Hi-8 Tape Players, Converters, and Other Options to Watch Hi-8 Tapes

Hi-8 Tape Players, Converters, and Other Options to Watch Hi-8 Tapes

While 8mm tapes like Hi-8 tapes, Video8, and Digital8 aren’t used much anymore, these formats captured countless memories throughout the 1980s and 90s. Capture has been converting them into digital format for over 20 years and the demand is still high because so many precious memories were captured on Hi-8.

Since analog video tapes are somewhat outdated, many families don’t have any way to view their old home movies, so we’re here to tell you about the best Hi8 tape players available as well as converters that can turn your old 8mm camcorder memories into high-quality digital video.

Keep reading to learn about some popular models of Hi-8 video cassette players, converter options with pros and cons, and other options to watch your 8mm video tapes without a player to help you choose the best way to relive your memories.

Quick List of Hi-8 Tape Players, Converters, and Other Options to Watch Hi-8 Tapes

  1. Sony EV-C2000E Hi8 Video8 8mm Video Cassette Recorder Player
  2. Sony GV-D800 Digital Hi8 Video8 8mm Cassette Tape Recorder Player
  3. Sony EVO-S900 Hi8 VCR 8mm Video Cassette Player Recorder
  4. Sony CCD-TRV228E Hi8 Video8 8mm Handycam Camcorder
  5. Samsung SCL700 Hi-8 8mm Video8 Camcorder VCR Player Video
  6. Canon ES8400V Hi8 Camcorder
  7. Diamond VC500 USB 20 One Touch VHS to DVD Video Capture Device
  8. Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus
  9. Elgato Video Capture
  10. ClearClick Video to Digital Converter
  11. KWorld Video Capture USB TV Tuner Card
  12. Capture Video Tape Transfer Service
  13. Rent a Hi-8 Camcorder
  14. Borrow a Hi-8 Tape Player or Camcorder


Watching Hi-8 Tapes with a Hi-8 Tape Player

When it comes to Hi-8 tape players, you have a few different options. The first type of player is simple: use your Hi-8 camcorder to view your Hi-8 camcorder to view your Hi-8 tapes. While this offers limited viewing capability, especially if you want to share with your family, it does work to view 8mm video. However, you can use an adapter to plug your video camcorder into a television for better group viewing.

Still, for easier use and higher quality, you want to choose a Hi-8 player which are still available online at places like eBay or Amazon. When choosing, you want to consider the ease of use, durability, picture quality, and additional features to make the best decision for your analog tapes.

While the 8mm video tape format was created by 5 companies including JVC, Phillips, Sony, and Matsushita (now Panasonic) to compete with VHS-C and Betamax, not all of them made Hi-8 video tape players that are still easily found today. We used those criteria to recommend some of the popular models for viewing your precious memories.

Sony EV-C2000E Hi8 Video8 8mm Video Cassette Recorder Player

Image Source: https://www.ebay.com/itm/155269240354

Available on eBay for around $150 to $200, this player will play all types of 8mm tapes, including Hi-8. It’s simple and easy to use and even offers both recording and playback for your cassettes. Plus, it has HiFi stereo sound, LANC control, and a clean, still picture.

Sony GV-D800 Digital Hi8 Video8 8mm Cassette Tape Recorder Player

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

This portable Hi-8 video Walkman is more expensive than other options, costing as much as $950, but it offers a digital LCD built-in monitor as well as speakers so you can view your memories on the go or easily bring them to the next family gathering. With additional features like a time code generator, headphone output, and slow-motion capability, it’s about as high-tech as you can get.

Sony EVO-S900 Hi8 VCR 8mm Video Cassette Player Recorder

Image Source: https://www.ebay.com/itm/364077774894

This is another option that may be a little harder to find but is very durable so with regular maintenance and cleaning it’s likely to last for years. While it’s perfect for Hi-8 tapes, it is not designed to play Video8 or Digital8 tapes, so if you have those, try a different model.

Sony CCD-TRV228E Hi8 Video8 8mm Handycam Camcorder

Image Source: https://retrocamerashop.com/products/sony-handycam-dcr-trv228e-pal-hi8-digital-8-camcorder

For an easy-to-use Sony Handycam camcorder to both record and view your Hi-8 tapes, this is a great option with 20x optical zoom and 990x digital. While the viewing screen is quite small, especially by modern standards, it’s portable, affordable, and just about as nostalgic as you can get. However, if you are planning on recording 8mm tapes and viewing them on another device, we recommend the Sony DCR-TRV460 Digital8 camcorder.

