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  1. Novice
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    Here's my story. Go to the TL;DR if you want the gist of it. In early 1998, my dad went on a trip from the U.S. to Asia and Australia. While he was in Malaysia or Australia, he got a Sony CCD-TRV45E Video8 XR (PAL). Here is the manual. We have Hi8 TDK MP 120 tapes, NTSC8 8mm Sony MP 120 tapes, and two TDK HS60 8mm tapes. I'm not exactly sure which region the TDKs are from, but that is the majority of the tapes we have. Why he got a camcorder in a PAL territory instead of in the U.S., I'll never understand why. Maybe it was cheaper, who knows. We didn't have a lot of money back then. We used this camcorder until about 2008 when we got a Sony miniDV camcorder and then it was used for fun until after 2010.

    In June, 2014 I decided it was time to capture my tapes because I freaked out when I read that tapes may decay after 15 years. My laptop was an Asus R500A-BB71 with an Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor 2.3GHz, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit), 8GB DDR3 RAM, and a 750GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive. I got an ATI TV Wonder HD 600 USB on eBay, installed VirtualDub and Huffyuv, and tried to follow some of the instructions people shared here. I first put in a Hi8 TDK MP 120 tape with a duration of 1:13:41. The problem was that the audio was high pitched, and because I couldn't figure out why, I gave up, and life got in the way soon after.

    Now, I have a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, 500GB SSD, and Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB. I was going to use a Thunderbolt to Firewire solution, but quickly abandoned that in favor of a lossless analog capture, so I'm going to bootcamp Windows 7 on it (7 is not officially supported on this model, but it works).

    I also learned that I need a better camcorder. Due to my unique situation, I don't know if going for a NTSC model will fix the high pitched audio issue. I'm eyeing several higher-end CCD-TRV Hi-8 XR models around the $120 range with internal TBC and S-Video; the CCD-TRV66, CCD-TRV99, and the CCD-TRV615. However, do the DCR-TRV models specifically support XR? They are about the same price as the the CCD-TRVs. Someone on the digitalFAQ Forums used a Sony DCR-TRV120 with TBC on and DNR off, S-Video and RCA sound cables, an ATI TV Wonder HD 600 USB, and VirtualDub to AVI on Windows 7 and it worked pretty well. I don't want to lose the quality gained from XR though. My original camcorder and tapes are pictured below.

    TL;DR: I need a Sony camcorder with Hi-8 XR, internal TBC and S-Video output. I'm going to use an ATI TV Wonder HD 600 USB on a MacBook Pro 2015 15 inch with Windows 7. The tapes were recorded on a Sony CCD-TRV45E Video8 XR (PAL) from early 1998 to 2008. They are Hi8 TDK MP 120 tapes, NTSC8 8mm Sony MP 120 tapes, and two TDK HS60 8mm tapes. I don't know the exact region of the TDK tapes, but they are the majority of what we have. Five years ago, I tried capturing a Hi8 TDK MP 120 tape and the audio was high pitched. I don't know if I should get a PAL or NTSC camcorder. For now, I'm looking at NTSC camcorders. Which is the best out of these three. They are about the same price. The CCD-TRV66, CCD-TRV99, and the CCD-TRV615. Do the Digital8 Sony DCR-TRVs like the DCR-TRV120 have XR? If so, should I get a DCR-TRV instead? Which is the best one?

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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    the digital audio recorded by higher end vid8 cams was a weird 32htz 8bit pcm. you might have to convert it to more standard 48htz 16bit to play properly. the xr function was not a great improvement over normal. it was hardly noticeable. if most of the tapes are pal, you're best chance of getting decent video is a pal cam playing back pal video at 25fps. the DCR series are d8 and will not have the xr.
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  3. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    I second that, XR is for analog camcorders only, Since D8 camcorders don't record analog, They only record D8 therefore XR feature is not necessary.
    You will have to figure out the color format of your tapes, You may not be able to find that out with your current camcorder since it converts between formats on the fly.
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  4. Novice
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    Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    the digital audio recorded by higher end vid8 cams was a weird 32htz 8bit pcm. you might have to convert it to more standard 48htz 16bit to play properly. the xr function was not a great improvement over normal. it was hardly noticeable. if most of the tapes are pal, you're best chance of getting decent video is a pal cam playing back pal video at 25fps. the DCR series are d8 and will not have the xr.
    Thank you for clarifying! So the 32htz 8bit pcm is what was causing the high pitched audio? I assumed it was simply because it was PAL. If so, I'll have to figure that out once I get a new PAL camcorder. Why 25fps though? Is that really the original fps? I want to keep the "soap opera effect."
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  5. Novice
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    I found a Sony Handycam video Hi-8 XR CCD-TR840E (PAL) from 1998 in excellent condition on eBay. It's not TRV, but it is the highest end model shown in this manual. It has S-Video output, stereo audio, TBC, and DNR (which is recommended to be off). It is a $100 more than a comparable NTSC CCD-TRV though, but if there is a demand for it I can resell it. There aren't really any Sony PAL camcorders for sale on the forums. Should I wait? I couldn't find anything else like it unfortunately.
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  6. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    as long as you can resell it for about what you paid you could think of it as a rental and try it out. if it doesn't produce what you think it should get rid of it and see what's available then. and yes pal video is 25fps. don't let the cam convert it to 29.97fps ntsc. that is another possible cause of audio distortion.
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  7. Novice
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    Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    as long as you can resell it for about what you paid you could think of it as a rental and try it out. if it doesn't produce what you think it should get rid of it and see what's available then. and yes pal video is 25fps. don't let the cam convert it to 29.97fps ntsc. that is another possible cause of audio distortion.
    Shouldn't it be 50fps?
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  8. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    no. european current is 50htz but their older tv's refreshed at 25fps interlaced along with older video. usa current is 60 hertz and video was usually 29.97(30)fps interlaced or 23.997fps.
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  9. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    DNR doesn't have to be off, Only if it gives a problem, In most cases DNR cleans up the chroma noise, Those grainy blu and red areas of the picture, It does a good job on that, You'll be the judge to decide what feature to turn ON or OFF, There is no such rule there.
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  10. Novice
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    I finally settled on a Sony CCD-TR840E camcorder. It comes with an S-Video cable and a bunch of extras I don't need, including SCART adapters and tapes. I probably paid way more than I should have. However, there is also a CCD-TRV66E available from France as well for about the same price. I wish I had waited on that instead, but I'll see how this one goes.
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