Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Hi-8 to DVD Looking for best camera as player deck › To the best of my knowledg
To the best of my knowledge, as long as you recorded a PCM stereo track, that’s what you Digital8 camcorder plays back. I believe the Digital8 format only reads the PCM stereo tracks and cannot read the AFI HiFi soundtrack since they are in different locations. But I was unable to locate any information on the signal layout of the Hi8 tape. On VHS decks, the HiFi stereo signal is interspaced between the video signal tracks laid down by the record drum. While the normal audio track ran along the bottom edge of the tape and was read by a separate set of audio heads. Something similar could be done on the Hi8 tape, although I don’t know how the AFI track could be HiFi stereo that way.
Generally, if a camcorder can select between the tracks it will be in the menu as an option. But on the assorted Hi8 and Digital8 camcorders I’ve owned, I’ve never seen an option for AFI audio. The audio format for Digital8 is PCM, so it is most reasonable to assume you will get the PCM signal from your Hi8 tapes.
By the way, the DCR-460 was advertised on Amazon for used, like-new, at around $350. I had a TRV-460 and used it to death, so I can recommend it highly. Both for converting 8mm and Hi8 recordings for Firewire capture and for the AD conversion from the RCA or S-video inputs. And by the way, the Digital8 format records an identical signal to what miniDV camcorders record, but Hi8 tapes are frequently cheaper than miniDV tapes. So you can use the Digital8 camcorder for recording even more memories for posterity.
Good luck with your transfers and don’t forget about pawn shops, they may have a camcorder they want to sell cheap.