How to Play 8MM Video Tapes Without a Camera

By Greyson Ferguson

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • 8mm tape deck

  • RCA Cables

Eight-millimeter video cameras arrived after the era of large, shoulder-mounted VHS video cameras and before the debut of mini-DV cameras. These cameras were slightly larger than the mini-DV cameras we have today and recorded onto an 8mm tape, which was very similar in size to a cassette tape. When playing the content of an 8mm tape, the actual camera is not required.

Purchase an 8mm tape deck. Because of the format difference between an 8mm tape and a VHS tape, it is impossible to play the tape through an adapter. The only other way to play the tape is through a tape deck. 8mm tape decks can be found online through various stores and auctions, such as eBay. It will be a good idea to purchase a used one because they tend to be expensive (reaching several thousand dollars). This is because they are used for broadcast purposes and have many additional features the home user probably will never use.

Connect the tape deck to the television with RCA cables. RCA cables are typically red, yellow and white, with two cords used for audio (if you want stereo sound) and one for video.

Power on the Tape deck and set the television to the proper video setting.

Insert the 8mm tape into the tape deck and press "Play".