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Tape 8mm?

shippocaio's picture
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/12/2008 - 7:24pm

Hey guys!

My parents (yes! I am a teenager!) had a 8mm camcorder (Many, many years ago!) and now they have a lot of 8mm tapes with precious and adorable memories... So, as i am the video maker of the family, (i think that) is my responsability to recover these memories!

I have a HP Media Center m8034n with a yellow, white, and red (i dont remember the name of that cable) input, so I was thinking that maybe i could use this input to somehow transfer the videos in 8mm to my PC and then, after some editing, burn a DVD with the videos!

Just a small detail: I dont have any idea how to do this, and i need help from you guys!

PLEASE, i really dont want my family spending hundreds and hundreds of bucks only to put some old videos into DVDs....

So, if yous guys have any info about this, i would be really thankful!

P.S.: My parents still have the 8mm camcorder (i am shocked, too), so if i need the camcorder to transfer the video to my PC, its ok.

P.S.S: I really dont know how to use the yellow, white, and red input, so if you guys know how to use it (like to connect a DVD player to my PC, or something like that...) i would be really glad if you could teach me how to use it...i dont have a software or anything like it, but i do have the Windows Media Center (of windows vista) if it can help...

I know that i probally wrote a lot of idiot things, but i am really new into this movie making thing.... :)

Thanks for all the help,

Caio


FallingStarFilms's picture
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 04/09/2008 - 12:01am

Hey!

This should be fairly easy - I hope. You should be able to connect the camera to the yellow, red and white inputs (RCA connectors) with the transfer cable that came with the camera. If you don't have this cable, Radio Shack (or some other store) should be able to hook you up with one. Just plug the camera into the computer and then turn on the camera in the VCR or VTR mode. If the camera has firewire (IEEE 1394 connection) and the computer does too, this would be the perferred way, but the RCA input will work as well.

After you turn on the camera, Hopefully Vista will recognize the camera and open a dialog box for you to choose the software you want to edit with. If you don't have software installed, you will most likely have the free Windows Movie Maker software that usually comes with windows. That will be sufficient to transfer and edit and with Vista, burn to DVD. Find the option to capture video and you will probably have to press play on the camera's VCR controls to capture. IF you were using firewire, the camera's Play, Stop, etc can be controlled through the software.

Get those memories off the old tape as the will degrade over time.

Good Luck,

Trey


FallingStarFilms's picture
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 04/09/2008 - 12:01am

Also, I almost forgot...well I did forget obviously, the transfer cable may also be USB. That would work like the firewire. What kind of camera is it? I could better give you specifics if you have the make and model number.

Thanks,

Trey


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

first check f the camera has a firewire connection, if it does and your pc does.....peice of cake, add the right cable an go.

if not, try connecting the cable that came with the 8mm camcorder to the camcorder (should have a headphone like jack on one end and red, yellow, white rca jacks on the other) and plug red to red, white to white, yellow to yellow, on the rca jacks on your pc.

also when you get that sorted, check to see if your old camera does pass thru... connect those r,w,y rca cables to a dvd players out jacks and plug the firewire into your pc, and see if you can record the video signal from the dvd player to your pc,, very useful function if it works, I use my old sony for just that purpose.


shippocaio's picture
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/12/2008 - 7:24pm

I really dont know exacty the model of the camera, because it is in brazil (yes! I am brazilian..)...., but i will bring the camera back this summer so i can move the burn the videos into dvds!!!

Thanks for all the help!

P.S: The camera is from the 80s... so i dont think it has a firewire connection!


BarefootMedia's picture
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 01/13/2007 - 8:13pm

There is no doubt your camera will not have a Firewire port; Firewire was not invented until after 8mm was phased out. On the other hand, when you spoke of your connector, you didn't mention the model or make, but an Analogue-to-Digital (AD) converter would come with software to make capturing the video simple & straightforward. I sounds like you already have the burning to DVD part down, so I want to move on to making the capture process work well.

