Unfortunately, connecting a Sony Hi8 camcorder to most PCs is not a simple plug and play process. These camcorders record analog video to small cassettes and do not output a digital signal that your computer can easily capture. While some media-oriented computers have analog video capture hardware built-in, most require you to add on a video capture device. Luckily, they are affordable and readily available and can be connected to your computer via USB.
Install your analog capture device on your computer by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Connect the video and audio cables to your Sony Hi8 camcorder. If both your capture device and your camera support it, use a round four-pin S-Video cable to carry the video image. You will have to buy this cable separately if it is not included with your video capture device. To carry the audio, connect your camera’s audio or audio/video cable. On some Sony Hi8 camcorders, you will use a combination audio and video cable that has a 3.5mm plug that you insert into your camera’s “A/V Out” mini-jack. Other models use phono plug outputs. In this instance, connect either one or two phono-plugged cables into the audio outputs, depending on whether your camcorder is mono or stereo. You can also connect an additional yellow phono-plugged composite video cable to the Video output if you are not using the S-Video connection.
Connect the video cable to the video input on your capture device. If you are using the S-video cable, rotate it until all four pins match the holes in the slot, then plug it in. With a composite cable, you can simply push the plug in.
Connect the audio cable or cables to the input on your capture device. Since they are phono plugs, you can just push them in, but be careful to match the same colors. If you only have one audio cable but you have a stereo digitizer with two audio inputs, connect the audio cable to the white or black left channel input.
Start your capture device’s software.
Turn your camera on and put it in playback mode. Press the “Play” button to start playing and immediately press the “Pause” button to pause the image.
Press the “Record” button in your video capture software, then immediately restart your camera’s playback.
Press the physical “Stop” button on your camera and click the software “Stop” button in your capture software when you are done capturing video.