They hold so many memories that it would be a great shame to see them lost to time, moldering away in a basement box. For those of us who treasure these kinds of things, there are basically two options: DIY transfers or hiring folks like Just8mm to do it for us.
For the braver ones among us, the DIY option might sound like a bit of an adventure into the murky world of gadgets and devices, but there are likely to be quite a few folks out there who’d rather have it done by people who know what they’re doing. To each their own.
To transfer from older formats to DVD, you will need a DVD recording converter device that can be linked to your VHS player, or your Super 8, whichever is the particular case. These DVD converters are quite easy to find online, at reasonable prices too.
Then, having connected the two machines, you insert the blank DVD into the writer while you put in the old VHS tape. Rewind the tape to where you’d like to record from, and start playing from there while the DVD player is set to the recording function.
You can fiddle around with tracking to get the right display, and so forth, while you record. The thing is, though, that this method is probably not the best option, given that the relentless march of time has rendered DVDs themselves nearly obsolete too.
If you want to convert your Super 8 or VHS recordings to DVD format, there’s a second way to do this. You can download the software that will enable you to do it from your home computer and then running a DVD writer from there.
Again, it might seem that you’re transferring one form of obsolescence to another, but you might have a very good reason. With this method, you’ll either be using a DVD writer on your PC itself or an external one. Either way amounts to the same thing.
For this method, you will require a USB to composite converter, a computer with available USB ports, and of course, the VHS or Super 8 machine. Connect up all the devices properly, and then you can begin. The USB converters are cheap and widely available.
Place your VHS into the player, making sure to rewind it to where you want to record from. Then you simply begin recording on your computer as the tape plays in the machine. You could have a TV attached too, although this isn’t necessary.
After you’ve recorded everything you can take things still further on the computer, by editing and touching up the results with the onboard editing tools.
By far, the most common choice will be just to let the pros handle the problem. There are companies out there who offer this service, such as legacybox.com or Just8mm, and the costs are really low.
The pros will give you all the options, and you simply select from whichever one suits you best. For the most part, it’s likely that having a digitized copy on a hard drive makes the most sense, or possibly a flash drive.
We’re a sentimental bunch, humans. We are very reluctant to get rid of things, even when they’re not valuable or useful in any way. In the case of family memories, we feel even more strongly, given how precious they can be.
Treasuring these memories is important in terms of family bonds, but it’s also crucial that these keepsakes be available in time to come. Before very long, they will quite literally become some of the first recordings of genuine historical interest.