Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Digital8 (or D8) is a digital videotape format invented by Sony in the late 1990s.
It uses conventional analog Video Hi8 tapes, but records the video signal in digital form using the DV codec. Recording time is halved for Hi8 tapes; for example, a 120 minute Hi8 tape will give 60 minutes of Digital8 recording time. The increased tape speed is required is because of the extra information digital video demands.
Some Digital8 camcorders preserve backward compatibility with Hi8 and standard Video8 by seamlessly playing the old analog tapes and transcoding them to the DV format at the same time. This allows for the transfer of analog tapes to a home computer using a Firewire interface.
Digital8 offers excellent video and audio quality, far better than existing analog consumer formats such as VHS-C or Video8. Digital8 is comparable to the DV and MiniDV formats in terms of capable quality.
Hi8 format video cameras have been used for many years for news and current affairs television programs. However, Digital8 is strictly a consumer format. No professional broadcast quality three-chip camcorders exist.
Sony is the only company that produces D8 camcorders.
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