Time is wreaking havoc on the audio and video quality of your home movies. It’s time to convert them if you haven’t already done so.
Let’s talk about your home movie collection. Remember that clunky VCR camera that helped you capture your baby’s first steps? Do you have memories of watching grandpa’s home movies with the family projector? When was the last time you were able to enjoy these memorable glimpses into the past?
Your Memories Are Fading
It’s time to do something about the rest of your memory collection trapped on film or magnetic tapes. These treasures are particularly delicate and need your attention soon. Magnetic tapes (VCR) have a shorter lifespan than film (grandpa’s home movies) and begin to deteriorate after ten years. But film has its problems too. If you smell vinegar, or your film has white or green chalky particles, then you need to act fast and work with a professional conversion service.
What to look for in a Home Movie Conversion service
- Investigate how the work is done and who is doing it. Transfer services are abundant, and many of them use primitive equipment with minimally trained staff or film handlers. Many of these services use a modified projector with a video camera in it which tapes the image. They often don’t have the tools to improve the picture and can damage the film, and sometimes your film is sent out of the country.
- Look for transfer services that use a sprocket less, capstan system designed specifically for scanning. This is the same type of equipment used by the Film and TV industry. This kind of equipment has tools that offer color correction, dirt and scratch concealment, high resolution and more. You’ll pay more for high-end conversion, but it’s worth it.
- Ask your provider about the quality of their output. What is the highest resolution they can provide? Your goal is to have a high-resolution original as your master copy that will remain in your hub. You will edit and use derivatives to transfer to DVD or stream online (YouTube or Vimeo). If your provider only offers transfer to DVD or streaming to an online account, find another vendor. These files are highly compressed.
Once your home movies are converted, rename the files and store in your digital photo hub in their corresponding folder.
Don’t Forget Your Digital Photo Hub
Now let’s circle back to when we encouraged you to choose a digital photo hub that has a large capacity and stored locally on your computer or external hard drive. Your entire memory collection, which now contains high res images and high res videos, needs a ton of space! As your collection grows, so does your space requirement. Your locally stored hub should be easy to duplicate (copy to an external drive) and backup (manually or automatically) and is readily available at all times (doesn’t depend on an internet connection).
It’s time to move on to the fun part! Let’s start sharing and enjoying your precious memories.
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We also invite you to visit our sister blog The Photo Organizers for more tips and in-depth knowledge from some of the top photo organizing industry professionals. To find a photo organizer near you, visit the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.