8mm to DVD FAQ

What makes 8mm to DVD different from the rest? We believe there are seven main differences:

  • Our 8mm to DVD prices are simple to understand, all-inclusive, and very reasonable. Most others charge setup fees, splicing fees, per foot charges, and many other add-ons that make the whole process very confusing.
  • Our quality is impeccable. There are many methods for transferring 8mm and Super8 film, and we've tried most of them out at one time or another. Many of these processes do not produce an accurate representation of what is on your film, and a couple of them produce similar results, but at 3 to 4 times the price. Our 8mm to DVD process, using patented equipment, yields a very high resolution picture, free of flicker, hotspots and halos, evenly lit across all regions of the screen and evenly focused. In addition, because we use a true "telecine" transfer, there is no screen texture, so you get very high resolution and accurate color reproduction.
  • We archive all of your 8mm footage at no extra charge, and file it under your name. This provides an extra layer of protection in case you lose or break your DVD, have a fire, etc. This also allows us to make additional copies of your 8mm to DVD transfer at a later date without having to send anything to us.
  • We have an extremely fast turnaround time (About 6 business days or less from the time we receive an order until we ship it back out).
  • We are a Better Business Bureau Accredited business and have an A+ rating with the BBB. We take customer service and satisfaction extremely seriously, and our record with the BBB shows that.
  • We have two retail locations where we offer our services to walk-in customers. We are not a home-based business or hobby business.
  • We serve as a third-party service provider for well over 100 independent 8mm transfer companies because they recognize our outstanding combination of quality, price and fast turnaround time in converting 8mm to DVD. However, our focus firmly remains on serving customers directly.

Are you experienced?

We have been transferring 8mm film to DVD since 2002. Since inception we have transferred over 48 million feet of film to DVD, and are the largest 8mm film transfer company in the nation. Yes, we are experienced.

How do I order?

  • If you want your 8mm reels in a specific order on the DVD, just number the boxes or reels clearly in the sequence you want them.
  • If you want disc menu titles for each of your 8mm reels, create a numbered list with the titles you want for each reel. Reel titles are limited to 15 characters including spaces.
  • Complete the order form and print it out so it can be included in your shipment to us. Note that our shipping address is at the top of the order form.
  • Package your reels and order form. We strongly recommend using a box and not a padded mailer. We suggest using FedEx or UPS for security, and so that you can track your shipment to us.
  • Relax. Once we receive your order, we will transfer your 8mm to DVD and ship it the original film and DVD back to you in about 6 business days. We charge the credit card on your order form the day we ship your order. UPS or Fedex will also email you a tracking number for our return shipment.

Where are you located?

Our website operations are based in Longview, Texas at 1020 W. Loop 281. We have a walk-in, retail location at the Longview site, and another one in Tyler, Texas. We are a real business, with a real business location, not a home based business, hobby or second job.

How many 8mm reels will fit on a DVD?

Depending on your format (8mm or Super8), you can fit 16-20 three-inch reels, 4-5 full five-inch reels, 2-3 full six-inch reels or 2 full seven-inch reels. Once one DVD is full, we simply move on the next, and label everything appropriately ("disc 1 of 3", "disc 2 of 3", etc.). There is no additional charge if your order takes up more than one DVD, although this will affect the price of additional copies since we charge $10 per disc for extra copies.

What if I want extra copies of my 8mm to DVD footage?

Simply indicate the number of extra copies you want in the appropriate space at the bottom of your order form. Copies cost just $10 per disc. If you are calling to order at a later date, we will need to know the original customer name and month and year of the order.

Can you transfer 8mm sound film?

Yes, if you have a sound stripe on your Super8 film, we will transfer any recorded audio...same pricing as silent 8mm film. Note that less than 1% of all Super8 film has a sound stripe, and that some sound film does not actually have anything recorded on the sound stripe. Note also that because the sound on your film is recorded magnetically, it is subject to a more rapid deterioration than the film stock itself. The older the recorded sound stripe is the more likely that it will have warbly or degraded audio.