Samsung SCL700 Hi-8 8mm Video8 Camcorder VCR Player Video

Image Source: https://www.ebay.com/itm/175197792470

To choose an option that’s available for around $100, you can’t get much better than this Hi8 tape player best buy. Plus, the adapters and RCA cables make it easy to use with a VHS VCR system or even a modern TV if you want a bigger screen. It also works with PAL format in addition to NTSC and offers a 22X optical zoom function.

Canon ES8400V Hi8 Camcorder

Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Canon-ES8400V-Stabilizer-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0000638RT

This camcorder has a 2.5” LCD screen, easy handheld usage, zoom lens, video effects, and much more that make it easy to both watch and record Hi-8 tapes. It offers good picture quality with excellent contrast even in bad lighting, but the sound quality is not fantastic. Still, it’s a good option that’s easy to find online.

Hi-8 Tape Player Converters

Another way to enjoy your Hi-8 tapes is by transferring those video camera memories to digital format. This makes it easier to view and share your videos online while also preserving them for future generations to enjoy. There are many DIY converter options to choose from that offer unique pros and cons, so we gave a brief review of the top-rated and most popular options to make the choice easier for you.

Diamond VC500 USB 20 One Touch VHS to DVD Video Capture Device

Image Source: https://www.skooterblog.com/2016/08/08/amazon-diamond-vc500-usb-2-0-one-touch-vhs-to-dvd-video-capture-device/

One of the easiest options for converting Hi-8 (as well as VHS, Betamax, MiniDV, and more) to digital is available on Amazon called the Diamond VC500 video capture converter. This product simplifies the process by using RCA and USB port cable inputs to plug into your VCR or camcorder, then you can easily transfer the files to your computer.

However, this hi8 tape player converter doesn’t offer the highest quality, especially for the audio. Still, since it’s easy to use and only costs $39.99, it's a decent transfer option if you have a camcorder or Hi8 tape player available.


  • Easy to use with a single button
  • Affordable
  • Mac and PC options are available


      • Requires a Hi-8 player, Combo VHS player, or camcorder to plug in (and may require adapters or HDMI Cables)
      • The sound quality is poor compared to some alternatives
      • The video quality is mediocre

          Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus

          Image Source: https://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/software/graphics-and-media-software/video-editing-software/roxio-easy-vhs-to-dvd-for-mac-586488/review

          Another highly rated and affordable digital video convert is the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus, available on Amazon for as low as $35.66. This DVD recorder is designed only for VHS tape transfer to DVD player specifically but can also be used to turn your Hi-8 tape decks into USB flash drives, SD cards, or digital files.

          The main complaints indicate that this product doesn’t work with all operating systems and reviewers particularly have trouble with Windows 10 and 11. However, we’ve found that the results are good, and the company is reputable, helpful, and offers friendly customer service.



          • Good quality results
          • Affordable
          • Helpful customer support


              • May not work on all operating systems
              • Requires both a Hi-8 player or camcorder and a computer
              • Time-consuming installation and tape transfer

                  Elgato Video Capture

                  Image Source: https://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/peripherals/input-devices/general-input-devices/elgato-video-capture-603522/review

                  This Elgato Video Capture is a great option for tech-savvy users who like doing the entire transfer on their computers. It creates exceptional audio and video results as long as you take the time to perfect the resolution. It uses RCA cables to connect directly to your Hi-8 player and costs $86.98 on Amazon.

                  One of the great things about this is that it can digitize pretty much anything that can connect using the S-Video or RCA cables, which means you not only transfer Hi-8 tapes, but can also transfer MiniDV, DVD, Blu-Ray, and much more.


                  • High-quality video and audio
                  • Durable design
                  • Will work for virtually any home movie media type


                      • May take some time to figure out how to perfect the audio
                      • Does not work on all operating systems
                      • Designed for tech-savvy users and doesn’t include a button so the whole conversion process must be done on a computer

                          ClearClick Video to Digital Converter

                          Image Source: https://www.clearclick.com/products/video2digital-converter-2-0-second-generation-mini-edition-capture-video-from-vcrs-vhs-tapes-hi8-camcorder-dvd-gaming-systems-no-computer-required

                          Many ClearClick models will work to view and digitize your tapes with the most basic ClearClick Video to Digital Converter 2.0 priced at $159.95. ClearClick is an all-in-one transfer device, which means you plug it into your Hi-8 player and can instantly view the tapes without a computer. This transfers it directly to an SD card or USB drive that you can share as well.

                          The results are fantastic and it’s fairly easy to use, but there are a lot of functions that you may need to get used to including the auto stop feature, pause, menu, direction keys, record, mode, and more. Still, it’s a great choice if you’re willing to spend a little more to transfer your memories to digital video.


