Recording Speed for Dubbing Hi8 Home Videos on Panasonic Recorder

I am trying to decide the recording speed to use for dubbing my Hi8 home videos to my Panasonic DMR-ES15. The Hi8 tapes are two hours each, so SP (2-hour) would be the most convenient. However, as I would like to have the highest-quality dubbing to DVD, I could also use XP (1-hour) and record to a dual-layer DVD+R. This would be a hassle, in that I would have to stop the Hi8 tape after 60 minutes, finalize the first layer on the DVD recorder, then dub the second hour onto the second DVD layer.

So what I’m asking is whether the quality difference between XP and SP on the Panasonic recorder would be significant for video that has Hi8 as its source. Since Hi8 records two hours of video onto the same length of tape as my Digital8 camcorder records only one hour, I am wondering if Hi8 uses only half the bit rate of Digital8. On the other hand, maybe the additional tape required to record one hour of video on Digital8 is because of date and timecode data, which analog recordings do not have.

In short, can anyone advise as to whether Hi8 would look just as good dubbed at SP as XP on this Panasonic recorder?

Thank you in advance for your advice.

SP and XP quality near the same 720X480 given your source I would think SP on quality media will be fine.

XP will produce bit rates in the range of 7-10 Mb/sec.

SP will be much lower, maybe 4-8 range.

The rated resolution is only 1/2 the story, bit rates have as much to do with the quality. Which you choose depends a lot on the quality of the material. Since Hi-8 is fairly high res, you might want to go with XP, but on a smaller monitor the difference will be hard to see.

BTW, Hi-8 is not digital, so there’s no “bit rate” involved.

So, you will have to decide on your own equipment which one is best for your video, but it really boils down to the size and quality of the monitor you use. One way to judge picture quality on the finished product is use the zoom function on your player and zoom in on the image in a scene that has a lot of motion or color gradients. Look for blockiness or pixilized colors.

Dear CCRomeo and CDan,
Thanks very much for your replies. The Hi8 tapes that I am burning to DVD with the Panasonic recorder are getting old – ranging from 1993 to 2002. So I’m making the DVDs not only for more convenient enjoyment of the videos but also to preserve them. Since I may want to edit using these DVD copies as a source someday, the higher bit rate probably matters. So I think it’s best to record at XP and just suffer the inconvenience of having to close the first layer at the 1-hour mark. By the way, thanks as well for clarifying that analog tapes don’t have a bit rate. My duh!