8mm and other formats - conversion to DVD - info needed

Deep-6

Novice Member
Hi there,

Could anyone recommend any company in the Surrey area that could undertake conversion of footage from old tape formats to DVD please?

Its a bit too delicate of a project for me to think about handling as I don't have any of the equipment needed.

Many thanks!
 
G

gizz

Guest
If you have a digital camcorder for the capture all you need is an old film projector and a screen. plenty of them at car boots, it would be far cheaper than getting it done by someone.

Ihave had great results with this meathod, Iput all my 8mm movie collection on to dvd with this setup.

Gizz
 

Deep-6

Novice Member
Hi Gizz,

thanks for the response. Basically, I am asking on behalf of a friend. The tapes are precious old memories so neither he or I want to risk damaging them by tackling the project ourselves. There are a few tapes, mostly 8mm and some of a slightly different format (i'm unsure of exactly what they are) so we would just prefer to hand them over to a local pro for treatment. Between us we also don't have a digital camcorder.

So hopefully we can get a recommendation from some one.

I found these guys on the web http://transfervideo.co.uk/ but has anyone used their service?

Cheers...
 

felix2

Novice Member
Hi,

I don't do anything more complicated than VHS to DVD, and haven't used anyone who does. But do warn your friend than "burned" DVDs (i.e. home-made DVD-R's etc, including those made by firms like the one you mentioned) aren't a panacea for video archiving. People have found they can last anywhere from only a few weeks :eek: up to several years, up to some manufacturers now claiming they'll last 100 years! (If anything would still play them then!!)

The dye which in effect carries the data (optically) on the disc starts to break down over time, depending on the quality of the disc, how much it's handled, and how it's stored. And just one tiny flaw on the disc can sometimes make the whole disc unplayable, in which case all its contents may be lost! :eek:

But don't worry too much. For important (archive) video, just make sure the original DVDs you have made are done on the best quality discs (Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Panasonic, Sony), and always have at least 1 if not 2 back-up copies of each one, stored away in a dark dry place. Then check them every year or so to check they're still working. As soon as one starts to fail, you'll hopefully still have 2 working copies of the same disc, and then make another back-up or 2 from one of those, and keep doing this sort of "rolling back-up" to make sure there's always at least 1 or 2 working copies. You could always do another copy onto another medium (VHS tape??) too, just to be sure (although that's obviously lower quality)...

And within another 10 years, we might all be putting all our video to store on a multimedia centre hard disk (or some other storage technology), either in the home, or online, where automatic back-ups will be cheap and easy to do. But in the meantime, DVDs are fine (I hope!), if you're aware of their shortcomings.
 

Deep-6

Novice Member
Hi Felix2,

Thanks to you too for the info. I hadn't given much thought to the longevity of the DVD format to be honest but you've given me food for thought!

What I have been doing in the past with general PC data is that I would initally back up to CD years ago, when I then got a DVD burner, I transferred most of my important backups to DVD. I then got an external USB drive and eventually backed up to there as well. Right now my most precious pieces of data are my collection of digital cams pictures, which is currently backed up to DVD and hard disk. I don't have a digital camcorder yet so I haven't before had to worry about backing up video. However, I do plan to pick up one in the near future and it sounds like I will have to invest in more storage.

Back to my project at hand, I managed to locate a couple of companies in London who would carry out what I need. From my research I've found out that the process is called TeleCine. The companies are:

http://www.videostation.co.uk/

and

http://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/

Has anyone used these?

One of them even offers to put a part of your tape on to DVD for free as a sampler. I think I might try these guys. It certainly can't hurt if its for free. If we eventually get the DVDs made up, I will have copies made, but would you say its worth copying to movies to MiniDV tape as well as having backups on DVD?

What is the shelf life of a standard Mini DV tape?

Thanks to you and gizz for the info you have provided.

Cheers
 
A

Analogue

Guest
Deep-6 said:
The tapes are precious old memories so neither he or I want to risk damaging them by tackling the project ourselves. There are a few tapes, mostly 8mm and some of a slightly different format (i'm unsure of exactly what they are)

.
Whoah... just a minute what are we talking about here... tapes?

Are we talking about 8mm home cine film or 8m video tape (i.e. Video 8)?

If its 8mm cine yes there are 2 formats "8mm" and "Super 8mm" Most later home cine projectors will play both (Popular makes were Bell &Howell and Paillard Bolex)

If its 8mm videotapes yes also there were 2 formats "Video 8" and "Video Hi8" These can only be practically replayed on an old camcorder although I believe Sony Digital 8 camcorderes will also play these old analogue tapes.

