8mm Movie Transfer

October 5th, 2011

Your old 8mm movie films feature priceless images from your life, but you never seem to have the time to watch them. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. With so many people using DVD players and watching movies on their home computers, it seems no one has time to watch old 8mm home movies.

Many people are afraid to do an 8mm movie transfer because they don’t want to damage the film and they don’t want to lose the image quality. Fortunately, when you work with a reliable and trusted transfer house, your old films actually look better than ever.

At Video Conversion Experts, we have 25 years of experience in 8mm movie transfers which includes the process of restoring your film and converting it to a more convenient viewing format. We can even transfer your film to a digital file for editing purposes. Since you’re probably only going to transfer your film once, it’s important to invest in the best possible restoration package. You also want to make sure to select the right format for transferring your film.

If all of this information seems a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. We break down the ordering process into easy to understand terms. We provide detailed information about our process, help you calculate footage, and even keep a digital backup of your footage for 30 days. Our services are billed at a flat rate, which means you never have to worry about any hidden fees. If you add extras, we calculate the price immediately through our interactive online order form.

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 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.

Should I transfer my film to DVD myself or farm it out?

May 12th, 2009

Back in the 1980’s you could transfer your film to DVD and get about the same quality using your camcorder as the camera shop down the street. Today, that isn’t the case. Even though many companies are still using the same film to DVD machine they did in the 1980’s, other companies have brought professional equipment from the movie studios to use on 8mm, Super and 16mm film.

Today, there are frame by frame machines (still use a camcorder but uses it as a still picture device which produces better quality film to DVD results). In addition, some companies are using professional film scanners. Like a flat bed scanner, these scanners scan the film instead of using a camcorder. Film scanners produce the best film to DVD transfer.

So, today, even though many film transfer companies still use the same film to DVD equipment from the 1980’s, there are companies that have advanced the art of film to DVD transfers to a new level using film scanners.

Is my 8mm film to DVD going to look as good as 8mm film to BluRay DVD?

May 8th, 2009

In some cases, transferring 8mm film to DVD will only show a marginal decrease in quality compared to transferring 8mm to BluRay. The type of transfer or scan will determine how close the 8mm film to DVD and the 8mm film to BluRay are in terms of video quality.

In terms of pure resolution, BluRay DVD has 50% more than DVD. But, there are two factors that can make the DVD look almost as good as the Blu-Ray DVD. The first is the 8mm film to DVD transfer process. A high definition 1080p film transfer will yield video that is as close to the film as possible. It would have all the definition and details the film has. When you scan the film at high definition and then down-convert the video to standard definition, even those you’ve lost 50% of the resolution, you only loose about 15% of the visual quality. This is just because the film was scanned in at high definition to begin with. When the video is re-encoded for standard definition video, it has more to work with and produces a better image quality than if the film was scanned in at standard definition to being with.

The second reason DVD can look almost as good as BluRay is that BluRay players up convert the DVD to high definition. Now, you can’t completely make up for resolution that isn’t there, but because the video was originally high definition, the up conversion will turn out better because the amount of detail was maximized.

Can you really restore my 8mm film to dvd?

May 2nd, 2009

Yes, we can restore your 8mm film to DVD.  Most film transfer companies will tell you that they can’t correct for color shifting or dark footage, or that there is no way to remove scratches. Well, they are wrong.  They just don’t know any better.

We’ve been involved in developing and buying 8mm film to DVD restoration equipment for the past 15 years. The restoration equipment wont make your film look like a major motion picture, but it can correct the film from the color shifting and can correct/enhance dark footage, and it can remove scratches.

So, there are things that can be done to make your 8mm film to dvd transfer look better than the film does now.

Both our Gold and Platinum transfer use the same 8mm film to DVD restoration equiptment. So, if you are interested in restoring your 8mm film to DVD as good as it can be, choose the Gold or Platinum transfer.

Can I convert my 8mm film to DVD?

April 23rd, 2009

Yes, you can convert your 8mm film to DVD. The important thing is to understand what’s available, how much it cost and what kind of quality you are going to get compared to companies that professional transfer 8mm film to DVD.

Option #1. Transfer your 8mm film to DVD yourself with your projector and a camcorder. The first thing to consider is that your old movie film was recorded at 16 or 18 frames per second (fps). Camcorders in North American record at 29.97 fps. So, you can see that your camcorder will be capturing some film frames more than once and sometimes will capture the film just as it is switching to the next frame. This difference in frame rates causing a flickering affect. Meaning, as you watch the video, you’ll see this pulsating light. This is caused by the film and camcorder running at different frame rates. In order to mitigate this, you might try running your projector at 20fps. This frame rate is more in sync with your camcorder and may eliminate some or all of the flickering.

Option #2. Transfer your 8mm film to DVD by getting a Elmo Transvideo telecine projector or a Goko telcine projector. You might be able to find one on Ebay for around $1000 to 1500. Run the film and take the output in to a DVD recorder. This eliminates most if not all of the flicker issue.

Option #3. Find the best 8mm film to DVD transfer company to do it for you. There are a number of companies doing film transfers. Learn about the basics and the different types of 8mm film transfers.

Is it worth doing a film transfer again that was done 10 years ago to VHS?

April 13th, 2009

Several things have changed in the past 10 years. Media (Video Tape, DVD, Blu-Ray) and film transfer technology (Frame by Frame, Film Scanners) have gotten much better. In addition, the ability to view the footage on a high resolution (HDTV) has gotten much better as well.

VHS has 240 lines of resolution, DVD 480 and Blu-Ray 1080 lines. Film transfer machines when from 240 lines to 480 to 1080. TVs have gone from around 300 lines to 500 and now at 1080.

Film transfer to VHS 10 years ago would have been a 240 lines process, put on a 240 line VHS tape and watched on a 300 lines TV.

Today, we can do a film transfer at 1080 lines, to a format like Blu-Ray which is 1080 lines which would be viewed on a 1080 lines HDTV.

A high definition film transfer today can look about 75% better than a film transfer to VHS did 10 years ago.

So, to answer the question, yes, a film transfer today can look significantly better than a film transfer 10 years ago to VHS. See what our film transfer customers are saying.