Explore the 10 Best 8mm Video Players and Where to Find Them 

Explore the 10 Best 8mm Video Players and Where to Find Them 

Do you have 8mm video tapes with no way to play them and relive the memories? You can still buy a pre-owned 8mm video player, but due to their age, many of them are run-down or damaged. 

That’s why our team at Capture combined our decades of expertise to put together this guide to getting the best 8mm video players. That way, you can view your old home movies the way they were originally intended. 

Read further to understand 8mm video tape players, discover the factors you should consider when buying one, and look at the top 10 best options that you should keep in mind. 

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Understanding 8mm Video Tape Players

The 8mm video tape format was released with Video8 in the early 80s. Later, Sony released Video Hi8 tapes to compete with the higher definition S-VHS tapes. 

Finally, around the time of the first digital camera, a third 8mm tape format was released: the Digital8 which encoded digital video and audio on an NTSC Video8 cassette with other options for PAL format. After that, 8mm tapes were quickly replaced by MiniDV and other digital mediums. 

With the release of these tapes came the release of the players to watch them. That’s what 8mm tape players do, reading the data on the magnetic tape and turning it into the memories you captured on your vintage camcorder.

While we strongly recommend digitizing home movies to preserve them before your 8mm tapes deteriorate, it can be tons of fun to watch them as originally intended on analog 8mm tape playback devices.

So, how do you choose an 8mm VCR player? There are several factors we strongly recommend you consider while browsing your options. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing an 8mm Video Tape Player

When looking at 8mm video player options, you should consider the compatibility with your specific cassette tapes, the playback quality and resolution, additional features, price, and durability. 

Compatibility

Make sure you check which type of 8mm tapes are played by each of the 8mm VCRs you consider. Not all types will play the specific tape format you have. In general, different types of 8mm video tape players will play a single 8mm format. However, many are also backward compatibility meaning some Hi8 tape players will play Video8 or Digital8 players could play all three formats.  

Playback Quality and Resolution

Nobody wants blurry, out-of-focus, or discolored family memories, which is why it’s important to consider the playback quality. Check out other people’s experiences, VCR specifications, and the condition of the specific 8mm video player to determine the expected quality. 

Additional features 

Some top-rated 8mm players offer additional features that you might want when watching your home movies. Common features include HiFi stereo, auto tuner, portable design with built-in LCD screen, or editing capabilities like color enhancement. 

Price Range

Some 8mm video cassette players are harder to find, in better condition, or of higher quality and the price will reflect that. However, some may be overpriced for no clear reason as well, so just make sure you check the price in relation to the condition and features. 

 Durability and Condition

Vintage 8mm players are old, which means it’s a good idea to get one that’s durable by a reliable maker like Sony or JVC. Additionally, make sure you check the condition because some 8mm VCRs for sale online are in non-working condition or require lots of repairs.  

The Top 10 8mm Video Tape Players

While there are many Video8, Hi-8, and Digital8 players out there, you can’t go wrong with any of these top options. 

1. Sony EV-C2000E 8mm Video Cassette Recorder

Image Source: https://vcrshop.com/product/vcr/videorecorders/video8/sony-ev-s850ps-video-8-cassette-recorder-pal-secam/

This 8mm tape player plays both Hi8 and Video8 tapes and is unrivaled for its durability and reliable design. It offers recording capabilities, Hi-Fi stereo, and both RCA cable and S-Video adapter functions. Even better, it’s readily available on eBay and Amazon for a decent price of around $100 to $150. 

Pros

  • Great Hi-Fi sound quality
  • Compatible with Hi-8 and Video8
  • Good recording functionality 

Cons

  • No additional features
  • Older than many machines 

 

 2. Sony EV-C500E 8mm Video Cassette Recorder

Image Source: https://vcrshop.com/product/vcr/videorecorders/video8/sony-ev-c500e-video8-hi8/

This exceptional Sony video cassette recorder can play Video8 and Hi8 8mm tapes. What makes it so great is that it has a suite of editing features including synchronizing and voice boost functions. Like other Sony products, it’s highly durable, though the price is much greater than other options, especially when refurbished from reputable sellers like VCRShop.com

Pros

  • Fantastic voice boost function
  • Highly durable design
  • Compatible with Video8 and Hi8 tapes

Cons

  • Much more expensive than other options with prices ranging from $400 to $700 or more. 

 

 3. Sony EV-S550E 8mm Video Cassette Recorder

Image Source: https://vcrshop.com/product/vcr/videorecorders/video8/sony-ev-c500e-video8-hi8/

Another Video8 and Hi-8 player from Sony, this model offers less above-and-beyond features but is still durable and offers auto-tracking. Plus, it combines Digital Stereo with Hi-Fi stereo for fantastic sound quality. Even better, you can find it for as little as $40 to $60. 

Pros

  • Affordable and readily available
  • Fantastic sound quality 
  • Auto-tracking

Cons

  • Not many special features
  • Known for having tape head issues, though it’s an easy fix

 

 4. Sony EV-S9000E Hi8 Video Cassette Recorder

Image Source: https://vcrshop.com/product/vcr/videorecorders/video8/sony-ev-c500e-video8-hi8/

This PAL format Hi8 VCR offers compatibility with Video8 and is a beloved Hi8 video player among the analog video community. That’s because it offers exceptional playback quality complete with Hi-Fi sound, though you will pay for it with models costing $600 to $1000 or more. However, it cannot play NTSC tapes, so make sure you only get this option if you have PAL format. 

