Do you offer the best 8mm film to DVD quality?

September 14th, 2009

There are 3 basic types of 8mm film to DVD processes. Real-Time, Frame by Frame and Film Scanner. Both Real-Time and Frame by Frame use a old projector and video camcorder. They use them differently. A Frame by Frame process can get 20-30% better quality based on how it is acquiring the image relative to a Real-Time process. A film scanner will produce 50-80% better quality 8mm film to DVD compared to a real-time process and 30-50% better quality than a Frame By Frame process.

Among the different type of film scanners, there are certain attributes that help one film scanner produce better quality images than others. The most important aspect is the scan resolution. The scan resolution will affect the sharpness of the 8mm film to DVD film transfer. Increasing the resolution will always result in a better digital representation until you’ve reached the limit of the 8mm film. 8mm film has a horizontal limit of around 900 to 1000 lines. So, a 1080 lines scan is as high as you would want to go for 8mm or Super 8 film.

Because old film has degraded over time (color shifted, is darker, grainy and scratched) it really requires some sort of restoration as well in order to make the 8mm film to DVD transfer turn out as good as possible.

Our Platinum process includes a 1080 line scan and correction of color shifting, darkening of the film, and reduces the amount of grain and scratches you see from the film. This is the best possible process available today for your 8mm film to DVD project.

My film is from the 1940s, can I still convert this 8mm film to DVD?

September 2nd, 2009

Transferring 8mm film from the 1920s to 1950s requires special attention. There are several issues to examine before we can determine if we can convert your 8mm film to DVD. There are other articles on transferring 8mm to DVD that you may want to explore also.

8mm film has been around since the late 1920s. Converting 8mm film to DVD requires that the 8mm film be flat (instead of warped) and is pliable (not fragile) to enable it to move through the scanner. To test this, unroll some of the 8mm film and see if it will lay flat on a table. Also, as you unroll it, see if it breaks at all. If the film passes these two tests then we can convert your 8mm film to DVD.

One other thing you might want to look at is the images on the 8mm film. You can use a magnifying glass with a light source (or window) behind the film. 8mm film from the 1920s to the 1940s will be black and white. So, don’t expect to see any color on 8mm films from this period.

Lastly, 8mm film this old can have mold on the outside edge. When you lay the film reel down flat, you might see some white looking powder on the 8mm film. This is mold. We automatically clean all 8mm film when it comes in. In most cases, the mold gets removed and presents no problem is converting your 8mm film to DVD.

should I transfer 8mm film to DVD or an editing file?

August 22nd, 2009

8mm film to DVD is the most common film transfer. But, this isn’t for everyone. For people who want to edit the 8mm footage on a computer and produce their own 8mm to DVD or 8mm to Blu-Ray, HD-AVI is a great option. Like it sounds HD-AVI is a high definition version of AVI. HD-AVI is considered a master quality format for 8mm and Super 8 film. Meaning, it is not compressed near as much as DVD and Blu-Ray. So, you can transfer your 8mm film to HD-AVI, edit it and produce good quality DVDs or Blu-Ray. In contrast, if you transferred your 8mm film to DVD and edited it and then produced another DVD, you would loose significant quality in that process.

So, if you are looking to do a 8mm film to DVD transfer but want to edit the footage, consider getting your film transferred to HD-AVI. In the end, this will produce a better DVD from 8mm film.

Will my 8mm film to DVD transfer work in Europe?

August 10th, 2009

8mm film itself will play on any 8mm projector in the world. DVDs though, are targeted for a specific region. Because we are based in the United States, our DVDs from a 8mm film to DVD transfer are playable in NTSC (North American) players.

Upon request, we can transfer your 8mm film to PAL DVD transfer.

In addition, some people have a region free DVD player. These DVD players can play a NTSC, PAL or SECAM DVD.

So, if you are getting your 8mm film to DVD transfer done and you want to be able to play them in Europe, just request a PAL DVD. In addition, if you want a NTSC (North American) DVD, you can request this as well.

In addition to creating a PAL DVD from a 8mm film to DVD transfer, we can make PAL AVI or HD-AVI editing files as well. Again, just request a PAL version of the file.

My 8mm film to DVD conversion doesn’t look at good as the 8mm film

August 3rd, 2009

8mm film has around 800 to 1000 lines of resolution. DVD only has 480 lines of resolution. So, any 8mm film transfer to DVD is going to turn out a DVD with significantly less resolution than the original film.

The best way to preserve the resolution on the film is to transfer your 8mm film to Blu-Ray instead of transferring your 8mm film to DVD. Because some customer’s don’t currently have a Blu-Ray player they order a DVD and Blu-Ray so they can play it now and play it on a Blu-Ray player when they get one. This is probably the best way to transfer your 8mm film today.

