How to Convert Hi8 to DVD

Written by darrin meyer
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How to Convert Hi8 to DVD
Transferring to DVD lets you reuse and re-record tapes instead of buying more. (Camcorder image by Edward Stephens from

Hi8mm was a popular recording format for camcorders before the introduction of the DVD and hard-drive cameras. While Hi8 cameras and tapes can still be effective for capturing high-quality video and audio, transferring those recordings to DVD can have a number of benefits, including creating a digital copy that isn't susceptible to the problems that can occur with tapes (breakage, mangled by tape heads, etc.) and the ability to play the DVD in portable and home players as well as DVD-ROM drives.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • DVD recorder or computer with video editing/burning software and DVD burner drive
  • Recordable DVDs
  • Video cables--camcorder to composite RCA A/V cable or IEEE1394/FireWire

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  1. 1

    Connect the A/V cable supplied with your camcorder from its output port on the camera to a composite RCA (red, yellow and white pronged) input on the DVD recorder. Connect the DVD recorder to the TV using connections available with both devices (i.e. HDMI, component or composite).

  2. 2

    Turn on both devices and set the camcorder to playback mode. Cue the tape to the desired starting point, rewinding or fast-forwarding if necessary. Turn on the TV and set it to the DVD recorder's input.

  3. 3

    Load a blank DVD into the recorder. Set any options available with your model, including formatting the disk and setting the recording mode.

  4. 4

    Press "Record" on the DVD recorder and "Play" on the camcorder to begin recording. Press "Stop" on both devices when you reach your chosen stopping point. Follow any onscreen prompts from the DVD recorder (if applicable with your model) to finalise the disc.

  1. 1

    Ensure that your computer has the necessary input to connect a camcorder. With Hi8 cameras, that will probably be an iLINK or IEEE1394/FireWire input; adaptors are available to allow the cable to connect from one type of input to the other.

  2. 2

    Open your chosen video editing/burning software program (Windows Movie Maker or comparable program). Turn on the camcorder, set it to playback mode and cue the tape to the desired starting point.

  3. 3

    Connect the cable from the camera's iLINK output to the computer's iLINK or FireWire input. The software should recognise the camera and begin the process if you have imported video previously; click "From Digital Video Camera" in the "Importing" menu if it does not.

  4. 4

    Press "Play" on the camcorder and click "Record" in the software's import window to begin importing the video. Click "Stop" when reaching the end point.

  5. 5

    Load a blank DVD into the computer's optical drive. Select the transferred file(s) and click "Publish Movie or "Burn to DVD", depending on the software, and follow the onscreen prompts to burn the file(s) to DVD.

Tips and warnings

  • Some newer DVD recorders also have a digital video input; use this for the highest quality transfer instead of composite RCA cables if available.
  • Click the "Help" option on your video editing software program for further operating instructions for that program.

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