Remember how much fun it was to break out those old home movies on Super 8 film, set up the screen and have an evening stroll down memory lane? Now you can preserve those memories on film and VHS by copying them to a DVD.
Remember how much fun it was to break out those old home movies on Super 8 film, set up the screen and have an evening stroll down memory lane?
Remember when the screen wouldn’t stay up, and the projector wouldn’t work?
Remember how faded and spotty the footage became with age?
Now you can preserve those memories on film and VHS by copying them to a DVD. Jim Trafidlo of Video Transfer Inc. and National Boston in Brookline, Mass., said converting those old films, videos, records and tapes to DVD, Blu-ray, CD or digital files can be easy.
Using a service
Companies like Trafidlo’s can take those old materials, convert them, copy them to whatever format a client is looking for and duplicate it for that perfect family reunion favor.
Pricing generally depends on the length of footage; however, there may be discounts for high volume, Trafidlo said. Companies can also do color correction and creation of a menu, which cost extra. Editing services are also available if you simply don’t need another hour of footage of Gram’s flower garden.
For the do-it-yourself editor, footage can be put in a digital file that the client can edit.
Do it yourself
There are products that can help you convert these items yourself. Honestech.com sells a converter that works for video and audio for around $80. The VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe can even help the user convert to iPhone, iPad and other digital formats and upload footage to YouTube.
It’s also possible to hook a VCR to a DVD player with recording capability. For converting film, there is equipment available, but it’s expensive and difficult to use.
For audio, there’s a free program called Audacity – available at audacity.sourceforge.net – that people can use to convert cassettes and albums to CD or digital format.
Pros and cons
Doing the conversions yourself can mean you’ll get exactly what you want, if you have editing skills or desire to learn how to edit. However, for the person who isn’t technologically savvy, the process can be time-consuming and frustrating, Trafidlo said. Depending on how much you’re converting – and how important it is – it may be easier to hire a company.
Be sure to do your research to find a reputable company in your area. And, of course, remember that if something is protected by copyright, it cannot legally be transferred. So if what you’re looking for is a DVD copy of your favorite Hollywood movie, it’s smarter (and cheaper) to just buy it on DVD.