I'm about to transfer some old PAL Video8 and Hi8 tapes and have access to a (probably somewhat worn out) Sony Digital8 camcorder (DCR-TRV320E) but am not really satisfied with the results as there are some color issues on the captured video (a greenish shade in the right edge of the picture as described in this thead) and some minor playback issues probably also resulting from the use of this cam which aren't worth elaborating right now).
I will soon have access to a rarely used Sony Hi8 camcorder (CCD-TR2000E). The exact same model is used for the comparison pics in the thread I linked to above and I like the results pretty much as there are no color problems anymore and the picture quality also looks a little nicer to me.
Now my question: Is it a good solution to just use the TRV320E as a passthrough for capturing (also regarding the audio), or is it worth it spending some money on an ADVC (= considerably better in any way)? And what about a TBC? From my understanding, the TR2000E doesn't have one, but do I even need it if the tapes have no such issues? Anything else I have to take into account? I went through some threads here but didn't exactly find an answer to my questions.
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I got the same question, I got many analog Hi8/Video8 tapes (~30) that need to be converted to digital to be stored in a hard drive.
I used my MiniDV camera as pass-through to capture these tapes. But don't like the results and got the same problems you had. I have a feeling that there is a better option. Don't want to fork ~$200 on ADVC110 while getting the same result.
I did same research and found this article (http://www.unterzuber.com/TBC.html) about TBC. However, the unit mentioned is no longer available on ebay. Moreover, the unit basically is only TBC and not for conversion.
So, I hope to find a solution before going a head with converting my old tapes.
p.s. wonder why no guide for such task.
My workflow for 8mm/Hi8 is like this:
Analog camcorder (s-video) -> Panasonic DMR-ES15 (pass-through only) -> ATI600/EzCap -> lossless .avi
The Panasonic DVD recorder acts as a time base corrector pretty well. It is not used to actually record anything.
If necessary, I will capture the tape several times.
The DMR-ES15 cost me 9 euros plus shipping on EBay, the EzCap is about 20 euros new or the ATI600 usually a bit more if you can find one.
After all this, I end up with a pretty good digital copy of the tape. This can be saved and later edited and further processed to a more viewable format, e.g. a DVD or MP4 file.
This process is quite time consuming, but since these are home videos and as such unique, I am willing to spend the time.
KingBuZZo (love the double Z) and DaMan4x4, I think you're confusing things.
An ADVC is a capture unit. It is another choice among, say for example, the ATI600 mentioned. I prefer the ATI600 since it can capture to lossless using good software like VirtualDub. The ADVC is also a good product, but limited to DV video.
A TBC can be internal or external - both are different. If your playback device has an internal TBC it will correct certain jitters and color distortions, but an external one cleans the signal (in passthrough of course) so that your capture unit can recognize what may otherwise be harsh due to its analog properties, and can prevent many frames dropped in the process. (The external one can also correct certain jitters and tape drift.)
The ADVC, or even the ATI600, don't have a TBC. And be skeptical about any capture device claiming that they have TBC properties - likely it would be useless compared to a real one.
A good external TBC is the AV Toolbox AVT-8710. It is not cheap, and difficult to find on eBay, but B&H Photo Video sells them new and via mail order internationally. However you can try the Panasonic DvD recorder, as a passthrough, mentioned earlier. I haven't tried it but if AJK reports good results with it, then who am I to argue?
I don't think however that a TBC (or equivalent passthrough device) will correct the color band problem but it will be useful anyway. That problem is sourced from the tape or playback device, one of them, or both, are of lower quality, or aged which creates that, but you probably figured that out.
Hopefully you aren't experiencing similar other playback problems you mentioned with the new gear. If so, feel free to elaborate.I hate VHS. I always did.