                          • High-quality results (HD option even available)
                          • Lots of functions and features to organize and digitize your videos
                          • No computer is needed with a built-in screen and speakers


                              • May take time to learn how to use it properly
                              • One of the most expensive options
                              • No SD card or USB device included

                                  KWorld Video Capture USB TV Tuner Card

                                  Image Source: https://www.newegg.comikworld-vs-usb2800-video-capture-editing/p/N82E16815100112 

                                  This digitizing tuner card is not made anymore, but is still available on eBay for as low as around $25 and works quite well with auto NTSC and PAL format detection, video editing, and burning software to create DVDs. Furthermore, the image quality is crisp, and installation is fast compared to some alternatives.

                                  However, it’s a little harder to find than other options and may not always be available and you will probably have to buy it used so you need to make sure that you are getting a device in good condition from a reliable seller. Plus, the audio quality is not great according to some reviews.


                                  • Very affordable
                                  • Offers easy-to-use digital tools and burning software
                                  • Good image quality


                                      • Hard to find because it’s not being made anymore
                                      • Will likely need to buy used, which comes with some risk
                                      • Audio quality is below average

                                          Watching Hi-8 Tapes without a Player

                                          If you don’t currently have a player and don’t want to buy a new one or use a DIY digitizing device, then you still have some other options to watch your Hi-8 tapes including using a professional conversion service like Capture, renting a Hi-8 camcorder, or borrowing a Hi-8 player from a friend or loved one.

                                          Capture Video Tape Transfer Service


                                          Using our professional service is the best way to convert Hi8 to digital because you get high-quality results, friendly service, affordable prices, security for your memories, and guaranteed satisfaction. We even offer
                                          videotape repair and case replacement as needed. Plus, compared with other services that take 70+ days to deliver your original tapes alongside digital copies, we can preserve your memories in less than 30 days.

                                          Our state-of-the-art multi-million-dollar security and tracking make sure your memories are safe through every hand and all the way back to your doorstep. Plus, our pricing is affordable and based only on the tapes we transfer, so you never pay more than you need to preserve your memories forever.


                                          • Affordable starting at $28.99 for the first two hours of Hi8 video (and $28.99 for every 2 hours after)
                                          • Your memories are protected by our multi-million-dollar security system
                                          • Satisfaction guaranteed or we’ll reprocess your tapes for free
                                          • Fast process in less than 30 days compared to the industry average of 70+ days


                                                • We don’t enhance colors or improve the resolution of your home videos (but you can use video editing software on the digital copies yourself!)

                                                Rent a Hi-8 Camcorder

                                                Image Source: https://www.ebay.com/itm/195673493377

                                                This is a great option if you want to transfer to digital, view your videos one time, or capture new memories in Hi-8 format. In fact, some rentals, like the Sony CCD-TRV85 Hi-8 Video Camera Recorder from DeckHand.com, come with a digitizing device (specifically the Elgato Video Capture for this listing). You can also rent Hi-8 camcorders from ShareGrid.com if you are located in certain areas.

                                                However, it is a little more expensive if you plan on renting long-term. Still, it’s an option if you can’t find a good Hi-8 camcorder, tape player, or another playback device to buy or borrow.


                                                • Convenient
                                                • Good for transferring to digital or viewing once


                                                  • Expensive for long-term rental
                                                  • Limited availability

                                                    Borrow a Hi-8 Tape Player or Camcorder

                                                    Image Source: https://www.ebay.com/itm/266198081486

                                                    You can always borrow or even buy a Hi-8 player or camcorder from a friend, neighbor, or loved one. This can allow you to transfer the tapes similar to a rental, except without paying (although you may want to buy them lunch to say, “thanks!”). It’s also a good option for viewing at a family gathering or other event.

                                                    While it will not offer long-term usage, it’s free or likely discounted if you end up buying. Not only that, but your loved one may want to view the memories with you. Plus, it should be convenient, especially if you plan on seeing your friend anyway.


                                                    • Free
                                                    • Convenient


                                                      • Have to have a loved one who owns one
                                                      • Not a good option for long-term use


                                                        There are plenty of options to view your memories contained on old Hi-8 tapes including buying a Hi-8 tape player or camcorder, using a DIY digital transfer device, or borrowing an analog player from a friend. Just make sure you consider the quality of the device, ease of use, price, and reliability before deciding on the option that’s best for you.

                                                        Capture is an affordable way to preserve your Hi-8 tapes before they start to degrade. We can help you turn your analog cassettes into high-quality digital copies for future generations to share, view, and enjoy for years to come. Click here to learn more about our Hi-8 transfer services.

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