Recommendation for device to enable converting Hi8 tapes to digital

Hello friends. I need to convert 30 or so Hi-8 tapes to digital. I did this many (many) years ago but ended with a bunch of video out of sync with audio.

I want to try again.

I’m assuming I need a converter that sits between my old video camera and my Mac. Does anyone have experience and/or recommendations on devices to use?

This older discussion has some options, but it is a bit dated.

thanks in advance – jay

So just went through this with my father in-law that had a bazillion camcorder tapes that we wanted to preserve. I purchased a converter from Amazon with decent cred but results were mixed. The whole process was a royal PITA and when faced with it again will send off regardless of cost.

I just went through this with MiniDV tapes and it was my own personal vietnam.

Its all antiquated analog tech so its not like you just go dongle on dongle on dongle – you need hardware but any place you look is selling only “for parts” non operational hardware.

Kodak will do it but if you have a lot to convert and dont know jus the exact timecodes you want its really expensive, I’m talking not even in the price range where they give you an estimate they just tell you to contact for quote and then no matter what they quote you a number so asinine uppercase numbers need to be invented.

Be persistent and patient. I visited flea markets, thrift stores, anytime I was traveling I kept a close eye on local used listings. I bought a couple used cameras that had a chance to get the job done but one couldnt export audio and the other ate every tape I gave it.

Finally aftre about a year and a half one of my friends who teaches high school said they were basically giving away stuff they had sitting in the A/V closet to make room for something else and I ended up going down and found a pro-level tape deck that was meant to tranfer them to DVD but I was able to macgyver it to output digitally. I WAS SO HAPPY.

Unfortunately I ran into another issue of only being able to export using old firewire interface that hasnt been on a Mac since 2007. I had to buy an old iMac and hunt down the female to male firewire cord but that wasn’t as difficult to locate at this point.

I had over 40 tapes to go through and it ended up being a waste of time because after spending 4 days to slowly go through 4 of them it looked like there wasnt any amazing footage like I was expecting – just a lot of me and by teenage friends recording total cringefests that should never have been recorded in the first place. We didn’t make art or magic on tape – WE MADE EVIDENCE.

I burned every tape in a barrel fire by the train tracks 2 nights later.

I will never take The Digital Age for granted again. i knew a kid growing up who thought the people who were on the Titanic were born on it and never left it their entire lives because the movie he would always watch about it was missing the entire beginning and an entire tape 1 of a 2 tape VHS set and he never knew.

Streaming has its issues but anytime we act extra about paying $10 a month for entire videostores lets not forget we used to be robbed and pay a $10 shakedown fee if we returned a single movie a minute late and forgot to rewind.

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As a surprise for last Christmas, I began to research this online. How to convert my parent’s old Hi-8 tapes to digital. After a few posts on this forum, some sleuthing online, I came to realize that many of the conversion kits you get online are junk. Mixed results, lots of settings and toggles, and the fact they’re digital means they take hours to convert. The gear that did get good reviews was super expensive. There are no short cuts.

I got a few good recommendations from this forum on places that do the conversion for you, but I live in Canada so I had to find something closer to home. I ended up using Precision Transfers and I’ve been really happy with the results. There was one tape that they converted which didn’t have any audio on it. I emailed them and they had a new file to me in a day or two. They were super friendly and did a good job.

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Thanks all for the feedback… Tiptoeing into this…

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WOW, now that’s a severe response :rofl:

There’s a service called Legacy Box, I think, that may be helpful. Basically, it boils down to what are real memories to keep and pitch the rest.