In order to transfer analogue video 8 tapes to your computer, you will need special video transfer hardware. This is true whether you're transferring the video from your analogue video camera or video 8 VCR. However, the methods of transferring the video 8 tape to your hard drive are different if your camera or VCR are digital. Digital video can usually be fed directly into your computer by USB or FireWire without any additional hardware.
Check your computer to see if you already have a video capture card. Click "Start," "Control Panel," "Printers and Other Hardware," then "System." Click the "Hardware" tab. Click "Device Manager." Click "Sound, Video and Game Controllers." If there is no video capture device in the list, visit your local electronics store to purchase one. Check the specifications and system requirements on the device to ensure that it will transfer your tapes properly.
Install the device on your computer. Attach the RCA cables from your video 8 camera or VCR to the device. Install any software that came with the device.
Open the video capture software that came with your device. Insert the tape into your camera or VCR. Rewind the tape to a point just ahead of where you want to start the transfer. Press "Play." Check the computer monitor to ensure that the video and audio are registering properly. Adjust the video and audio levels if necessary. Then, start the recording process in your video capture software.
Install video capture software on your computer. If you prefer not to purchase software, you may use a free software program, such as Windows Movie Maker, to capture the video.
Insert the digital video 8 tape into your camera or VCR. Rewind the tape to the desired point. Attach the device to your computer with a USB or FireWire cable. For best results, use USB 2.0 or FireWire 800, which will transfer the video at faster speeds than USB 1.0 and FireWire 400.
Start the video capture software. Press "Play" on your video camera or VCR. Ensure that the video and audio playback is functioning and make any necessary adjustments to the software settings. Begin the record process in the software window.
If you're transferring your tapes for playback on your computer, choose settings for the best possible playback quality. If you're transferring the video for the web, choose an encoding method and settings that reduce the file size without degrading the quality of the video. You may need to experiment with the settings a few times before you get optimal results.