I'm in the USA but have many 8mm tapes to archive from a Sony TR2200E Pal Camcorder. The analog outs work but I get no signal from the s-vhs out. I checked the cable (newly bought) on another camcorder and it works. I don't recall if I ever successfully used the s-vhs out on this camcorder. I may have tried a few times in the long ago past when I was using it. Now I read s-vhs is superior to analog. When I'm back overseas I can look for another pal 8mm I guess but I tend to favor using the camcorder that most of the tapes were made in. I've had a lot of trouble in variations of I guess head alignment as I've archived my other minidv tapes. Do you think I should just go ahead and do analog. It's pretty time consuming and I'd prefer not to do it all over again. Thanks for any tips.
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Video8, Hi8, or Digital8 recordings?
The analog outs work
but I get no signal from the s-vhs out.
Now I read s-vhs is superior to analog.
s-video (black DIN cable) is superior to composite (yellow wire)
When I'm back overseas I can look for another pal 8mm I guess
but I tend to favor using the camcorder that most of the tapes were made in.
Do you think I should just go ahead and do analog.
It's pretty time consuming
You are in the US and want to use a PAL camcorder, If the tapes are PAL that's the only way of doing it, but you said most of the tapes are made in that camcorder that implicates you have some NTSC tapes then you are making a huge mistake, PAL camcorders playback NTSC in a Pseudo system called PAL60, It keeps the frame rate and resolution intact but it converts the NTSC chroma carrier from 3.58 MHz to 4.43 MHz compatible with PAL only TV's, Not a good idea when capturing even if the capture card is capable of displaying the signal, Which it seems like your capture card is not compatible with PAL60 and may not have anything to do with S-Video port. If the port doesn't work with PAL tapes it could be a defective port due to the most common problem on miniature electronics where SMD caps go bad.
Last edited by dellsam34; 19th Jan 2020 at 14:42.
Thanks for the comments. I'm pretty green in this transfer process. Yes, I mean S-video. Sorry for the mixup. Years ago I spent most of my time overseas so it's a Pal camcorder not an NTSC that converts. I'm wanting to get about 60-80 tapes converted on my PC as soon as I can. I'm trying to watch my budget so was hoping to not have to buy another PAL Camcorder at least here in the States. I can pick one up much cheaper when back overseas in 6 months but was hoping to finish the archiving before then. I still wonder if there might be a setting on this camera that has S-video turned off but I haven't come across it yet. The camera plays its old tapes pretty well going through the red, yellow, white RCA connections. It actually has a thing where it won't play correctly unless I give it a slight tap with my palm! Then it's quite OK. It was quite expensive when I bought it many years ago.
Last edited by hpcampr; 21st Jan 2020 at 16:10.
Well, try disconnecting the RCA yellow cable from the camcorder and connect the S-Video cable, leave the audio red and white cable connected, Also set the capture card to S-Video input or you won't get any picture that's why it is good to have the right driver for the card. With no details on the capture hardware and software no one will be able to help you.
Plug it in right.
If you're using a PAL camcorder with NTSC tv in the usa, you'll need something to convert the signal sent over the s-video cable.
The camcorder won't do format conversion for you.
Same applies if you use ntsc capture equipment for the pc and your camcorder is outputting pal
The model you mentioned is a Hi8 cam. But in your most recent post you say the recordings are Video8. All of them?
What is the rest of your capture workflow? Capture card, etc.
I'm using this video grabber going into an XP notebook. It wouldn't work on my win10 notebook but works fine on the XP.
Like I said above. I connected another camcorder (minidv) with s-video out port and it worked through the grabber into the xp laptop.
I'm using this:
VHS to Digital DVD Converter, USB2.0 Audio/Video Capture Grabber Adapter Device,Transfer VCR TV Hi8 Game S Video to DVD,Support Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vis
In that wiki article I saw:
S-Video (also known as separate video and Y/C) is a signaling standard for standard definition video, typically 480i or 576i. By separating the black-and-white and coloring signals, it achieves better image quality than composite video, but has lower color resolution than component video.
Better image quality vs color resolution? Which is more important?
Last edited by hpcampr; 24th Jan 2020 at 17:44.
If another camcorder works over s-video, then it is not the capture card problem.
It is either the cables used with the camcorder or the svideo port in the camcorder isn't working.
Composite (all signals combined into 1) = good < S-Video (B&w/luma separated from color/chroma) = better < Component (all 3 colors separated) = best. This is true whether analog or digital.
Digital is 95% of the time component.
Your device is Analog only, PAL format.
Formats: PAL-based vs. NTSC-based...
It many times will not matter if you are MERELY playing straight to a display.