What if I want music with my DVD?

We do not offer music accompaniment for four reasons:

First, each of your reels is a separate menu item on the DVD. Because the majority of 8mm and Super8 film in existence is on 3 inch reels, and these run from 3 to 4 minutes, most songs would be truncated (cut-off at the end). There would not be a continuous flow of music.

Second, remember that these DVDs will last many, many years. We have seen transfers done back when VHS first came out, and the accompanying music is usually so bad you want to leave the room. Musical tastes change over time, and you or your heirs will probably not like the music in 20 years and turn the sound down anyway.

Third, we respect copyright laws, and most popular music is copyrighted.

Finally, it would cost extra, and we are a low-cost provider of 8mm to DVD transfer services. We strive to keep our prices as low as possible, and adding music would increase our cost, and thus the price you pay.

If you want music, we recommend playing your favorite CD in your stereo while watching your home movies on DVD.

Can I get my 8mm transfer in a digital copy or other formats?

Yes you can. We can create editable .avi files of your transfer and write them to your own portable hard drive for an additional charge of $30 per hour of material. Just indicate this preference at the bottom of the order form and include your hard drive with your order. Note that you can also convert the .vob files on our DVDs into editable formats yourself, using file conversion software such as Wondershare, and many other programs. Once converted into an editable format, you can use your favorite editing program to edit your footage however you wish.

Will your DVD play in my player?

Our DVD's will play in 99% of DVD players and computers. In rare instances where a customer can't play a DVD-R, we have a free re-burn policy, and will re-ship your DVDs in another format at our expense.

There are two types of DVD disks. "Replicated" DVDs, like the ones you rent movies on, have all the video information included in them when the disk is manufactured. There is no "burning" process, and these replicated DVDs are 100% compatible in all DVD players. However, because of the very high cost of creating a master DVD for this manufacturing process, it is not cost effective to produce replicated DVDs unless you are making hundreds of copies of a particular DVD.

"Duplicated" DVDs, on the other hand, start out life as blank media. The video information is then burned/etched with a laser during the DVD burning process. This is much more cost effective for small quantities of disks, however, they are not 100% compatible in all equipment. There are at least 8 different DVD formats and dozens of DVD manufacturers out there, all of which have varying degrees of compatibility with individual DVD players. We burn all of our DVDs on the DVD-R format, which is by far the most compatible format. In addition, we use Verbatim name-brand DVDs which have been shown in tests to be among the most compatible duplicated DVDs. However, if this disc happens to not be playable in your equipment, 8mmtoDVD.com offers free re-burns of our DVDs in another format. You should be aware that this compatibility issue affects every single one of our competitors, as well.

Can I make copies of the DVD myself?

Using DVD copying software and a DVD drive in your computer, you can make copies of our DVDs. We don't add a copy-protection signal to our DVDs, or anything else that would prevent you from making copies. We copy the DVDs for archiving purposes on a tower duplicator dozens of times every day.

Can I edit my film transfer footage?

Our DVDs are formatted as .VOB files, which is the default file format for playback on standalone DVD players and computer-based DVD-Video playback software. Because you can't normally directly edit a .VOB file, you will need to select one of several options for editing your footage using computer based editing programs.

One option is to use file conversion software to convert the .VOB files on our DVDs into an editable file format such as .AVI. You may find such programs at www.download.com or related sites. Note that we do not offer or endorse any specific program, nor are we responsible for their download, performance, etc. (Many customers say Wondershare is great for file conversion)

We can create editable .AVI files for you if you provide a portable hard drive with your order. There is an additional charge of $30 per hour of material for this service, and the hard drive should be NTFS formatted or unformatted.

We can also provide your transfer on a MiniDV or Digital8 tape. You can then play back the digital tape in a digital camcorder through a firewire to your PC in real time to create your own editable .AVI or .MPEG file.

