Analog to digital converter for old 8mm camcorder

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Dedran

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I own an old analog Sony camcorder that uses 8mm tapes (Hi-8) and want to convert the tapes to a digital format for editing and making backups. It sounds like there are many ways to do this, some of which are probably too complicated for me, but from what I've seen, most of the solutions involve an RCA cable going to red, white, and yellow inputs on the camcorder. My issue is that my camcorder has something called a mini RCA port for output, so there's only one port on the camera, and not the standard red/white/yellow ports. I was going to try a USB digital to analog converter and use some kind of software to do the converting, but the RCA mini cable that I bought does not work with the converter that I bought.

Here's the camcorder that I own:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-CCDTRV43-Optical-Digital-Camcorder/dp/B00000JMN1/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1414626977&sr=8-2&keywords=sony+8mm+camcorder

Here's the converter that I bought, which doesn't work with the camera's mini port if I use the standard RCA cable that came with it:

http://www.amazon.com/ION-Video-Analog-Digital-Converter/dp/B002MT7JFQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1414626994&sr=8-5&keywords=analog+to+digital+converter

And here's the mini cable that I bought for plugging into the converter:

http://www.amazon.com/HDE-Female-Composite-Stereo-Adapter/dp/B00CIC9KW2/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1414627270&sr=8-7&keywords=rca+to+mini+composite+cable

When I try to use software and start playback on the camcorder, I just get a loud, buzzing sound, with no actual audio or video. Since the cable didn't come with the converter and there don't appear to be converters that use the mini cable, do I have any other options?

Also, I apologize if this was posted in the wrong forum, so please move it if there's a more appropriate place. Thanks.
 

kenrivers

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You really shouldn't need a mono cable or mono converter. You can purchase two separate cables if you wish to have one for the audio (like the one you linked - http://www.amazon.com/C2G-Cables-Value-03168-Meters/dp/B0002GUBGA/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1414678392&sr=1-1&keywords=mono+rca) and one for the video (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812787019). The cable I mentioned in my previous post should work. You don't have to use all three. The yellow one is for video and use either the white or red for audio (just make sure you use the same color when connecting to the converter and camcorder).

 

rhysiam

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You can either get 3 (very much standard) male RCA to RCA cables to go between your adapter and your analogue to digital converter.

Or see if you can find another "mini RCA" cable that has Male RCA connectors on the end.
 

rhysiam

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RE Option 2 above) here's one with the right gender: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2JX1A41206&cm_re=3_5mm_to_rca_male-_-9SIA2JX1A41206-_-Product
But it's pricey at $14.

RE Option 1 above) I can't really find any cheap set of 3 RCA to RCA cables either. The cheapest I could find is $9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA45A1ED2006&cm_re=RCA_to_RCA_cable-_-9SIA45A1ED2006-_-Product

If you're in a hurry, Any TV/Audio visual store will stock RCA to RCA cables (option 1), they might only have stereo ones, but you can just buy a pair of stereo cables and have an extra cable (the 4th) unattached.
 

Dedran

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Oct 29, 2014
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Whoops, sorry, I actually do have the male cable. I was scrolling through Amazon and linked to the first mini to RCA cable that I saw. Mine does have the male endings on it like the one that you linked to from Newegg.

Should it work with my setup in that case? I tried two different programs and got the same result both times. Does that imply another issue, like maybe the converter is bad?
 

fastcountach

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a loud buzzing noise usually indicates a poor or crossed connection at the 3.5mm plug end (the connection on the camcorder). Try messing with the cable while its running and see if anything comes up.

Also, maybe you have to hit the display button on the back (not really sure though).

the equipment you have should work
 

rhysiam

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Do you have a TV with an RCA input? I'd be testing things step by step. Try plugging the camcorder into the TV and see if you get the same result. If so, maybe try each cable one-at-a-time into the video and audio ports. It's been a while since I used this analogue stuff, but I seem to remember that you can get a loud noise by plugging a video signal into an audio-in. Perhaps the colours on the cable aren't right.

If it all works fine in the TV then it suggests an issue with the converter or software.
 

Dedran

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Oct 29, 2014
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Since posting this, I've tried another program, which was supposed to come with the converter, but didn't. I had to go online to download it from the manufacturer's website. The interface looks kind of old and it doesn't seem like the greatest software, but the fact that it doesn't work there or in other programs seems to indicate that it's not the software.

In this one, I get a "Video source not found" message. I'm also now noticing, for the first time, that there was a second mini port staring me in the face next to the one that I've been using. The one next to it has an ear symbol, I'm guessing for audio? Either way, I tried both ports, and still get nothing. Device Manager tells me that all of the drivers for the converter are also installed properly.

I'll try plugging the RCA to mini cable into the TV and see what happens.

Update: Tried taking the mini to RCA from the camcorder to the TV, and get nothing there. Other devices that use an RCA cable work fine going to the TV.
 

fastcountach

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So, according to that manual, your camcorder should have the normal RCA outputs (hidden behind a panel on the left side back).

It also looks like your camcorder is mono audio. so really you would only need yellow and (white or red).

If this is not the case and those connections are not there, you may want to try a cable like this in the mini RCA
http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Audio-Cable-Splitter-1-Mini/dp/B00004Z5CP/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1414672125&sr=8-3&keywords=3.5mm+to+rca

(cant remember which color in this case ends up being video, try either)

because with the stereo cable that you have, one of the audio connections is getting crossed with the video if your camcorder is only mono
 

Dedran

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Oct 29, 2014
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Wow, thanks, I had no idea that the little flap was there. That actually works. The only thing is, there's no audio during playback on the PC. Does that mean I need a mono cable (and mono converter, for that matter)? Maybe something like this for the cable?

http://www.amazon.com/C2G-Cables-Value-03168-Meters/dp/B0002GUBGA/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1414678392&sr=1-1&keywords=mono+rca

I don't see how it would work with the converter, though, unless there are converters out there with just a single video input and a single audio input.
 

kenrivers

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You really shouldn't need a mono cable or mono converter. You can purchase two separate cables if you wish to have one for the audio (like the one you linked - http://www.amazon.com/C2G-Cables-Value-03168-Meters/dp/B0002GUBGA/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1414678392&sr=1-1&keywords=mono+rca) and one for the video (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812787019). The cable I mentioned in my previous post should work. You don't have to use all three. The yellow one is for video and use either the white or red for audio (just make sure you use the same color when connecting to the converter and camcorder).

 

Dedran

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Oct 29, 2014
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This makes sense, considering that when I plug it into the TV with just one audio connector, the sound works. It must have to do with the converter, or possibly the software, then. Any free software recommendations for something like this? All of the audio settings look correct when I check what I'm using (EZ Video Converter, which was supposed to come with the converter originally).
 

kenrivers

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I will look into it and see what I can find.
 

Dedran

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Oct 29, 2014
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Well, I figured out what the problem was. I should have known to check the obvious stuff on the PC end at the very beginning. Turns out I had a USB sound card plugged into my laptop (I have one for enhancing audio since the internal sound card in this thing isn't all that great). I unplugged that so that my sound would default to the internal card, which can actually process input (my mic doesn't work with the USB one plugged in, either), and it worked!

Thanks to everyone for the help. I would have never thought to open that little flap on the front of the camcorder to find the RCA ports if I hadn't made this thread. I never even knew that those were there. I think this can be marked as resolved, now!
 

kenrivers

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Glad to hear that you have it figured out and are able to capture video.
 
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