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Hi-8 tape today

By Jakob Jelling

Hi-8 tape was the technology which followed 8mm format. Hi-8 and 8 mm video are both analog formats, but Hi-8 offers a better image quality than 8 mm. Hi-8 has a better image quality than 8mm due to the fact that it has a resolution of about 400 lines while the resolution of 8 mm is of about 140 lines.

After Hi-8 tapes, digital technologies brought mini DV tapes which came allowing consumers to enjoy of a 520 lines resolution. This way, since the appearance of digital formats, Hi-8 and its successor 8mm became less popular due to the lower resolution quality they offer.

Another important aspect to know regarding Hi-8 tapes and its successor 8 mm is that while Hi-8 is stereo, 8 mm is mono. But, depending on the camcorder and the Hi-8 tape type used, the outcome could be HIFI stereo or not. Using digital technologies, camcorder users do not have to worry about this problem since they all are supported by digital sound quality.

Some 8 mm and Hi-8 tapes can be used in digital technologies. For example, a dig8 camcorder would allow its owner to use a Hi-8 tape in it, with the only condition that this tape would last half of what it should, this way, a 90 minutes Hi-8 tape would equal to 45 minutes while used in a dig8 camcorder. But, unless there is a specific reason for it, it is not recommendable to use Hi-8 tapes with camcorders in which using a digital format is possible since these are much better.

It is becoming very usual to hear about people who have Hi-8 tapes which they can't view by using the camcorder in which the tape was originally recorded since that camcorder does not work anymore. But, they should know that some digital cameras would allow them to view their Hi-8 tapes, and even transform them into digital formats as well. This way, those who have Hi-8 tapes and wish to be able to view them with a new camcorder should know that it is possible and all they need to do is ask a professional or the salesperson at the camcorder store for advice.

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