Pros

  • Top-quality audio and video
  • Highly durable design
  • Great voice boost feature

Cons

  • Only plays PAL format
  • Expensive compared to others

 

 5. Sony EV-C3 Compact Video 8 VCR

Image Source: https://salecinask.live/product_details/19109771.html

This older Sony model is still a fantastic buy due to its exceptional durability and old-school-styled buttons. It offers basic slow and still, recording, and playback features. Plus it has edit and synchro editing tools. You can probably find it for around $200, but refurbished options can cost as much as $400. It’s also only compatible with Video8 tapes. 

Pros

  • Exceptional durability 
  • Edit and synchro edit
  • Video8 recording capability 

Cons

  • Only plays Video8
  • Pretty basic features 

 

 6. Sony GV-D800 Hi8 Video Walkman

Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/GV-D800-video8-digital8-recorder-Walkman/dp/B01HTUEY78

This is one of the best portable 8mm players you can buy, perfect if you don’t know how to play Hi8 tapes with your modern television without RCA cables. That’s because it has a built-in LCD monitor and speakers, so you can view your features on the go. Plus, it has a headphone output, slow-motion features, a time-code generator, and is compatible with all 8mm formats. 

Pros

  • Portable design 
  • Built-in screen and speakers
  • Compatible with Video8, Hi8, and Digital8

Cons

  • Expensive, costing as much as $1000
  • Screen is very small at only 4”

 

 7. Samsung SCL700 Hi-8 Video8 Camcorder

Image Source: https://www.desertcart.ph/products/74979769-samsung-scl-700-hi-8-camcorder-with-2-5-lcd-discontinued-by-manufacturer

This old video camera is a great choice for anyone who wants to both play and create Hi8 or Video8 memories. For only $100 to $150, this option works for PAL and NTSC format, offers 22x optical zoom, and can easily connect to a television, video player recorder, or digital converter with audio/video cables. However, some people complain of difficulty with the charger port. 

Pros

  • Can create new memories with this 8mm camcorder
  • Works with PAL and NTSC formats
  • Easily connect to TV, VCR, or DVD player

Cons

  • Charging port may have some issues
  • Won’t work with modern HDMI TVs due to the old style RCA connections

 

 8. Canon ES8400V Hi8 Camcorder

Image Source: https://www.ebay.ph/itm/255908310820?hash=item3b9552ef24:g:ZG0AAOSwgSljpXF6

Another camcorder option, this Canon offers exceptional recording and playback quality. It has a built-in 2.5” LCD screen that makes it easy to view your Hi8 tapes. Plus, as a competitor to the Sony DCR Handycam, it offers video effects, a zoom lens, and so much more. However, while the video quality is great, the sound quality isn’t quite as good. 

Pros

  • Great video recording and playback quality
  • Built-in LCD screen
  • Video effects capabilities 

Cons

  • Poor sound quality 
  • Hard to find in good condition

 

 9. Goldstar GVR-DD1 8mm and VHS VCR Video Player

Image Source: https://picclick.co.uk/For-Parts-As-Is-Goldstar-GVR-DD1-8mm-VCR-Video8-134799429211.html

Not sure how to watch VHS C tapes as well as 8mm tapes? This VCR can play both and even convert one format to another. While it’s not as durable as other players, it’s an extremely useful device for duplicating your home movies. Plus, it offers auto-tracking for better video quality.

 Pros

  • Plays both Hi8 and VHS tapes
  • Can convert Hi8 to VHS
  • Good picture quality

Cons

  • Rare device that’s hard to find
  • Not as durable as better-known brands like Panasonic or Sony 

 

 10. Sharp Hi8 Viewcam Video Camera

Image Source: https://www.goodwillfinds.com/electronics/cameras-and-photography/camcorders/set-of-2-sharp-viewcam-hi8-camcorders/10014-0000-263050.html

The Sharp Viewcam Hi8 player offers a built-in screen as well as easy connections to televisions. It can record and play Hi8 and Video8 tapes, while also offering a long-lasting battery. It’s easy to use and has 16x zoom, clear picture quality, and decent audio. Plus, it’s very affordable at only around $100 on eBay. 

Pros`

  • Great picture quality both with playback and recording
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Very bulky by modern standards
  • If it breaks, it’s hard to find parts 

 

Where to Buy 8mm Video Tape Players

There are a lot of different places that still sell 8mm video players. 

The most common places are online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, but you can also buy refurbished models from specialty stores like VCRShop.com and Porter Electronics. In some cases, you might be able to find some of the best 8mm video players in your area at pawn shops, antique stores, and specialty electronics stores. 

Finally, if you can’t find a good model, you can also get a digital converter for Windows or Mac computers to turn your 8mm tapes into digital video. However, you will still need an 8mm cassette player to read the data off the analog tapes. 

Another option is to use Capture, the best company to digitize home movies. We’ll digitize your memories with optimal playback quality for 8mm tapes and deliver your originals and digital versions in less than 30 days. Plus, our state-of-the-art tracking and security system monitors your precious memories through every hand and back to you. 

Tips for Buying an 8mm Video Tape Player

To make sure you choose from the best 8mm video players, follow these additional tips.

  • Research 8mm video player reviews to see any recurring issues that people have, if any. 
  • Check warranty and return policies, just in case it stops working after you get your player.
  • Consider refurbished and tested options from reputable vendors to ensure the best quality players.
  • Compare prices across different sellers. What cost $200 on eBay might be found at $150 on a specialty website. 

Conclusion

Now that you have an idea of some of the best and most affordable 8mm players, you can show with confidence. Just make sure you check the compatibility with your tapes, condition, and extra features that make some of the best options on our list stand out. 

Even if you prefer to watch your 8mm tapes on an 8mm video player, we strongly recommend digitizing them first. That’s because they could deteriorate or become damaged, losing your memories forever. Click here to see how Capture can digitize your memories into high-quality videos that last forever.

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