However, if you are capturing: YOU MUST HAVE ALL PARTS OF THE SYSTEM BE THE SAME FORMAT!
So in this case, PAL tape -> PAL camcorder -> PAL capture card/device -> PAL settings in PC app -> PAL-type file (720x576 @ 25fps). This chain must be completely the same throughout, regardless of if you are going analog or digital, component or s-video or composite.
Only once it has been captured and saved as a file on the PC may you "play around with it" and possibly convert it to something like an NTSC formatted file (720x480 @ 29.97fps). Though once it is in the PC, it usually isn't even necessary.
Last edited by Cornucopia; 25th Jan 2020 at 17:44.
Can you see the difference between Composite rca vs S-video?
I'll bet you can like I can easily see myself, so yes, it's worth archiving over s-video for the Best quality even with regular 8 tapes.
Either find a high 8 deck/camcorder that has s-video that can play your tapes, or digital 8 deck/camcorder that can give an even better dv output over firewire (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital8).
Otherwise, you'll have to accept visibly poorer captures.
$200 at most for a pal hi8 s-video camcorder
You mention a digital/8 camcorder. Can I play my regular video8 tapes through this type of camcorder and output it through the firewire? Yesterday, I thought I'd had a breakthrough moment in deciding whether to just jump in and use the RCA outputs or wait until I had a functioning s-video port on another camcorder. I've also been archiving some VHS tapes to the PC with the same capture dongle. Yesterday I found a few more VHS tapes and thought I'd connect the VHS/DVD deck with s-video cable. When I turned it around I found it only had the s-video out for the DVD but not for the VHS. There were just the RCA's out. So I thought that told me that there was no point in worrying about s-video on analog but now you've taken the opposite position. So that's good to know.
Last edited by hpcampr; 29th Jan 2020 at 09:15.
Generally, as long as the digital 8 camcorder can play your video 8 / hi8 tapes, and it has a firewire/dv output, it'll automatically convert analog tapes to digital dv format.
On a desktop, any $15 FireWire card connected to that camcorder will allow you to save those tapes in dv format on your pc.
Very high quality and super easy. http://windv.mourek.cz/
This page has a mouseover screenshot comparison showing a DVD test image of a woman's face: https://www.engon.de/audio/grabber_en.htm
Last edited by hpcampr; 4th Feb 2020 at 20:58.
Difference between s-video and composite for example videos of the age and quality I'd expect from something that old.
Depends on how important quality is to you like noted before.
E.g. If you're the type that can't tell the difference between watching a 2k hd tv and 4k or regular analog, no need to worry.
Also, keep in mind you'll always have the tapes, too.
If you capture in composite and device later you've got the time, money and will to get a higher quality setup, And want a slightly better capture, you can always recapture.
8mm is about 240 lines, vhs like quality.
I wouldn't go crazy about it - much like looking at 8mm film or photos from decades ago. It is what it is - old tech, not too detailed, not the greatest quality.
If you do go higher quality, then you'll need another better capture card that supports s-video or firewire output, another camcorder or deck that does that, and ( maybe even a desktop /macbook if you do the firewire capture and your laptop has no such ports ).
Personally, if these are important tapes, then spending more to get a quality setup is what I'd do if the budget allows.
Technology is quickly improving.
Soon, you'll be able to take so-so captures and improve their quality using AI far more than better hardware.
Last edited by babygdav; 5th Feb 2020 at 00:40.
Having a low quality video such as VHS or Video8 is not an excuse to not capture it in a decent quality manner, As a matter fact if anything needs to be captured with as much details as possible is a low quality video, degrading it further during the capturing process will add another layer of low quality to the original video, One layer cannot mask the other.
The approach of garbage in, garbage out that has been touted here numerous times means that you're not going to get better quality than the original during the capturing process BUT it doesn't mean degrade it further.
Why do people buy crappy iPhones with merely 12MP cameras rather than the best like Huawei's 40-100+MP cameras?
Why do people refuse to buy android phones capable of LDAC Bluetooth audio and tidal hires music, but instead go with low quality standard SBC/AAC audio on iPhones?
Why do people refuse to buy 100MP+ medium format digital cameras?
The point is this isn't an archival project of a work of significant national or historical worth to the masses. A personal project, save some home videos, so "looks" good enough is "good enough".
People enjoy degraded everything from music (mp3/aac instead of wav/flac) and video (watching YouTube/Netflix/streaming instead of 4K uhd blurays). Why aren't they crying the quality is crap?
Because it's "good enough" for them - No need to spend more for better.
That said, options for better have been presented already.
Realistically, any Digital 8 deck/camcorder will have the s-video/dv out that will give better output than composite, and some have the TBC/NR some tapes benefit from.