If its Cine then as has already been suggested get a suitable projector and screen at a car boot and point a DV camcorder at it. Then transfer the recordings to your PC via firewire. As DV camcorders can now be got for under £200 this will be cheaper in the long run as you are likely to be charged around £25 per 10 minute cine film.

If it is 8mm video tape maybe the best way is to get a digital 8 camcorder for replay that also can I believe be connected directly to a PC via firewire.
 

felix2

Novice Member
Good advice. My friend tried filming (with a prosumer DV camera) some 8mm cine film from a home projector and actually was a bit disappointed with the outcome, but gizz has obviously got good results. Some of the conversion companies will scan every frame of the film individually to compile it into a video - and obviously charge huge amounts for the privilege!

But if it's 8mm (or Hi-8) video tape, depending on how much there is to do, it might be a lot cheaper to get a camcorder that will play them and output from that. Either an old 8mm/Hi-8 analogue camera and plug the (analogue) output into a decent DVD recorder (or DVD/HDD recorder); or a Sony Digital 8 camcorder that plays 8mm/Hi-8 tapes (some do, but not all - mine doesn't!), again plugged into a DVD or DVD/HDD recorder, or via firewire into your PC. I think Digital 8 camcorders are still just about available to buy.

But if all that is going to be too much hassle / expense / (risk?!) for what your friend wants done, then hey you can't complain at a free trial DVD and see what you think for the price...

Back to the archiving, personally I'm not sure I'd bother transferring the DVDs you get onto mini-DV tape, but I'd just do a couple of extra DVD copies (on good quality blanks, possibly even 2 different brands to "spread the risk"). But if you get a camcorder sometime in the future, then for stuff that's important to archive, a lot of people I know will keep the original tapes of anything they've filmed (the raw footage), as well as outputting the final edited film from the computer back onto a new mini-DV tape, as well as making DVDs of it.
 

fcat

Banned
if its 8mm video or video of any kind, drop me an e mail i can do all you want very reasonable (a lot cheaper than any store or online place will do) am just doing 24 dv tapes for another member off here, send me a message I can do to dv tape, mini dv etc etc
cheers
fcat
 

Deep-6

Novice Member
Thanks Analogue, Felix2 and Fcat! I'll take all your suggestions under advisement. My friend will probably go for the trial dvd and get some idea of the price, but Fcat, I'll PM you when I know what kind of tapes we are talking about!

Thanks all! :thumbsup:
 
A

Analogue

Guest
Deep-6 said:
Thanks Analogue, Felix2 and Fcat! I'll take all your suggestions under advisement. My friend will probably go for the trial dvd and get some idea of the price, but Fcat, I'll PM you when I know what kind of tapes we are talking about!

Thanks all! :thumbsup:
For the sake of completeness we would all like to know what sort of tapes we were talking about! So please post.
 

Deep-6

Novice Member
For the sake of completeness we would all like to know what sort of tapes we were talking about! So please post.
I can't believe this I posted this 6 months ago, but for completeness sake the tapes were 8mm, with a total of about 50 minutes of footage spread across a few tapes.

The place it was taken to charged about £150 to convert the footage to DVD, and according to my friend they did a pretty good job - he is certainly pleased with it.

He has also made several backups of the DVD they made for him!

Thanks all for the advice! :thumbsup:
 

MarkE19

Moderator
a total of about 50 minutes of footage spread across a few tapes.

The place it was taken to charged about £150 to convert the footage to DVD, and according to my friend they did a pretty good job - he is certainly pleased with it.
£150 for about 50 minutes :eek:
I would hope they did a good job for that much. I would have done it for £100 :devil:

Mark.
 

Deep-6

Novice Member
£150 for about 50 minutes :eek:
I would hope they did a good job for that much. I would have done it for £100 :devil:

Mark.
Yep, he is certainly happy with the job they did. Its priceless footage as it's of him when he was a kid, and lets face it he doesn't have any particular problem shelling out the dosh unlike the rest of us mere mortals so he considered it a bargain!

I might call on you if I get similar requests in the future though! :thumbsup:

Cheers all!
 

Keith 1H

Standard Member
Still the debate goes on.

I have arrived at the same state as many others.
I have just cleared my Mams house and found about 10... 8mm / Super 8 small reels.
I would like to get them (professionally) copied to DVD.

Someone must have had a good deal/company that they can
recommend?Thanks.

Keith.
 

Keith 1H

Standard Member
Thank you Rogs. I've had a look does seem very reasonable and professional. I will look up the postal costs unfortunately I live 200 miles north.
Keith.
 

doug_1986

Well-known Member
And within another 10 years, we might all be putting all our video to store on a multimedia centre hard disk (or some other storage technology), either in the home, or online, where automatic back-ups will be cheap and easy to do
lol, turned out 5 years was enough :thumbsup:
 

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