Having a home theater makes movie nights more fun, but you don’t always have to stream the latest flick for your friends and family. Why not make a big bowl of popcorn, grab your favorite sodas, and gather around to watch your favorite home movies? There’s no better way to share family history with your children and grandchildren than to watch memories come to life on the big screen. The biggest challenge is owning equipment that will still play back old video formats, whether on a Super 8 film reel or saved on a VCR tape. Today, there are several ways to digitize home movies, whether you want to do it yourself or hire a professional to handle it for you.
Why is it important to digitize home movies?
In addition to getting your home movies into a format you can easily access with the equipment you own, there are many other reasons why digitizing your home videos is important.
- Keep your memories safe. Creating digital files of your home movies will preserve them. Other formats degrade over time, but digital files will remain in perfect condition forever.
- Repair damaged film. Film and tape can fade, crack, or tear. While you will need a professional’s help with the damaged film, almost any movie can be repaired adequately enough to transfer the files into a digital format. It’s better to have a few missing pieces where a tape had to be pieced together than not to have the film at all.
- Get them organized. It’s easy to manage digital files using multiple criteria for keywords and tags. Having a conversation about that funny thing that happened to you at your 8th birthday party? You can instantly pull up the file footage so that everyone can have a good laugh.
- Share them. Once you digitize home movies, you can create additional copies for your family or share segments of them on social media platforms.
- Make them better. You can duplicate your digital files and use accessible software to edit them for more theatrical quality. Add narrations, titles, and graphics to turn amateur footage into a Spielberg-quality film.
If your home videos are on film reels, it may be best to hire a professional to transform your memories for you. Film strips can become brittle and fade over time, and playing them through a converter box could cause more damage. A professional will know how to care for your filmstrip and splice it correctly to repair the damage. DIY setups for film reels can cost upwards of $1,000.
On the other hand, VCR tapes are much easier to convert at home. You will need to have a working VCR (often, you can buy refurbished ones on eBay or Amazon), a video capture card or analog video capture device, video recording software, and cables to connect everything to your PC or laptop. You can likely buy everything you need for less than $100. Our staff at Accurate Electronic Interiors can help you identify the components you need to transfer VCR tapes to digital files.
If you’re not technologically savvy or the film looks precarious, many professionals will do the work for you. You can find online companies via your favorite internet search engine. If you prefer to hand deliver your footage rather than trusting it to the mail system, you can start by asking for references from a local photo development shop (yes, they still exist!) Many of them will have this service available or know of a trusted local business that does.
Make your home movie nights spectacular with an upgrade from Accurate Electronic Interiors.
If you want to design the perfect home theater experience for your friends and family, talk with our professionals at Accurate Electronic Interiors. We are Southern Oregon’s first choice in home theater and SMART home electronics design and installation. Our teams install quality electronic systems that seamlessly automate your home theater, window coverings, lighting, outlets, surveillance system, and more. Visit our showroom or call us to learn more about how we can make your life easier.