Finally, for computers with analog video inputs you can connect a standalone DVD player to your PC and "re-digitize" the footage in real-time to create an editable file.

What customer service do you provide?

We keep normal business hours, 9am to 6pm CDT Monday through Friday. You can call us toll-free during business hours at 1-866-331-3456 (331-FILM). In addition, you can contact us using our contact form, and we will respond as quickly as we can. We make a living by providing superior customer service, and don't plan on changing that anytime soon. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and have received many Gold Star Awards from the BBB for superior customer service.

How long does it take to get my 8mm to DVD order?

We will complete and ship your 8mm to DVD transfer within about 6 business days of receiving your order. Assuming you use UPS in the continental U.S., we should receive it within 4 business days or less, and the return time to you should be 4 business days or less, so you can expect your order back in around 14 or 15 business days, or less. If you are shipping to us during November and December, please see the FAQ below about Christmas cutoff dates.

How do I know my old 8mm film is still good?

8mm and Super8 movie film, unless stored in very hot or moist conditions or in tightly sealed cans, is nearly always in good enough shape to do a transfer. Although the plastic leader sometimes becomes brittle over time, in most cases the filmstock itself remains in good shape.

There are a few things to look for if you have doubts. First, smell your film. If it has a very strong chemical odor, chances are it has damage of some sort. Check to see if the layers are stuck together. If not, check to see if the film has started to curl if you look at it edge-on. Finally bend the film and see if it is brittle. If your film is stuck together, badly curled or very brittle, we may not be able to transfer it. For film that is slightly curled or damaged which we may be able to transfer, you will probably see defects in the transfer including edges that are out of focus, skips and pauses in the film, framing issues, etc.

About the only other thing that can ruin your film is water. If the film is stored in wet conditions, or if it is submerged, the emulsion layer will run and your images will be turned into red and blue blobs. Again, there is not much we can do in this case.

The good news is that far less than 1% of all the film we see is damaged so badly we can't do a transfer. We regularly transfer film dating back to the early 1940s, and occasionally from the 1930s and even the late 1920s, and it is generally in good condition.

Of course, there are small problems that affect the look of your 8mm or Super8 film, but won't stop us from doing a transfer. These may include slight fading, debris that is part of the film image, burns from prior play (note our method of transfer makes it impossible to burn or scorch your film), poor framing due to using a movie camera without a "through the lens" viewfinder, snagged or ripped sprocket holes, deteriorated sound quality on magnetic sound Super8 film, crystals that are part of the image, and many other little problems that annoy us, but you probably won't notice or care about.

What if my 8mm film is broken?

It's no big deal. We will repair it (free of charge) and you probably won't even notice the break as you watch your film on DVD.

The box says my reels are 25 feet.

Your film was originally purchased as a 25 foot long reel of unexposed film about an inch wide. When it was exposed (shot) it was flipped over in the camera after one edge was exposed, then the other edge was exposed. When it was sent in for developing/processing, the film was split down the middle to create 50 feet of developed film about a half-inch wide.

How long will a DVD last?

To quote from the US Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology Publication 500-252, Page 13:
"Among the (DVD) manufacturers that have done testing, there is consensus that, under recommended storage conditions, DVD-R discs should have a life expectancy of 100 to 200 years or more."

In addition, many DVD manufacturers openly make the same claim on their own websites. Given the massive liability that would result if DVDs would suddenly start to fail in 15 or 20 years, it is highly unlikely that the manufacturers would exaggerate their claims. If you understand that a DVD is a solid-state media, not reliant on magnetism to store data, and encapsulated on all sides, such a long life makes sense. It really is more similar to a record or album than anything else (obviously DVDs are read with a laser beam instead of a record needle). Store it in a case in normal conditions and handle it carefully to prevent scratches, and it will last for generations to come.

