8mm NTSC playback

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: May 17 1999

I was always under the impression that I'd need an NTSC machine or a Digi8  (top end) machine to play back an NTSC 8mm tape?

I have been asked to do one but although I can do the NTSC to PAL (and DVD) I don't have any 8mm kit to playback
a mate has one, but I now find out that it's an NTSC tape.


I have access to a mains deck - a 9000 series machine.

Joined: Jul 22 2005
Re: 8mm NTSC playback

Some UK market Sony cams will play back NTSC 8mm tapes, but others will not.

For example, the Digital8 models DCR-TRV120E, 320E, 430E, 520E, and 620E will (at least according to the manual) play back either NTSC 3.58 or NTSC 4.43. Later models including, but not necessarily limited to, DCR-TRV255E and 270E will not.

Going back to earlier Hi8 models, the CCD-TR3200E will play NTSC tapes, and possibly others at the high end of the (then) market.

I am only able to advise on models of Sony cam that I have had experience of in the past. It is worth looking in the support section of sony.co.uk for manuals on other cams.

One thing that you need to be aware of is that whereas you may be able to play NTSC tapes, you are unlikely to be able to copy them unless you have an NTSC recorder, neither are you likely to be able to record the replay output on to a PAL machine. You will need to pass the replay signal through some sort of timebase correction or standards conversion device to convert it from 525/60/3.58 to 625/50/4.43. This probably means doing the conversion in the analogue domain.

You might try a Videotech VMX400 or 410 mixer/TBC device, passing the signal to be converted through the "A" channel. These mixers incorporate what amounts to a broadcast standard SPG with 4:2:2 processing and 13.5MHz sampling if you switch off the "B" channel, or you could try attaching a broadcast SPG to the "B" input and see if it makes any difference.

I don't know about Panasonic mixers. You might trry an AVE5 with a broadcast standard PAL SPG on the "ext cam" input, but I don't know if this would work. Perhaps another reader could advise on this point. In the case of an AVE5 mixer, it wouldn't matter which channel you use, as they both have processing.

The Firewire output of a Digital8 cam would be in NTSC, so it might be possible to copy the tape into a computer and do the conversion in software. I am not software savvy myself, so perhaps another reader could advise.

Best of luck!

Joined: May 17 1999
Re: 8mm NTSC playback



I have all the kit needed  to do standards conversion but it's just playing back the NTSC hi-8 that's the issue.

The only hi 8 that I have is the deck mentioned above. I used to borrow the Digital 8 that belonged to someone else for  NTSC 8 but it's long gone.