LifeFlix & the 8mm format (Video8, Hi8 & Digital8)

Posted by Robert Sharp on

We originally developed LifeFlix in 2012 because we had about 100 old MiniDV tapes in a shoebox. Even though I've spent 25 years in the video technology industry it was still difficult to import these old tapes easily. I tried iMovie but it was cumbersome and frequently didn't work at all. 

Fast forward 8 years and we're still in the business of rescuing precious memories from old MiniDV tapes. However, along the way we realized that just as many, if not more people, are using LifeFlix to capture old 8mm video formats like Video8, Hi8 and Digital8. MiniDV was only around from 1995 to 2007 but the other 8mm formats for much longer.  

Video8 was introduced in 1984, Hi8 in 1989 and Digital8 in 1999. So from 1984 to 2007 - a twenty three year period - hundreds of millions of camcorders were shipped worldwide. This means there are billions of 8mm and MiniDV tapes out there, most of which are deteriorating and in need of being rescued! 

Thankfully all these 8mm video formats will play in a Digital8 camcorder. These camcorders have a Firewire port and can convert the analog 8mm formats (Video8 and Hi8) during realtime playback. If you don't have a Digital8 camcorder, you can also capture Video8 and Hi8 analog tapes using the "A/V -> DV OUT" function on the MiniDV camera. Just use the RCA ports on your Video8 or Hi8 camcorder and plug into your MiniDV camera then your Mac.

Next up, what to do about all those VHS tapes...


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