The best way to convert 8mm tapes to DVD is by playing them back from your Video8 or Hi-8 camcorder to your digital video capture device.
What if your camcorder isn’t functioning?
You may have left your camcorder unused for a very long time so much so the heads have got dirty and show no improvement despite cleaning it. And you could not get the head replaced.
Yes, you can could use an 8mm video tape to digital video transfer service if one is available in your neighborhood.
That’s fine if you have a tape or two to convert to a digital video format.
What if you have dozens of tapes accumulated over the years?
It wouldn’t be economical to convert an 8mm video to a digital video format.
That said, there’s only one way to convert 8mm tapes to digital without a camcorder.
It’s through an 8mm video player.
This player is very much like a VHS player, only that it reads only 8mm video tape(s).
No, brand new 8mm video players aren’t available in the market after the 8mm video format fell out of popularity especially after the emergence of of mini-DV video and also disc-based camcorders.
You would have to shop for a used 8mm video player over eBay or Amazon to get your 8mm video tapes converted to digital.
The good news is, depending on the models you choose, they support the playback of Video8, Hi-8 and Digital8 tapes.
Here is a list of 8mm video tape players you can find over eBay or Amazon .
All of these models are NTSC types. They’re the perfect solution to transfer 8mm tapes to digital without a camcorder.
SONY EV-A50 ( EV-C3 ) Video8 8mm VCR Player
If you’re having only Video8 cassette tapes to be converted to digital, then you could opt for this player.
This player will not play Hi8 or Digital8 tapes.
You transfer video from your Video8 tape via the composite outputs at the rear end of the player.
You’ve one video and one audio output. So, basically it outputs mono sound and not stereo.
Check out this video to get a feel of the Sony EV-A50 8mm player.
To purchase this model head to Amazon
Sony EVO-220 NTSC Hi8 Video8 8mm Video Cassette Player Recorder
If you’ve the budget, go for this Sony Video Walkman which appeared around year 2000.
This player will not play Digital 8 tapes and supports only Hi8 and Video 8 playback.
So, if you have both Hi8 and Video8 tapes to convert to a digital video format, check out this model.
This 8mm video player has full composite outputs – one for video and two for audio,
Go for this model if sound is a concern when converting Video8 tapes.
Check out the Sony EVO-220 user manual for the full specs and if you wish to explore this model further.
SONY GV-D200 Digital8 Hi8 Video8 8mm NTSC Player Recorder
This 8mm video player-recorder will handle the playback of all three 8mm formats Video8, Hi8 and Digital8 formats.
Get this player f you’ve a mix of Video8, Hi8 and Digital8 8mm video tapes.
The good thing about this player-recorder deck is it has S-Video output apart from composite (RCA) output.
What steals the show is IEEE1394 or Firewire output.
If you computer comes with a Firewire port then you would not have to go through the hassle of buying a video capture card.
You could connect a Firewire cable directly from the player to your computer and import the contents of your 8mm video tape into your computer via your video editing program.
Once the video is in your computer in the digital form, you may proceed to edit it and even burn it to a DVD.
You can also use this Digital8 Video Walkman outdoors without AC supply, powering it with an InfoLITHIUM” battery pack (L series) which is an optional purchase.
To explore the player’s specs further, download the Sony GV D200 user manual.
Also check out a review of SONY GV-D200
8mm video players may have steep prices owing to scarcity. However, if you wish to easily convert your 8mm tapes to digital without a camcorder and preserve precious memories, price shouldn’t be an issue.
Also think of the convenience of directly playing your 8mm tapes to TV just like you would with a VHS VCR.