Hi8 is a type of video tape that was typically used in camcorders. It was the successor to the Video8 format and was later replaced by Digital8. In much the same way that Betamax and video home system (VHS) were competing formats, Video8 and its successors were an alternative format to VHS-compact (VHS-c). Due to these difference, a direct Hi8 to VHS adapter is impossible. Any such adapter would need to translate data in real time, and would run into further problems due to the digital audio made possible with Hi8.
Some of the first home video camcorders used either Betamax or VHS. In order to create smaller camcorders, VHS tapes were miniaturized to create VHS-c. These tapes were substantially smaller, but used identical magnetic recording material. Due to those similarities, it was possible to place a VHS-c tape into an adapter that could then be played in a standard video cassette recorder (VCR). The similarity in size and shape between 8mm cassettes and VHS-c tapes does not mean that a Hi8 to VHS adapter can be, or has been, created.
The physical design of the Betamax format made a VHS-c style miniaturization problematic, which ultimately led to the 8mm family of video tapes. Where Betamax used a 12mm (0.47in) wide tape media, and both VHS and VHS-c used 12.7mm (0.50in), Hi8 used 8mm (0.31in). Not only was direct adaptation from Hi8 to VHS impossible, the difference in tape size rendered 8mm tapes unplayable even in the Betamax decks that used similar technology.
While no Hi8 to VHS adapter exists, it can still be possible to transfer video from 8mm cassettes to other formats. The simplest way to overcome the lack of a Hi8 to VHS adapter is to make use of the audio-out and video-out jacks found on most 8mm video cameras. By connecting the video-out on an 8mm camcorder to the video-in ports on a VCR, it is typically possible to save a copy of Hi8 recordings for later play on VHS cassettes.
In the absence of a working Hi8 camcorder, there may be other options. Digital8 players may be available, which are typically backward compatible with Hi8 and Video8. With a Digital8 video deck, it may be possible to use the video-out connection to record Hi8 videos to VHS or other formats like digital versatile disc (DVD). It may also be possible to use a computer to capture and encode Hi8 video for digital storage.