An adapter was available to convert Video 8, (also called 8mm) or Hi8 tapes to play in a VHS video recorder.
Video 8 and Hi8 are mechanically incompatible with VHS. There has never been a VHS adapter available for Video 8 or Hi8 camcorder tapes.
Why the confusion?
Most people can recall seeing adapters being available to play camcorder tapes – which is true but the adapters were specifically designed for VHS-C tapes rather than 8mm or Hi8.VHS-C (as seen in photo above) was the main competitor to Video 8. Likewise Super VHS-C competed directly with Hi8. Both VHS-C and SVHS-C contained the same type of tape as their full size counterparts. These COMPACT VHS tapes were designed from the ground up to be used with a mechanical adapter to allow them to be played back in a full size video cassette player.
VHS and VHS-C tape are both 12.7mm (half inch) wide. The entire transport mechanism and helical scanning head drum of a VHS video player is designed to accommodate 12.7mm wide tape. 8mm tapes are approximately 1/3rd narrower with much smaller spool reels. There really is no way to make 8mm work in a VHS machine.
Sony did make some VHS and Hi8 combination players with two slots and two complete deck mechanisms inside. These were expensive, they weren’t widely available and are rarely seen in the UK. Sony did produce Hi8 video recorders – some were designed to go under the TV and had a tuner, others were made for post production or portable use. They were high end machines and still command a high price in the second hand market.
Playing back Video 8 & Hi8
If you still have a camcorder that still works then you can connect it to your TV, VCR or DVD recorder to view or copy what’s on the tape. Some cameras had a built-in LCD screen which makes reviewing tapes convenient.
How we copy Video8 and Hi8
Our studio uses Sony Digital 8 (D8) players for all Video 8 and Hi8 tape playback. A limited number of Digital 8 models are backwards compatible with analogue tapes. Those that are compatible offer excellent conversion quality. Digital 8 machines also have a digital FireWire output for direct connection to our editing systems. Click here for more information about 8mm video formats.
Video 8 and Hi8 to digital transfer service
We convert most video formats to USB MP4 and DVD. Download our order form and price list by clicking the red graphic below.