I think I already have the answer. Bought an RCA PRO854 camcorder on Ebay. It was listed as Hi8. Wanted it to see our wedding videos which were recorded in Hi8 format. Inserted tape....not getting any image on playback (however seller mistakenly left a regular 8mm tape inside and it plays videos of his kids just fine). I'm guessing this camcorder only plays regular 8mm? Does this mean I will be buying ANOTHER camcorder? Went on several websites and it's listed as 8mm on some....Hi8 on others. I assume there is a major difference between the two formats (heck...I didn't know). All I know is that it won't play the wedding tapes. Thanks!
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You can get videos from this camera, or any analogue video source, into a computer, but you need more than just a cable. You have to play them into an analogue video interface port. These are available as expansion slot cards for a desktop PC, or as a USB plug-in interface (which is what you need for a laptop). The interface will come with drivers and probably software to digitise the video input and record it to a file. Lots of third party video editing software will also be able to accept the input from this kind of port. You don't need any "driver" related to the camera, it is just a video signal source. The connecting leads will be standard RCA signal plugs, like the ones you use to connect to a TV or VHS recorder. You probably already have a lead for this.
The only way to do that is to play it in a device that plays Hi8 tapes and somehow converts it to a digital signal (likely through firewire as DV), then capture it to your computer just like a digital camcorder.
There are several ways: 1. Buy a device (like a camera) that plays it, output through RCA cables to your other camera or tape deck that is digital through the line in, and then just record that. (Alternatively, you could put that signal into a DVD-R machine and record onto a DVD, then just copy the files off the DVD, if you don't have a way to capture DV through firewire.) 2. Buy a device that plays Digital8 (same tapes, but miniDV FORMAT) and output directly from the tape through firewire. This means you must buy a SONY (only brand that made [now discontinued] Digital8) camcorder or deck [if decks were made, though those are usually expensive].
So, the simple answer: get a Digital8 camera and capture, or get another digital camcorder and a Hi8 camcorder and play through the digital one into the computer.
Buying a Sony Handycam (OLDER model) will be your easiest option, and probably possible on ebay, etc., for $100-$200.
Short of this, you could look to a friend or a professional solution for just getting the tape copied (like VHS->DVD services exist, there is probably some place you can mail your tape to).
EDIT: I should add: You included "8mm" in your title-- that is a bit confusing. 8mm refers to a few formats. One is film (obviously not what you're referring to), but then there is the older "8mm" tape format; it's like Hi8, but I believe it's actually not the same tape-- unlike Digital8 and Hi8which share a physical medium. I don't think you can get an 8mm -> Digital device, so you'd need to go through the RCA cables, as described above. [And though Hi8 is actually 8mm in width, it's not quite the same as the other "8mm" format... for whatever odd reason someone decided.... ] However, I suspect you ARE actually working with Hi8, so this shouldn't be a problem.
Try hooking up your sony handycam to a different monitor or tv to make sure it is putting out a good video signal using an S-Video cable. Then once you know your cords are good and you have a good video signal, hook it back up to the RCA LCD unit. If it is still not working make sure that the RCA LCD is set to receive the Hi8 signal via the S-Video cable. There may be a switch or menu setting on your RCA LCD to accept the Hi8 signal or also refered to as S- Video.
If you're pretty sure the camera is just dead and have already resigned yourself to buying a new one you could just pry the door off and get your wedding tape out. There are lots of places that can transfer it to VHS or DVD for a small fee. On another note, I have a camera just like it, have lost the AV cable and can't seem to find a replacement online. Care to sell me yours? If so send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! Staci
you just need to match up the colors of the cables on both the camera and the DVD Player. Also, make sure that you plug the cables into an input on the DVD Player, and that The DVD player is tuned to that input usually accesed before channel 3 or by pressing input on the remote