film, 35mm, vintage

How Not To Transfer Your 8mm Films to DVD and Digital


In looking for digital converters online and on places like Amazon, you may be surprised by the sticker price. Try not to be fooled though, there are some hidden fees and extra costs that go into buying a converter box, with high-quality converters reaching well over $500.  

When purchasing your converter box, you need to take into account the cheaper the box, the more dangerous it can be for your memories. Not all converter boxes are high-performance, high-quality pieces of equipment, which can lead to broken tapes, torn film, and pictures, and deleted audio.

In addition, when digitizing your material, you have to purchase the outputs: DVDs, thumb drives, and some sort of digital download. Where are you going to store your content so you can share it with family? Google Drive? Not so fast…We’ll get to all of that in a second.


Unfortunately, there is a high possibility you could damage or ruin your precious home movies. You might be a digitizing wizard or someone who knows their analog media facts to a T, and for that we applaud you. However, the majority of people aren’t super equipped to handle their media properly when digitizing. That’s not your fault!

It’s not every day you meet someone who knows the ins and outs of digitizing. That being said, you must be extremely careful with your memories. Tapes can be ruined, the film can be ripped in half, audio can be erased forever and pictures can be destroyed. This is something we want everyone to avoid! Your memories are precious connections to your past, a reflection of your present, and an insight into a potential future. Let’s save those memories the right way, so you can relive them again and again.


Let’s face it, we don’t have all the time in the world to get this done. There are meetings to attend, appointments to make, kids to pick up, errands to run and this list of distractions could go on and on, and on.

When compiling all of your media together (whether that’s tapes, film, photos, or audio) you have to consider the length of the tape, the number of photos, and the amount of recording for audio. A tape alone can hold up to 4 hours of content, which will have to play all the way through in order to capture your content with the at-home converter box.

Each individual photo will need to be scanned, by hand…one by one. How many do you have again? And each audio recording will have to be played all the way through. Granted, it might be just a 2:32 minute song, but how many cassettes do you have?

All in all, you’re looking at a lot of time on your hands. And don’t think you can just walk away and let the tape play all the way through. Tapes and film are likely to have tracking issues during digitization that you will need to adjust, and/or you might need to fix the tape/film if it begins to have a jam.


As we stated before, you’ll have to buy your own outputs, digitize everything piece by piece to each item, and hopefully have done it right so you can share with your family members. DVD burning can take up to 30 minutes to an hour depending on the length of the movie.

Not only will you have to wait for your DVD to burn after watching each of your 4-hour VHS tapes, but you’ll have to burn multiple DVDs in order to share with your family and friends. Additionally, thumb drives will need time to download/upload to each drive. Just be aware that it will not be easy to send via email with your contacts. Emails cannot send any content over 25MB – so make sure your videos aren’t too long or you’ll have to cut them down into smaller pieces. Which is definitely annoying extra work for you.

If you upload your content to google drive, you can easily share it with your family, right? Yes! BUT, when using your personal account, you must pay $100 per month after exceeding storage size. That being said, you won’t be able to upload your content there either. No worries, at VCE, we provide a google drive link just for you to use with the storage you need to share with your family members.


Let’s face it. It is what it is: a chore. You have a lot on your plate already and this task requires a lot of time, a lot of patience, room for error (but really, with memories, there is no room for error), and all of your focus/attention.

Listen, we want you to relive your memories as quickly as possible with the best quality available. At VCE, we can eliminate the DIY frustrations and tackle this special project for you and your family. With skilled technicians, a quick turnaround time, multiple format options, and real-time updates on your order…why wouldn’t you want to save your memories with us?

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Our service is the best in the business and so is our customer support. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with our results please contact us to discuss any options. *Quality of film conversion and restoration is dependent upon the condition of existing film stock and/or videotape; severely deteriorated original materials may be beyond the reach of even the most sophisticated restoration methods.