You describe your 8mm videos as really old. Really old translates to loose oxide on the tapes. You must take precautions to prevent your 8mm camcorder from clogging the heads & to stop playing back the tapes. The first thing you need to do is retension the video tape before attempting to play it back. Retensioning a tape consists of FF to the end and RW back to the start. It will help the tape play back smoothly and get much of the loose oxide off the tape itself. But old tapes will still lose much more oxide than even cheap new tapes. So you really want to keep the scanning forward or back and pausing to a minimum.

You will also want to have an 8mm/Hi8 tape head cleaner to run for a few seconds every three to five tapes played back in the camcorder. You want to sweep the oxide buildup off before it gets packed in and needs special cleaning, so don't wait till the image quality goes down before running the tape through. (BTW this is a horrible thing to do when you don't have to, so use the tape often only when you are trying to archive video on old tapes.)

Hope this helps. You're gonna love the video from way back when, and your folks will love the DVD's even more.


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

"There is no doubt your camera will not have a Firewire port; Firewire was not invented until after 8mm was phased out."

http://www.videomaker.com/article/9491/

my sony dcr-trv350 I bought for $3.00 at a yard sale gets used daily for it's video pass through, and webcam abilities.

it could (if the tape mechanism wasn't damaged) transfer 8mm to dv through the firewire port!

under studio lights, recording straight to hd, gives ample quality for podcast.


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

"There is no doubt your camera will not have a Firewire port; Firewire was not invented until after 8mm was phased out."

http://www.videomaker.com/article/9491/

my sony dcr-trv350 I bought for $3.00 at a yard sale gets used daily for it's video pass through, and webcam abilities. it could (if the tape mechanism wasn't damaged) transfer 8mm to dv through the firewire port! under studio lights, recording straight to hd, gives ample quality for podcast.

But your camera (and the ones Eric spoke of in the article) are Digital - Any camera from the 80's would be analog and would need something to convert the analog signal from the composite video and audio to a digital equivalent in order to edit or burn to DVD.

As for software, Sony has their Vegas Movie Studio package for <$100 and has a 30 day fully functional free trial available - why not try that.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


BarefootMedia's picture
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 01/13/2007 - 8:13pm

DOn, I'm sorry you don't know the difference between a Digital8 machine and an analogue tape machine. The first clue to the difference is if it has a Firewire port. Analogue signals cannot move through a digital gateway and so on analogue machines they are not provided. Now the TRV350 is advertised as "backward compatible" with analogue tapes. That still doesn't make it an analogue machine.

So to summarize, you do not have an analogue 8mm or Hi8 video camcorder. As I recall, the only format that deck can record is Digital8 (although it can play back other formats.) So if our fellow wanted to spend a few hundred dollars to buy a Digital8 camcorder (with the analogue playback function) there would be a Firewire port. But as it is, all of our posters yammering on about Firewire or USB ports do not know anything about the actual question, the problem or any clue as to how it needs to be solved. My guess is that they are but children and can't stop themselves from being stupid in public.

So while I'm sure you think you know how video operates, your responses prove otherwise. So if you don't know, perhaps a bit of research might help. But all you are doing now is confusing the people who do have questions. And deserve accurate assistance.


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

"I was thinking that maybe i could use this input to somehow transfer the videos in 8mm to my PC and then, after some editing, burn a DVD with the videos!

Just a small detail: I dont have any idea how to do this, and i need help from you guys!"

was in fact the original posters problem.

an inexpensive, used camera like the trv-350, will not only play those 8mm analogue tapes, it will pass them through to his computer for capture. Whether the camera will send the signal through the firewire port or the av cable is moot. It is a viable solution to the problem, and cost less than $50.00 and as little as $3.00, depending on where he finds one. He didn't describe a camera model. the first suggestion didn't work for him for any reason, (like the camcorder is broken, lost or unavailable) my sugesstion was a viable alternative.

"But as it is, all of our posters yammering on about Firewire or USB ports do not know anything about the actual question, the problem or any clue as to how it needs to be solved. My guess is that they are but children and can't stop themselves from being stupid in public.

So while I'm sure you think you know how video operates, your responses prove otherwise."

Name calling and put downs are always show up when logic and reason fail.

All advice given/found on the web needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Most people who resort to name calling and insults on the web need to be taken less seriously, as they are often the types that wouldn't say things like that to your face.


