To counter the introduction of the Super-VHS format, Sony introduced Video Hi8 (short for high-band Video 8.) Like SVHS, Hi8 used improved recorder electronics and media-formulation to increase picture detail.

In both systems, a higher-grade videotape and recording-heads allowed the placement of the luminance-carrier at a higher frequency, thereby increasing luminance bandwidth.

Both Hi8 and SVHS were officially rated at a luminance resolution of 420 horizontal TV/lines (566x480 in today's digital terms), a vast improvement from their respective base-formats of 240 lines and roughly equal to laserdisc quality.

The final upgrade to the Video8 format came in 1998, when Sony introduced XR capability (extended resolution).

The standard tape length is 90 minutes or 3 hours on long play.