Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Video 8 format

Did anyone get into the Video 8 format? This is probably one of thr home video formats I know least about. I found a sealed movie on this format at a local thrift store & couldn't pass it up for a $1. Just curious if anyone was an adopter of the format, their experiences with it, if they still own anything to do with the format etc.

Pinnacle Studio 8.0 Video Editing with CD/DVD Authoring

Pinnacle Studio 8.0 Video Editing with CD/DVD Authoring

Its yet another one of Sony's stupid inventions, from back when they did not work together with others to widely spread the technology they came up with. Not widely spread as a homevideo format, since Sony made sure, that they where the only ones who had equipment who could play and record on these tapes.

In the beginning, there was not even a machine who could play these tapes. People where stuck by using a Video8 homevideo camera to play and record on the tapes.

It was not until the late 90s machines actually turned up, who was able to play both the Video8 and Hi8 tapes from Sony, but that was ALL they could play, no standard tapes supported what so ever. They where by the majority mostly considered as machines you only purchased if you where working with video editing, like at a tv-station or university, since these machines also was pretty expensive. Two such models where the EV-S2000E and EV-S9000E.

So for home entertainment purposes like the VHS tape, it was VERY unsuccessful.

Video8 is an evolution of the Sony color-under recording technology that began with U-matic in 1971. A decade later Sony took advantage of the latest doped tape formulations to cut tape width in 2/3rds to ~1/2" (12mm) from ~3/4" (19mm). Less than a decade after that, in response to VHS-C camcorders, Sony took advantage of the latest metal particle tape formulations to cut tape width in 2/3rds, from 12mm to 8mm.

Video8 wasn't a very popular format. Hi8 was more popular, but was soon eclipsed by the DV digital video recording format. Digital8 was the last hurrah for the Video8-style cassette, and used the same DV recording format as the original DV cassettes.

Sony's 8mm analog videotape products were originally intended for home use, as with Betamax and U-matic before. Because Sony used the same modulation frequencies over the years, this allowed direct dubbing of modulated off-the-tape signals between decks, resulting in improved quality. Because of this handy feature, industrial Hi8 decks with with dub jacks and RS-422 control interfaces replaced U-matic in shops with overflowing tape libraries. A new Hi8 deck can cost over $6,000US even today.

IIRC a couple of enterprising companies used 8mm video tape for digital audio recorders to compete with the embattled DAT format. Using 8mm tape vs the 4mm DAT tape reduced dropouts.

As far as USING it? Nah, I was into using S-(Super)-VHS as a home-movie acquisition format. But I remember READING ABOUT Video 8 and this is what I remember reading about it: Video 8 provided 240-260-line VHS quality in a smaller-than-VHS cassette for convenience and a small, palm-sized camcorder.

I grabbed a almost-new Sony EV-C100 hifi/HI8 deck, no remote, at Goodwill a few years ago for $10 (that's what they do with expensive stuff that they have no idea what it is) with a tape of "Footloose" in it. It works great, but just sits there collecting dust. But I got such a good deal on an almost $1200-$1500 machine that I don't dare get rid of it, since somebody may need a 8mm tape transferred to disk, or something.

Basically, I pretty much missed 8 in its heyday. VHS was just about everywhere (still is, sort of), and that was what I used.

I haven't a lot with DVD-Video either, though the combination of DVD Shrink and Imgburn has extended its usefulness greatly.

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