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Converting 8mm film to DVD requires the best equipment if you want the highest quality. There are huge differences between the low-end machines and high-end machines. Once people are educated they will typically pick a higher quality scan for their treasured family films. One thing that makes it difficult is that print film was never really intended to be converted to video. It was only intended for viewing on a projector. Because of this, getting a digital video as good as you film requires professional film scanners, not a projector and camcorder setup like many low-end machines.
As mentioned above, print film was never intended to be converted into a digital format but that's exactly what Video Conversion Experts specializes in. We've been scanning film for over 30 years and we work closely with film scanning manufactures to ensure there is continuous improvement in the capability of the machines. We are just 1 of 2 labs in the United States that can scan 8mm film at 2K (1556 lines) resolution. It isn't by mistake. We push the technology like no other company.
Many customers don't know what there film looks like. The quality of the conversion from 8mm to DVD will be the only limitation when we scan the film using our Pro HD or Pro 2K process. So, to avoid any issues I recommend looking at the film or sending 1 reel in to see how it looks to ensure you are going to be happy with the results. In theory this works fine. But, the fact is that no matter what your film looks like, it doesn't have much longer before it can't be scanned. It will get too fragile or warped starting at about 55 to 60 years old. So, if you want to save your family memories and history you need to convert 8mm to DVD as soon as possible.
After you've decided on the best company and best process you need to choose a format to archive your film. Most people aren't aware that your average DVD will last about 10 years and will start to fail around 5 years. Not your Hollywood DVDs, these are stamped out. I am talking about burned DVDs. That's why we only use 100-year archival DVDs. They will certainly outlast any DVD player. You might also consider BluRay since we are in the middle of moving from DVD to BluRay. BluRay will last further into the future so it might be a format you might want to consider when you convert 8mm to DVD or BluRay. As Terri commented on her BBB review, "I will admit, I was pretty nervous parting with these gems, but they were virtually useless to my family as they were. Within 10 days, I received back beautiful DVDs, along with the originals. They put sound to them, which the original film didn't have, which really makes it much nicer to watch. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see all these family memories preserved from the 1950's and 1960's and it was so painless. I couldn't give high enough marks for this company!"