrial and prosumer use. This is
    mostly professionally composed and shot video, not home movies crap,
    though some of it is priceless recordings of a deceased relative.

    I would like to archive this footage because someday my Sony TR101
    will need service and I don't wish to put any further money into it.
    So, now's the time to digitize the footage while I still have a way to
    play it back.

    Here are my options:

    1) to miniDV - Dub the footage via S-Video/RCA audio out to my miniDV
    deck. Import the miniDV footage via Firewire and burn the movie files
    to DVD data discs or store on a HD. Yes I know that miniDV is

    2a) to Media100 - Dub the footage via S-Video/RCA audio out to my
    BetaSP deck. Import the footage into my Media 100 system at the lowest
    compression, 300kb, then burn the files to DVD or store on HD.

    Of course if I dub to Beta, I can save the tapes and someday digitize
    them at uncompressed, like when I get my AJA Io unit. However I have
    many hours of footage and I'm not sure if it is practical to store that
    many reels.

    2b) to Media100 - Dub the footage directly through my Media 100
    breakout box instead of first dubbing to BetaSP.

    If I go straight through the breakout box, I will avoid the
    (probably slight) degradation of the video that will occur from the
    digital-to-analog transfer, but I won't have the Beta tapes to fall
    back on. I also won't have the issue of storing so many Beta reels.

    So. Which method will give me the least degraded video compared to the
    original Hi8 footage... 1, 2a, or 2b?

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
    rynato, Feb 2, 2006
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  2. rynato

    manitou910 Guest

    I can't comment directly on dubbing Hi8 to BetaSP, but can inform you I
    have dubbed a lot of old Hi8 tapes to DVCAM (effectively the same as
    miniDV, in terms of compression and other technical considerations) and
    the DVCAM copies looked identical to the originals.

    Another factor here is that mini-DV is compatible with most (if not
    all) DVCAM decks and, within Sony product lines, also likely will be
    compatible with future HDCAM prosumer decks. BetaSP still is being
    used, but I expect will become a legacy format long before mini-DV.

    I was using the Sony EV-S7000 deck as Hi8 player and the DSR-20 as

    Having visited Italy only fairly recently, I can well imagine your wish
    to preserve those tapes, and the TR-101 was considered one of the best
    consumer Hi8 cameras during its heyday.

    manitou910, Feb 3, 2006
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  3. manitou910 wrote ...
    I agree that dubbing to DV seems like the best and most
    accessible option at this time in video history. I certainly
    wouldn't discard the original Hi8 tapes, however.
    Richard Crowley, Feb 3, 2006
  4. rynato

    mmaker Guest

    You might want to look at Digital-8: at least some Digital-8 cameras
    will play Hi8 tapes and output DV format data by Firewire, so you'd
    eliminate one analog step... just connect the Digital-8 camera to your
    DV deck by Firewire.

    mmaker, Feb 3, 2006
  5. rynato

    rynato Guest

    of course not! But, someday the TR101 may stop working. I had it
    repaired a couple or so years back and I've hardly used it since. It
    may keep working for some time to come, but someday it won't and I
    doubt I'll even be able to get parts for it, let alone be
    willing to spend the money to fix it.

    Ah, the joys of obsolete technology.
    rynato, Feb 3, 2006
  6. rynato

    rynato Guest

    The TR-101 cost $1200 at the time (1995). I have lots of footage of
    Florence and Tuscany and Umbria, some of Rome. You may view my
    photos and more recent video footage at Eventually I
    plan to put lots of my Italy/Switzerland video on my website
    including the Hi-8 material I'm working with now.
    rynato, Feb 3, 2006
  7. rynato

    rynato Guest

    ok i called our local broadcast video rental house and they
    confirmed what you wrote... but they also said an even better route
    would be to connect the Digital 8 deck (with the Hi8 tape playing back
    in it) to a DVD burner....
    rynato, Feb 3, 2006
  8. The problem with that is that you will end up with MPEG2 compressed
    video which is noticably inferior to DV.

    OTOH, connecting a D8 VCR/camcorder directly to a DV
    VCR/camcorder will provide optimal digital capture/transmission
    and storage.
    Richard Crowley, Feb 3, 2006
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