I have a bunch of Hi8 analog and Digital 8 tapes that I will be capturing with a Sony camcorder that has both S-Video out and 1394.
My plan is to transfer the Digital8 via firewire, since there is nothing to gain from going digital to analog SVideo and back to digital. And for Hi8, I will use the S-Video to capture best resolution from it... but, does anyone know what resolution resulting file I would get by letting the camcorder convert Hi8 to 1394 DV? I am assuming that a Hi8 playback to SVideo will be much more stable and error free than a VHS playback... and visually more pleasing that a possibly lower resolution DV conversion vua 1394 for Hi8. Is this correct?
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You will get similar pixel resolution going through FireWire or s-video. The difference is in encoding and color resolution. DV is intraframe-encoded at 4:1:1 color subsampling for NTSC. With a decent s-video card, you can capture uncompressed at 4:2:2 subsampling. I can't say whether the difference will be noticeable to you. Some people think DV looks just fine. If you decide to convert Hi8 to DV, watch out. Some Sony camcorders erroneously bump up the black level during conversion.
Thanks! So, I have read more about the black level issue... and I am also reading that only high end decks can read the PCM audio from an Analog Hi8 tape... I do not know if the Hi8's I have were recorded with PCM audio or not. They were shot with a Pro/Prosumer camcorder... a company my wife and I hired for our wedding... they were contracted to use Digital equipment but screwed up and used only Hi8. And they told me afterward that the mic they put on me did not work... I believe they had it hooked in to the camera... but never understood how they did not know it was not working that day... anyway... I am guessing that is an indication that the camera they were using supported the PCM audio track, as I assume they were using that for the mic on me. Does that mean the camera mic audio went to the analog track or other digital track or may be both? Anyone know how a Prosumer Hi8 camera would have worked back in late 90's?
I really want to go with S-Video capture so I can go to Huffyuv and 4:2:2 instead of DV. Can the black level issue be corrected in Virtualdub?
If I do have PCM tracks, is there any reasonable priced deck that I can find to use?
You won't have the black level issue if you use the analog (s-video) output. Unless your recording sucks, in which case you may be able to fix it with the soft proc amp in your capture card driver. The key here is to avoid crushing very bright tones into white and very dark tones into black during capture, which would leave you with no option for fixing them in post.
As for the microphone, who knows? Could have been a bad cord, or they had it plugged into the wrong jack, or no phantom power, or didn't turn up the input gain, or, as you surmise, sent it to a PCM track instead of an AFM track. You need a player with PCM to find out.
My understanding (from other posts on here) was that the black level issue does affect analog (s-video) output... and for 1394 out the camera sends correct black level info, but you have to put up with 4:1:1 and DV compression which I don't want.
After reading a bunch of other threads on here about the NTSC IRE issues... I am still not 100% clear on whether it is an issue in my specific cases...
1) Hi8 analog tape, played in TRV460, S-Video output to capture device, VirtualDub and Huffyuv to lossless YUY2.
a) I assume the NTSC signal on the tape AND what is output from s-video when the analog tape is played are both NTSC compliant, IRE 7.5, correct?
b) If I were to use 1394 for these Hi8 Analog tapes, that should be proper levels also, correct?
2) Digital8 digital tape, played in TRV460, 1394 to PC direct transfer.
a) I assume that the digital file I get from this is exactly identical (levels) to what I get from a MiniDV 1394 transfer and has NO IRE issues at all, correct?
An I correct in my understanding that IRE issues only occur when 460 is used as a pass through encoder of external analog signal to 1394 output???
Can anyone clarify?
Last edited by jtech1; 10th Mar 2017 at 13:34.