Of course, nobody can say for sure how long DVDs will survive as the dominant media format. Just as records and albums are no longer the dominant audio media, there will come a day when DVDs are replaced with another format. HD is becoming popular, but because the vast majority of BluRay players can play (and upconvert) standard definition DVDs, you can be sure that the DVD format will be around and relevant for many, many years to come.

The important thing to remember is that you will have digitally archived your film, and it will be very easy and inexpensive to transfer that digital information to some other digital format at some point in the future.

I want my order by Christmas, what is the cut-off date?

We get unbelievably busy during November and December. All orders in our hands by December 17 will be returned in time for Christmas. This deadline may be extended under special circumstances.

How do I measure reel size?

Simply measure the diameter (the total width) of the 8mm reel itself. Most reels are the 3-inch type that fit in the palm of your hand, but there are three larger sizes of reels: 5, 6 and 7-inch. We prorate (reduce) our prices for these larger reels if your reel is not full, and will charge only for the actual amount of film.

What about return shipping charges?

For orders over $400, we will pay for return shipping. For orders under $400, we will add $16 for UPS or Fedex ground shipping back to you.

Do you have a minimum 8mm to DVD charge?

Yes, it is $15, not including shipping.

I have a lot of reels. Can I try you out first before I send them all?

You bet, customers do this all the time. Send us 2 three-inch reels to transfer, which will cost you $33.98 including shipping, and try us out for yourself. When you send the rest of your reels, let us know and we'll add the original ones to your disc at no additional charge.

Are you still in business?

Believe it or not, this is the most common question asked when people phone us. They just want to make sure there are real, live people on the other end before they send in their family 8mm film reels. Yes, we are still in business and will be for years to come, but go ahead and call us if it makes you feel better...we don't mind!

Do I get my film back?

Yes, you get your film back and our transfer process will not alter or damage your film in any way.

How should I package my film to send?

Package the reels so they don't shift around too much during shipping and they should be fine. If your reels are in cans or small yellow boxes, leave the reels in them. Try to avoid using shredded paper as packing material, and please do not use tape anywhere on the reels themselves. Please don't individually wrap each reel in bubble wrap, aluminum foil, cling wrap, etc.

I have 8mm videotapes, not 8mm round reels...my 8mm tapes say MP120.

We can also transfer all videotape formats, including Hi8, Digital8, VHS, Beta and MiniDV. The price for video to DVD transfers is $12.50 per hour of footage, with no charge for blank or unrecorded sections. Just visit the Videotape to DVD page of this website.

Do you also transfer 16mm film?

Yes and the price is the same as 8mm. Note that we run all 16mm film at 24 frames per second, which is the majority of 16mm. If your film happens to be shot at 18fps, it will run faster than intended.

Why are your prices so low?

This is a difficult question to answer. We know there are other transfer companies out there that charge 2, 3 and even 4 times what we charge. A better question might be why do these other companies charge so much? We provide a high quality product at a fair price, and we have become the largest 8mm to DVD provider in the nation. We try to keep our operating costs low, we do a high volume of transfers, and we have a fast turnaround time. We would rather make a fair profit on a large volume of orders than overcharge customers on a smaller volume. This is our philosophy, and it has worked well for us since 2002.

What about High Definition transfers?

Many companies have begun to offer HD transfers of 8mm film over the last few years, most often at a significantly higher price than ours. However, 8mm film itself is not a high definition format to begin with. In fact, the smallest level of detail you can see in 8mm film is the individual film grains. Once a transfer method can bring out that level of detail in the 8mm film (as our method does), then using higher and higher resolution equipment will not make the film look any more detailed or clear.

The other problem with HD transfers is the screen shape. HD is a widescreen, 16:9 format, while 8mm film is a more squared 4:3 shape, like old fashioned tube televisions. So to fit the standard 4:3 boxy shape of 8mm film to a wide HD screen shape, either the top and bottom of the 8mm film frame have to be cut off entirely, or color bars have to be added to the sides of the HD screen.

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