BarefootMedia's picture
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 01/13/2007 - 8:13pm

Well since you never mentioned that you hadn't read the part about the camcorder being available & okay, it never occurred to me that you were describing an alternative to the question you quoted him asking. "to use this input to somehow transfer" certainly implies that our young gentleman wants to use what would be analogue video inputs, if I believed his description. So exactly how buying a cheap camcorder to replace the one he can already use is unclear. To then poorly describe the process of using a camcorder (with the proper feature) as an analogue to digital converter in place of the analogue to digital converter already installed on his computer simply didn't make sense at all. Had you thought to preface your advice with, "If you can't get either the camcorder or the computer to work for you, . . . " then some of what you said could have applied to the solution.

I'm guessing the fact that he has a media edition computer let's us conclude he has an IEEE 1394 and a USB 2.0 port. But once again, I fail to see how discussing details irrelevant to his actual concerns is supposed to help. From all appearances, our young friend wants to know if he can use the AV inputs on his computer to capture the 8mm analogue videotapes. Oh, and he can use the camcorder to playback if he would need to. How does any of that turn into discussions of hooking up modern digital camcorders? By someone giving advice when they don't know what they are doing. Perhaps they are lucky enough to know how to get their own work done. But they are hindered by a difficulty with literacy. What they actually know is lost by an inability to express it. Unfortunately, what they actually write doesn't apply to the task at hand. So it is important for someone who might already be confused to know if he's getting irrelevant advice. He can't tell the difference. It is up to us to provide accurate & relevant advice.

So perhaps I am reading between the lines, but I think our "kid" already knows how to go about the process. He is just seeking confirmation because he's unfamiliar with the nomenclature. Just as it appears he already knew how to do color matching of the AV out cable of his parent's 8mm camcorder to the inputs on his computer, he's nearly set to capture digital files for making DVD's. In part it is a question of what does he use to capture the video? Since he has the video connected through AV inputs on the computer, I'm sure that HP provided a way to use it. The first thing I might try is using the pre-installed Windows Movie Maker to capture the video and/or do the simple editing he describes. Just a wild guess, but I think his computer might have some option to capture video through the AV input installed on the computer. Looking up "video, input" in the index of his user manual (generally an html:document on the hard drive) should provide some facts on how his system works.

Since our friend here wanted to save money, I made sure my suggestions were of minimal cost and still achieved the desired results. Using what he already has available, he doesn't need anything else. Discussions of using some other method of digital capture are totally irrelevant to our friend. Bringing up irrelevant information is the way spin doctors & fools operate, I want nothing to do with it. I want to provide useful advice, along with the reasoning behind it. And responses that do neither need to be dismissed for being irrelevant. It doesn't much matter if the advice is really accurate when it doesn't actually apply. I don't care about spark plug gaps when I'm relighting the water heater.

shippocaio appears to already have the tools he needs. He just needs advice about how to properly use them. All the talk about other devices he can connect via an IEEE 1394 port is just confusing. You don't appear to know you are describing how to use a variety of Analogue to Digital Converters, possibly because you're not sure what an Analogue to Digital Converter is. Because you do seem to miss the point, over & over, that he already has an Analogue to Digital Converter on his HP computer. You could have suggested he connect some other device to the AV inputs, DVD player, VCR or a game, and try to capture that video. If it works, he will have no trouble doing the same thing with his parents old 8mm camcorder. If it doesn't work, tell us what you're doing so we can figure out your actual problem.

But when he is doing the digital captures from old tape, care has to be taken to keep the video heads clean.

I do apologize for ranting a bit about useless & misleading advice. We are the individuals responsible for seeing our novices are aided by the forum postings and not confused by them. I take that responsibility very seriously. So you can rely on what I have to say, I also explain the logic behind my advice. So I take a while to do it, you are welcome to argue against my logic all you want. Just be prepared to explain the logic behind your claims. After all, discussion encourages learning.


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

You said:

"There is no doubt your camera will not have a Firewire port; Firewire was not invented until after 8mm was phased out. On the other hand, when you spoke of your connector, you didn't mention the model or make, but an Analogue-to-Digital (AD) converter would come with software to make capturing the video simple & straightforward. I sounds like you already have the burning to DVD part down, so I want to move on to making the capture process work well."

