I, like many, am trying to transfer my Hi8 tapes to DVD keeping as much of the original quality as possible. I've hooked up my Hi8 camcorder to my DV camcorder (using an S-Video cable) and then on to my computer via FireWire. This approach seems to work okay, converting the analog video to DV in the digital camcorder and then to MPEG-2 via software on my PC. I used the highest quality setting on the MPEG-2 conversion.
Is this the best I can do? There are external products sold such as the Plextor ConvertX PX-M402U mentioned on this site that appear to allow one to skip the DV conversion step. Will this result in a superior image? Any other approach that would give better results?
I run a pro-transfer service and I've been using a Sony 8mm/Hi8 VCR purchased from jandr.com. The VCR connects via iLink and does an absolutely outstanding job. I've never had any audio/video sync issues with it, and it's good for anything 8mm (Hi8 or analog). I convert everything to DV and then render to MPEG mainly because I edit out customer snow and static, and one of the things people have said time and time again is how good the quality was. The only downside is the VCR is an $800 VCR... If you have access to someone's Hi8 camcorder with iLink, that'd be my suggestion.