Just up to the person doing the archiving how much $$ and time they have and want to spend beyond what they currently have.
(Video 8 is only 240 analog lines of resolution, so don't expect to ever get 1080/2k quality out of these tapes regardless of hardware - you'll have to use modern ai/restoration software instead.)
First you don't know what quality the OP wants, Second that $600 digital8 deck is not necessary the best, Some digital 8 camcorders play analog tapes as good as that one, Expensive gear doesn't necessarily mean better quality, You can Buy $1200 fancy VCR, a $300 BM capture card or $200 DV box and the quality could be worse than a decent S-VHS deck with a $60 USB capture card.
The GV-D200 is just a D8 camcorder without the camcorder part, it will give the same quality as most other analog-capable Sony D8 camcorders.
Just want to say thanks for the comments here. I'm getting a lot of perspective I didn't have when trying to figure out the best way (within my limited budget) to get this done.
Guess what? I started to run short on time so started capturing analog. The camera started acting erratic where I had to give it a tap to get the picture right. A technique used intermittently in the past! Today it was really acting funny (although before it had just captured several tapes just fine). I said what the heck while I'm trying to get the picture to come back I gave it a good whack! For the heck of it I checked if anything was coming out of the s-video and it was! Now capturing first tape with s-video. Somethings loose in there I guess but hope it will hang on for a while longer. When I whacked it the light on the side display and top buttons came on. They had been dark before. Not very scientific but...! Also pretty sure the picture is looking better. Thanks for the replies.
Anything worth converting is, by very definition, worth archiving. There is no such thing as an "archival project" or "archival quality". The only people to utter such nonsense are those who are playing verbal gymnastics to defend using inferior tools and methods.
The term "good enough" is also almost always equally uttered by those who are dismissive of quality, again due to cheapness or laziness.
However, most people want quality -- even Walmart shoppers. Any time money exchanges hands, there is an expectation of quality.
For conversion DIYers, pride and self-worth comes into the equation as well. They want to pat themselves on the back for job well done. Otherwise they feel as if they wasted their time. It applies to both serious video hobbyists and casual one-time project seekers.
Perhaps then we'd get capture cards we actually need (with onboard line+frame TBCs that actually function, adjustable overscan masking, 4:2:2 MPEG compression, adjustable black level point, etc), and less Blackmagic and Canopus crap that actually further ruins quality.
People needs to quit falling prey to marketing and hype.
Yet, nobody using them cares. They get an acceptable print that looks good enough for them and that's it.
2. The gear I've noted are professional/broadcast equipment.
While one can argue the not-better-than-consumer-decks point, the build and design of such are typically better, to higher tolerances, and to last longer under heavy use.
This may not aid the home user except in that these decks are more likely to be owned by users that take care of their equipment, maintain them, and use them in conditions that are better than home decks (tv broadcast centers, climate controlled, racked, etc. vs smoke, humdity, no racks, dust, etc). The higher durability of the parts also makes it more likely they'll get a piece of equipment that still works as designed and hasn't fallen out of specs. Generally, the use at a commerical broadcast facility would kill consumer decks quick, but not broadcast quality equipment.
of course, one can just as easily argue to go to the pawn shop and salvation army stores, pickup decks that are $5-10, and simply use those. valid if you are simply trying to find one that works for the duration of a short project and not concerned with long-term use.
Commecial units are also more likely to ship with various TBC/NR/adjustment features not found on consumer decks that can help a transfer.
And tighter video output tolerances.
But again, throw the dice and make your own decision. Why do surgeons use $$$$ surgical blades and not $ x-acto knife blades?.... there is a difference...
There are two types of professional equipment, The ones used for a completely different purpose such as DV decks and DV capture devices, DV is dead now, It made sense back in the day where a lot of studios invested in DV gear instead of Betacam because it's cheaper, Sony sold them DV capture devices to migrate old contents to DV format so they don't have to keep maintaining old gear such as VHS, S-VHS, Betamax, U-matic....etc. What Sony didn't tell them is by doing so they are getting half of the chroma contents, Sony advertised DV as lossless while it is the lossyiest codec out there.
The second type of professional equipment is the ones that are advertised to work for the task but don't do well because its main purpose is analog HD component capture, It just happen to capture SD analog but it doesn't do a good job.
And no, High end consumer products do have the pro features such as S-Video output, LTBC, DNR, Frame buffer and image stabilization circuitry, Dolby circuitry for audio, The reason why forums like this don't recommend pro VCR's is because the high mileage on them. You cannot apply the surgeon analogy here because this is a used vintage market, Kind of like shopping for classic cars and looking for a self driving one.