Hi-8 Competing with S-VHS
When Hi-8 was released, it was intended to increase the lines of resolution on Video8 tapes and compete directly with the new S-VHS format that came out in 1987. Both Hi-8 and S-VHS offered 400 lines of resolution as an intended major video evolution in the late 1980s. That's because those lines of resolution rivaled TV broadcast signals and were on par with a laserdisc.
The problem with Hi-8 (and S-VHS) was the lack of color quality. This eventually led to a decline in sales for S-VHS, despite still barely surviving to this day. Hi-8, however, still sold well up until it finally received an improvement with Digital 8 in the late 1990s.
Digital 8 at the Cusp of the Digital Era
Ultimately, MiniDV (as a digital videocassette) managed to become more of a standard up until recently when DVD camcorders started becoming the norm. That was perhaps because there was a misconception of Digital8 being inferior to MiniDV.
By the mid 2000s, it became impossible to find either Hi8 or Digital8 tapes. You might be able to find them in specialty stores today, though the demand is very small. This doesn't mean you may not have a bevy of those tapes stacked away that hold recordings of countless personal events. You need to get those transferred to a digital source before deterioration sets in.
Convert Video to DVD
Contact us if you have any questions about your old tape formats, our transfer process, or to ask about our other, photographic services.
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BetaMax Video Tapes: the Format That Could Have Been Without VHS
U-matic Video Tapes: A Missed Chance for Consumers Before Beta and VHS
S-VHS Tapes History & Conversion: The VHS Improvement That Never Really Took Off
VHS-C Video Tapes: A Smaller Version of VHS
Hi8 & Digital 8 Video Tapes: Improved Clarity at the Cusp of the Digital Era
Video8 Tapes: The Last Video Format Before the Digital Era