Those who belong to the older generations would certainly be aware of the ancient 8 mm home movies. These are fantastic journeys down memory lane and there are thousands of men and women who would like to preserve these old and fantastic collections of classics. While there are many old western cowboy classics and war movies that can never be remade again. There could also be some personal films about old birthdays, reunions or some unforgettable and priceless clips from daily lives that could be decades old. These memories quite often languish in film spools and they are not easy to play these days. Therefore, the best way forward is to convert these 8 mm films and other such old treasure into a digital format. However, this is a project and the earlier it is done the better it will be. This is because time could damage these spools beyond repair. You have a responsibility to maintain these family treasures for the benefit of future generations before they get lost in the journey of time.

How To Transfer To Digital Format

There are a few ways by which this could be done. We will look at a few of them for the benefit of our readers.

The Film Chain Transfer – This was used by many in the Hollywood for converting old films into digital format. The film chain transfer is a process by which the film that needs to be converted gets loaded into any standard projector. The projector flashes the images onto a screen. A separate movie camera is then used to capture the images and the new prints are made out. These are then stored safely so that there is a replacement for the original one. However, there are some issues with quality and there is a flickering that appears on the new film. This is because of the shutter that is used by the projector for moving the old film forward.

A similar technique, using the same principles, is utilized by so-called “film scanners” that scan each film slide as an image and than create a digital video out of those images. These film scanners are available online and are relatively affordable, making them a good option for moving old family film to digital formats.

The Digital Revolution

During the late 1980s and 1990s, the digital revolution had well and truly begun. During the first days of the digital revolution, old 8mm films were converted into digital formats using a process known as interlacing. This is also called video interlacing where two images are combined and a new single one is made. This is done by alternating lines from each one. This did help quite a bit when these digital films were played on the television tubes. It was a big improvement over the conventional movie projectors. However, as higher definition televisions, computer screens and mobile phones became popular it was only a matter of time before new technologies of conversion came into being such as Putocker. These are called as HD formats.

Converting 8MM Films To DVD

The basic technology for transferring 8mm film to DVD still continues to depend on the various methods that were developed by Hollywood over the past 50 years. There are professionals who are there to do the job for you at a small cost. This process is referred to as converting 8 mm, 16mm and other sizes of conventional and old films into high resolution and HD DVD formats. These are much better than the film chain transfers and other technologies that have been described above.

The images are interlaced and these can be shown when it is displayed using a high definition computer, mobile phone or television. There is a possibility that the interlacing will become only more obvious as resolution and technology requirements advance from one stage to another. Hence, it would always be better to look for a professional firm that transfers the films using HD or even more advanced technologies. This will make sure that the results are superior and there is perfect frame to frame reproduction.

A Few More Points To Be Kept In Mind

There is something known as full frame scanning and this also is becoming quite popular. This method is not about cropping the image and only capturing the two-thirds of the frame inside. Hence, when you do this form of full frame scanning, you will be able to get the entire picture and there will be no cropping at all. Further, you also could try and use scratch and dust removal techniques. This could help remove the dust and scratches that could distort both the sound and the picture quality.

The Final Word

Hence, today we have the facilities and the technologies that could help in recapturing those wonderful 8mm and 16 mm films in the best of DVD formats. The same can be handed over to the next generation for their viewing and could be passed on again and again.


Founder of in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X