Unfortunately, If you’re looking for an 8mm video cassette adapter to play your video 8, Hi-8 or Digital 8 tapes in your home VCR, there is no such thing. There is, however, a way to still play your tapes. What you’ll need is a camcorder or a video tape player than can play 8mm video tapes.
The Rise of the Camcorder
For their time, 8mm tapes such as Video8 and Hi-8 were great for recording day to day life such as your family events, soccer games, or your child’s first steps. These tapes were small enough to fit in a handheld camcorder, rather than a large, bulky shoulder-mounted camcorder which VHS tapes often required. Millions of consumers soon found the benefit of switching to the smaller sized tapes, as they offered similar recording times and even better quality picture than what VHS could offer. To counter this, the JVC company released the VHS-C tape (or compact VHS), which had the advantage of both being as small at the 8mm variety, and the capabilities to be used in an adapter to play on peoples VCRs.
Where is the 8mm Video Cassette Adapter?
This ended up being the one major downside to these Hi-8 and Video8 tapes. It was just not quite as simple to play the 8mm tapes back on your home TV as it was a VHS or VHS-C tape, as most homes were then equipped with VCRs for easily playing their VHS tape collections. The camcorders themselves, however, offered an easy hookup to most televisions via RCA cables, which allowed people to watch their footage on their TVs with little else to set up. Well, after a couple of decades, not many of us still have held onto the old 8mm video camcorder. Now, if you don’t still have your old camcorder, you have essentially lost a way to play or even to see what’s on your old 8mm tapes. When this happens, your whole collection of recordings are nearly be rendered useless unless you transfer the tapes to DVD or to your computer as digital video files.
You might then think to yourself, “Wait, isn’t there an 8mm video cassette adapter for these tapes that will let me watch them on my old VCR?”
Tips on Watching Your 8mm Tapes
Unfortunately, the answer is no because the tapes are simply too much of a different format and the technology is too different to be cross compatible. Just know that VCRs are only capable of reading VHS/VHS-C tapes. In today’s age, it can be a challenge to find out what’s on your old tapes, but here are a few ways to do it:
1. Find an old camcorder on eBay or craigslist that support the type of tapes you have. This will then allow you to hook the camcorder up to either your television (for viewing) or your computer (for capturing/editing)
2. Find a standalone deck that plays 8mm tapes. Please note that these are much more expensive than camcorders, but also allow additional dubbing and editing functionality.
3. If you’re unsure what kind of tapes you have, or can’t find a camcorder, you can always bring them to your local DVD Your Memories for our video to DVD transfer in San Diego, Irvine, Los Angeles or Denver. Plus, one of our video technicians can let you know which types of tapes you have, and also provide you some options for capturing or viewing your tapes.