Category Archives: digital8

Digital8 – Digital Obsolescence

I suspect like many people I have numerous boxes of camcorder video tapes acquired over the years, some are the older 8mm video format and the later ones being Digital 8mm. Many of the videos are recordings of me running my dogs in agility competitions and others are the normal holiday type, obviously they all have a strong sentimental value.

A few years back I had made a start in archiving tapes onto DVD but didn’t get too far because of time and other commitments.

I was already acutely aware that the Digital 8 format had almost gone the way of Betamax with Sony not producing any new cameras and was aware should my trusty used and much abused Sony camcorder fail I would unable to view them. However the bewildering range of current equipment and the move to hard drive base equipment filled me with dread and I’d kept put off making a decision on a replacement and continued to use the camera as normal.

Well the enviable happened a few week back and the camcorder started exhibiting playback issues, lots of coloured mosaic banding.

Thankfully eBay came to the rescue and I’ve finally managed to get a good condition used replacement camera at a sensible price. It is obvious I am not alone in this predicament given the frankly amazing prices some other auctions finally went for.

Now I can transfer them to DVD, but there are still worries that these might not last, so I will probably transfer them to some large hard drives, but how do I format them…. it’s never ending…

Weekend of unfocussed inaction

Was a quiet weekend, the weather was lousy not raining but very dull and cold. The wife is currently suffering a back problem and is a new prescription of painkillers. She has felt a little odd so decided she would rather rest and take it easy.

I spent some of the weekend tweaking zoneminder and the ubuntu server installation for the cctv system.

I also went through my growing collection of unlabelled camcorder tapes indexing them. They are mostly videos of the dogs doing agility, but there were some other segments and they went back as far as 2007. It was a little emotional seeing Toby, Fred and Basil again, we lost all three during 2008.

My camcorder is a Sony Digital-8 which I purchased back in 2002, it struck me that I have an awful lot of tapes (some from my older Video-8 as well as some on VHS) stored in boxes which rely on an almost obsolescent technology. So I really must get around to archiving them onto DVD and must think about replacing the camcorder. There is nothing wrong with the camcorder but continued usage is likely to accelerate the wear and tear and I would hate to lose the ability to view the original tapes.

I currently have some old 8mm film stock taken by my father dating back to the 1960s which I had intended to transfer to a video form, (I also have the ancient Bell-Howell projector) I really haven’t got enough hours in the day for all these projects!

Oh and I also went through my den’s collection of boxes and draws sorting out the mass of cables and connectors. Now if I need a specific firewire, usb, audio, scart or power cable then I can at least find the box likely to contain it!