How To Convert Film And VHS To Digital

You’ve Got To Update Old Footage Eventually

Granted, there is longevity to celluloid; but over time it does degrade, and it’s a lot smarter to store it digitally as well as in its original form than to just trust old footage will remain viewable. Over time, the original “prints” of films gradually degrade. This happens at the highest echelons of film development. here you can get How To Convert Film And VHS To Digital.

For example, the controversial Star Wars special edition remakes of the late nineties were, at least partially, the result of original celluloid diminution during storage. Essentially, the original “print” of the film was degrading and needed restored—you can read more about that here. So that restoration took place, segueing into some updates to the classic tale.

Now, certainly, the special work done “in the post”, as it were, by George Lucas and his team is hotly debated by fans. What isn’t debatable is the effect of entropy on physical substances. So your old VHS tapes—if you don’t get them backed up on some sort of digital media eventually—are going to break down to the point they can no longer be viewed.

How To Convert Film And VHS To Digital
How To Convert Film And VHS To Digital

Different Ways To Digitally Safeguard Media

There are a number of ways to get such footage digitally backed up. If you’ve got the equipment, you can hook a VHS player up to a computer that records the footage onto a hard drive, which can then be transferred to backup Solid State Drive (SSD) options like thumb-drives or DVDs.

Things get a little bit more difficult when it comes to the transferal of 8mm footage. Of course, you could just play it through the projector and record the footage with a device, but that’s going to put an additional layer between what’s on the footage, and what you can review later. A better option would be to use professional services.

If you don’t go with a professional group, then you’ve got to buy a sometimes expensive piece of technology for the process, learn its use, and contend with all the difficulties that entail. Meanwhile, there are exceptionally efficient privatized options like Just8mm which are convenient, affordable, and provide qualitative output in a way that saves you the hassle.

Beyond 8mm, VHS, and other types of footage on physical film, it’s also notable that even DVDs can be subject to degradation over time. While they say DVDs are supposed to last between 30 and 100 years, and CDs last 100 to 200 years, in reality their real shelf life is less than 20 years—about how long Lucas’ original celluloid print lasted before it needed repair.

A Notable Storage Solution For All Visual Media

So really, what you want to do is transfer everything to SSDs, and store those; updating them every couple of years. Drives that use discs are going to break down. The film will break down, DVDs will break down, CDs will break down. Now certainly, storing even 8mm film in temperature-controlled, sterile environments immune to exterior factors can help.

However, there’s just no way to preserve any sort of media forever; and though books last hundreds of years, you can’t print moving pictures on them in any meaningful way. It’s ludicrous to transfer movies to flipbooks! So the wisest move is transferring footage on celluloid or other physical films to digital formats on DVDs.

Once you have the DVD, upload the footage to a solid-state drive, and store that drive in a secure location. A gigabyte of storage will cover about an hour of footage in most formats, and you can condense footage down so that you might be able to keep several hours of footage on just one gigabyte.

Securing Footage

To close: go with a professional transferral service that switches footage to a DVD, upload the DVD to your computer, condense it, put it on SSD media, and store that SSD in a secure location somewhere. There are options through professional uploading agencies that will automatically put footage on SSD options like thumb drives, simplifying the process.

Certainly, you can keep your old home movies, legal files, entertainment films, and other footage safe perpetually; and you need not upgrade how you store them every decade if you do it right. However, systems of order descend into chaos; so even the best storage requires revisiting periodically.