I politely, pointed out the fact that you were TOTALLY WRONG.

There was a cheap means readily available, that would take both analogue and digital 8mm tapes.

I asked him "If" several times, on the outside chance that the post might help him (or others reading the post with similar problems)

you responded with:

"But as it is, all of our posters yammering on about Firewire or USB ports do not know anything about the actual question, the problem or any clue as to how it needs to be solved. My guess is that they are but children and can't stop themselves from being stupid in public.

So while I'm sure you think you know how video operates, your responses prove otherwise."

and now:

"I do apologize for ranting a bit about useless & misleading advice. We are the individuals responsible for seeing our novices are aided by the forum postings and not confused by them. I take that responsibility very seriously. So you can rely on what I have to say, I also explain the logic behind my advice. So I take a while to do it, you are welcome to argue against my logic all you want. Just be prepared to explain the logic behind your claims. After all, discussion encourages learning."

I think it's safe to say we all learned something about you. Would've reflected better on you if you had said sorry for the name calling. It was un-called for, and would certianly be bad for business, if any of your potential customers read this thread.


mirialmeida's picture
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 07/16/2008 - 10:01am

hi everyone, i need help from you. I have an old 8mm camcorder (HITACHI) and i want to transfer the videos saved on the tape to my computer, but the problem is that I only have two RCA cables: the white and the red ones, the yellow one is missing. And my computer has no input to these connectors, and i think the camera has a mechanical problem, maybe because it was unused for afew years (the camera is from 1997, I guess...) - when I turn off the cam, it ejects the tape automatically;on the cam mode, when i want to record, it says on the screen NO TAPE because the tape isout; on the video mode, when i want to see my videos, it happens the same thing (tell me, is it normal?!?). Man,I just can'tinsert the tape again, and it's driving me crazy!

So my question isHOW canI get the videos on the tape, canI usea DVD player to capture it? Should I put some cleaning tape as you were saying before? Where can I get the yellow cable, is it available somewhere?

Thank you so much for your help, I'll be thankful.

Miriam


BarefootMedia's picture
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 01/13/2007 - 8:13pm

There is nothing special about the yellow cable. You can use any RCA to RCA cable to connect the camcorder. The question is, what are you planning on connecting to? Computers are unable to use analogue video. You have to have some device that converts analogue signals into digital signals, an analogue to digital converter a.k.a. as a digitizer. There are DVD players that let you capture analogue video & put it on a DVD. But they are a bit expensive and not very common. Select Sony Digital8 camcorders can play an 8mm or Hi8 recording and send the signal to your computer via Firewire (also known as ILink or the IEEE 1394 port.) But I'd guess you don't already have the port since the majority of computers don't include it. Before we can do more for you, we'll need to know about this kind of stuff.

As have as the tape goes, what you are describing sounds a lot like an end of tape problem. Videotape devices all sense the end (or beginning) of a videotape the same way. Both ends of the videotape have a clear leader. But if the leader is exposed, or very close to being exposed, the camcorder cannot pull the tape out of the cassette. So to fix the problem, you have to wind the tape 3 or 4 revolutions one way or the other. But to move the tape, you have to release the tape lock. So turn the tape upside down. There are two tape spools and two holes on the bottom of the tape. One round hole and one square hole. At the back of the square hole is a little plastic tab, push the tab back and you will be able to turn the tape spools. You want to choose the spool with the least tape on it and rotate it to pull tape from the other spool onto the empty spool. If the tape is at the beginning, you need to turn the take-up spool counter clockwise. If the tape is at the very end, turn the supply spool clockwise. The directions are based on the tape lying on its top with the holes exposed. Be sure to keep the plastic tab held back so the spools will turn. And you must be very careful to only turn the tape spools the directions I described. Turn either of them the wrong way and you'll jam the tape into the cassette.

Hopefully this will get the tape working. You might want to try a new tape in the camcorder, to figure out if the problem is with the tape or the camcorder. Let us know how it goes & we can start from there.

Good luck, I'm looking forward to hearing how this goes.