A Digital 8 player is a device designed to read and play Digital 8 videotapes through a connection to a monitor or television screen. These players can be designed in a number of ways, usually as either large devices similar to a standard videocassette recorder (VCR) and player or as a smaller device meant to be portable. The Digital 8 format used cassettes that were similar to those used in Hi8 recordings, but utilized digital rather than purely analog signals with the cassettes. While a Digital 8 player is needed to play this type of cassette, they have become fairly rare, as purely digital recording has largely eliminated the use of cassettes.
The Digital 8 format is one of the last popular recording formats to still utilize a videocassette. Since these recordings use digital information, rather than analog data that was used for older video home system (VHS) cassettes, a Digital 8 player is necessary for playback from such cassettes. This player typically functions much like any other VCR, however, and the cassette can be inserted into the Digital 8 player for playback. Audio and video cables connect the player to a television or other display, which then broadcasts the signal.
Offering many of the same functions of a VCR, a Digital 8 player is typically about the same size and shape as a standard VCR. Though playback may be the primary purpose of these devices, they can often be used to record signal from a television or monitor onto a Digital 8 cassette. A Digital 8 player can also be designed to be much smaller than a standard VCR, providing portability and other options for playback. These devices still play and potentially record using the Digital 8 format, but are smaller in size due to the use of a digital signal.
While the Digital 8 format requires a specialized player to watch video recorded using a Digital 8 camera, these players are not always necessary. Most Digital 8 cameras can also be used as a Digital 8 player, simply by connecting the camera to a television or other display. Since Digital 8 players have become more difficult to find, many users of Digital 8 have turned to converting cassettes into purely digital files. This can be done through the use of a file converter, which captures the images and audio from a Digital 8 cassette and creates a digital video file based on that data.