I have a Sony Hi8 CCD TR707E camcorder, not used since 2005.
Recently got the camcorder out for first time in 15 years to attempt to transfer some Hi8 Cassettes (all not played since 2005) to digital format.
Last time used the camcorder and tapes 15 years ago everything played fine.
Now I am finding none will play properly in this camcorder. All just appear through the viewfinder as rolling bars over the picture (i.e. like very severe "tracking" issue).
I attempted to record some new video on the camcorder onto a sealed unused Hi 8 cassette (admittedly the cassette had been stored for 15 years) - this recording also only plays back as rolling horizontal lines etc. I have tried obvious things like fast forwarding and rewinding cassettes several times in case tape had become stacked. Cleaned heads on camcorder. Cassettes had been stored carefully in a cabinet with other media such as CDs, DVDs, audio cassettes etc and not left anywhere near anything magnetic such as speakers.
I am trying to ascertain whether this is a case of faulty camcorder or damaged cassettes (I have approx 20 cassettes and pretty much same result on all - can't get any to play properly)
I am thinking of doing one of the following:-
1) sending one cassette to a video restoration company and see what their findings are
2) getting a second hand Hi8 camcorder of exact same model
3) getting a second hand Digital 8 camcorder as I have heard they have ability to correct "tracking" errors
Any advice on best path to take here?
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Last edited by gary71; 10th Jul 2020 at 11:41.
It seems like your camcorder has some surface mounted capacitors failure, The camcorder don't just loose alignment on its own and even if it does it should playback its own recordings fine.
Any idea what would be my best solution to play /transfer my old cassettes?
Try to get same model Hi8 camcorder in good working order?
or would any model hi8 camcorder in good working order do the job?
Or, get hold of a Digital 8 camcorder ?
It depends on how you want to capture your tapes, If lossless any Hi8 or D8 camcorder will do just fine as long as it is built in TBC/DNR, check manual before you buy. If capturing to lossy DV then get a D8 camcorder and capture with firewire/iLink using ScenelizerLive app, but then you will endup with an ancient codec that you have to convert to a modern codec for file playback compatibility and that's a double loss.
My main concern was that by using another Hi8 camcorder other than the one the cassettes were recorded on, could I experience alignment issues between the machines?
Presumably D8 with TBC/DNR would overcome that?
It's a myth, Unless the camcorder that recorded the tapes was miss aligned you might be lucky with some camcorders over others but if it was recorded on perfectly working camcorder then it doesn't matter if you play it back on Hi8 or D8 camcorder.