Some customers are interested in getting the best 8mm film to DVD transfer. The best master format would be HD-AVI. HD-AVI video is 1080 lines of resolution and is compressed about 4 times less than Blu-Ray DVDs.

I converted 8mm film to DVD, can I put this on BluRay?

July 9th, 2009

Today, most people are still converting their 8mm film to DVD. But, there are some people that are starting to think about  Blu-Ray DVD.  There are a couple of things to think about.

First, there is enough resolution on 8mm film (800 to 1000 lines) for Blu-Ray DVD. Most people are unaware that their 8mm film has near HD quality on it.

Second, you want to start with the 8mm film in order to get the best results on Blu-Ray DVD. Taking video from your 8mm film to DVD transfer and writing that to Blu-Ray will not produce good quality. The video on DVD is highly compressed. If you take that, edit it and then burn that to a highly compressed Blu-Ray DVD, it wont look very good.

The best way to get your film on Blu-Ray DVD is to scan the 8mm film at 1080 lines first instead of putting your 8mm film to DVD.  The best format for this would be HD-AVI files. These are the best quality HD files available today that can be edited on today’s PCs and Mac computers.

So, get the film scanned at 1080 lines to HD-AVI and then use a HD video editing program to write the HD-AVI files to Blu-Ray DVD. This is the best way to get your 8mm film onto Blu-Ray DVD.

Can my 8mm film to DVD be put back on film?

June 22nd, 2009

Once your 8mm film to DVD has been restored and completed, there are companies that can put that video back on film. It isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap, but video can be put back on 8mm film.

A better way to achieve good quality is to transfer the 8mm film to a format like HD-AVI files instead of transferring your 8mm film to DVD. DVD is highly compressed and is only about ½ the resolution of your 8mm film. HD-AVI has 1080 lines of resolution which is just above the 800 to 1000 lines of resolution on your 8mm film.

So, by having your film transferred to a high definition video format, you can retain the quality of the 8mm film. Then a company can take that high resolution file and create 8mm film from it.

So, yes, it is possible to transfer you 8mm film to DVD and then back to film but you will get better quality by transferring your film to a high definition format first and then take that back to 8mm film.

Does my 8mm film that I want to put to DVD degrade over time?

June 11th, 2009

Many times we get asked if 8mm film that the customer wants to convert to DVD degrades over time. They haven’t been able to view the films for years or decades and aren’t sure if it is worth the effort and money to transfer the 8mm film to DVD.

In most cases the film does degrade over time. The colors shift, the exposure gets darker and the film gets scratched as you play it on a projector.

But, most of this degradation can be recovered with professional 8mm film to DVD equipment. The colors can be shifted back, the exposure corrected and the majority of grain and scratches removed.

So, even though the film does degrade over time, in over 99% of the cases, we can recover the film and give you a 8mm film to DVD conversion that will remind you of what the film looked like when it was originally taken.

My 8mm film has sound, will the 8mm film to DVD process keep the sound?

May 21st, 2009

8mm sound film was never sold with a sound stripe on it but there were ways to apply a sound stripe to 8mm film. In addition, there were some projectors that could read sound on 8mm film. 8mm film was in use around 1930 to 1970. We currently do not have a way to capture sound from 8mm film, so your 8mm film to DVD project would not have sound on it.

If your film has sound, it might be Super 8. Super 8 film was sold with a sound stripe and without sound stripe. About 95% of the super 8 film out there today is silent. Super 8 film was in use from 1965 to 1985. We can transfer the sound from Super 8 and your 8mm film to DVD project would have sound in this case.

On our Silver, Gold or Platinum process, the film is scanned. The scanner can only record the video from the film. So, the sound would be captured on a 2nd run on a different piece of equipment. Then a video editor will sync the sound with the video.

How long will my 8mm film to DVD transfer last?

May 15th, 2009

Most companies today transfer 8mm film to DVD using your average retail DVDs. The average retail DVD lasts about 10 to 15 years under normal conditions, less under higher levels of heat, humidity and sunlight.

Some companies transfer your 8mm film to DVD using 100-year Gold DVDs. This is an improvement, but these Gold DVDs do not have any scratch protection. Anyone that has had DVDs for the past 15 years knows that scratches are as much, if not more of a problem than the amount of time it will last.

We transfer your 8mm film to DVD using 50-year scratch proof DVDs. The archival DVDs we use have a protective coating that makes the DVD surface 100 times less likely to scratch. This is why you can be confident that the DVDs we use for your 8mm film to DVD transfer will last longer than any other DVD on the market.