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Hi-8 Video Tapes and History
History Hi8 was introduced in 1989 by Sony and are very similar in quality to SVHS. The format was adopted by many news agencies since the signal was near broadcast quality, and the camcorders were relatively inexpensive. Most of the news footage from the Gulf war was recorded on Hi8 camcorders. The format uses a 4 pin din cable to carry the separated signals, chrominance and luminance, versus the composite type that combines the signal over one wire, thus avoiding the color encoding process and its inevitable loss of picture quality. Hi8 requires special equipment to play.
Tech Stuff Hi8 video tapes record their signal at about 400 lines of horizontal resolution, slightly less than Mini DV, but substantially higher than 8mm or regular VHS formats. Most often, Slight quality loss is suffered when copying or editing from HI-8, but a better than average image is maintained. Hi8 makes a good master because dupes from them look as good as a VHS original, however they do require special equipment to view, and they are analog, so some signal loss is inevitable in the dubbing process.