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The Hi8 Video Format

Hi8 Tape

Hi8 was the higher-resolution version of Video8. Hi8 was introduced to compete with the VHS-equivalent S-VHS. Both formats boasted 400 lines of horizontal resolution, which put them in the (lower) range of broadcast quality. Hi8 camcorders were popular with amateur enthusiasts and were also used in television productions which required lightweight portable equipment.

Hi8, like S-VHS, used a combination of higher-grade tape and improved recording mechanisms to increase bandwidth. Recording lengths were 30, 60 and 120 minutes.

Later versions of Hi8 included PCM digital audio and XR capability which slightly increased picture quality.

Hi8 was eventually replaced by Digital8 and MiniDV.

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