It Took A While, But At Last It’s Done!

Welcome to the 472nd Metamorphosis Monday!

Last September I shared some information I had gathered regarding the process of having VHS and 8mm Tapes transferred over to DVD. If you have the right equipment, you could probably do it yourself, but since the tapes I wanted to have converted over contained irreplaceable, precious memories of my son and other family members, some who are no longer here, I decided to leave it up to a professional.

After reading reviews online and deciding which local company to use, this was the box of 20+ tapes I took to them.  I guess a lot of folks are doing this these days (having their VHS/8mm tapes transferred to DVD) because it was going to be a six-week wait before they could get to my tapes.

I decided to take the tapes back home during the waiting period, as opposed to leaving them in their facility. It scared me thinking of them being there for so many weeks, just sitting on a shelf somewhere. What if the building caught fire? I asked that question while there and was told they do have a sprinkler system, but that water would damage tapes, too.

I think this fear of leaving something I deem precious in the hands of strangers for an unknown period of time comes from an experience I had when I was expecting my son. I had taken a rocking chair that had belonged to my mother to an upholstery shop to have it recovered to use in my son’s nursery. A couple of weeks later, while reading the newspaper over a bowl of cereal one morning, I was shocked to read that the very same upholstery shop had caught fire and burned down. It was a total loss per the article in the paper!

Though the shop was completely destroyed, they  had somehow managed to save my rocker. The seat frame and cushion that’s removable, had to be totally rebuilt due to smoke/water damage, but the chair itself survived. (See the rocker and a much younger me 🙂 in this previous post: A Treasured Heirloom.)

So I decided to take the tapes back home with me that day, but offered to pay a deposit for them to “hold my place” in line so they would know I was serious about having the conversion done. Around six weeks later I received the call, they were ready for my tapes.

 

It took several weeks for the conversion process to be completed. At one point I got a little worried something had gone wrong. I called to check on my memories and was told that they were almost ready, they needed about one more week to complete the task. A week or so later they called to let me know the tapes were all done.

It took me a while to get the “names/events” written onto the outside of each DVD, especially since I had three copies made of each tape. The way the process works at the place I took my tapes is–they first copy over each tape in full just as it is onto a DVD. Then they make as many copies as you need of the original DVD.

Later, if you wish to have certain types of events all grouped together onto one DVD, like for example if you wanted all Christmases on one DVD together, you can have that done. That involves first sitting down and watching each DVD, noting down on a piece of paper the exact starting and ending point of each Christmas event so the staff will know where to find them all.

I took this large box of tapes/DVDs to Ohio with me when I was visiting family there in January. I knew I would have some time to work on labeling all the DVDs while there, plus I wanted to leave one set of copies with my son before returning back home. Since I had three copies made of each tape, there were three DVDs for each tape. In the photo below, the boxed DVDs are the first transfers, then the other copies are in small DVD cases.

I managed to get them all labeled, giving one set to my son and mailing the second full set to another family member. The final set, the one inside of the DVD box, was the one I kept.

VHS and 8 mm Tapes Recorded to DVD

 

So here they all are! The bottom row was all VHS tapes. I need to figure out how to label the DVDs. Maybe I’ll buy some small, clear DVD cases like the other copies were in, you could see through those to see the label on the DVD. Or, maybe I’ll just buy long skinny labels and label them down the spine of the DVD box…not sure yet.

I’ve only watched a couple of the DVD’s so far. The quality is okay, nothing like we are used to today, of course. I havn’t watched the old tapes in so long, I don’t remember exactly how they looked, but they have all been stored in a drawer in my family room over the years, so in a “controlled” environment with normal temperature/moisture.

VHS & 8mm Tapes Transferred Over to DVD

 

It’s an emotional experience watching these old movies, I have to do it in small doses or I’d probably be a crying, sappy, moody mess every single day. lol I think it would be easier to sit and watch them with my son than watching them by myself. I think I’m going to make him sit and watch some with me the next time I visit him. Ha!

I’m glad I did this, though it was rather expensive. I’m sure places like Costco are less expensive, but I decided to go with a company that does this, and only this, full-time. There are some services/products that I will shop around, hoping to find a good bargain, but price was never my main priority for this process. I just wanted two things: my original tapes to remain safe and undamaged, and for the transfer process to go smoothly.

When I get up the nerve to watch ALL of them, I’ll let you know if they all turned out okay, but so far the two I have watched looked fine. Just wanted to share the final result with you and encourage you to do the same with your old VHS and 8mm tapes. Those memories are too precious to risk having them eventually deteriorate and fade away, lost forever.

VHS & 8mm Tapes Transferred Over to DVD

 

Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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Comments

  1. Saving all those memories is one task that I keep on postponing, but now you have given me some encouragement. thanks!

  2. Thanks for hosting, Susan! Good idea on converting the tapes….Christine

  3. Oh boy, I need to have a bunch of tapes transferred to DVDs. Good reminder to get it done. Thanks for hosting Metamorphosis Monday!

  4. I took all of my 8mm tapes to Costco and they did a great job! It was very hard for me to watch also. Very emotional to see love ones who are gone from us. But I did laugh alot too!

  5. Could you tell me the name of the company you used. My daughter is in Atlanta and has all our old tapes and has been meaning to do this for a while now.

  6. Great idea. I need to see what I can have done with all our slides!
    Love your blog!

    • Thanks so much, Lois! I think most of the places that do this type work, also work to convert slides, too. I bet they could somehow transfer those to DVD or something similar.

  7. Julie Williams says:

    And now I hear Sony and other companies may stop making CD/DVDs altogether…what are we to do? Put these on a stick? I love it that you are putting this all on something that is more consolidated and easier to view. JW

    • You know, I thought about when I was getting ready to have this done. I was talking with someone the other day who told me they never even buy movies anymore, just stream them on Amazon and places like that. Everything is becoming digital now. I hope they continue to make DVD players or that I can always request one be incorporated into my computer. Would hate to lose the ability to play the ones I do have. The problem with tapes is they start to deteriorate, so hopefully these memories will last better on DVD. Maybe one day there will be a service that lets you upload your DVDs to the cloud, or maybe it already exist. lol

  8. Thank you for hosting! I have many old videos to convert, and I know how emotional it is to watch the old videos. You have inspired me…

  9. What is the name of the company? Do you know if they do 16mm conversion? My grandfather bought his first movie camera in 1929, so I have some very old film I would like to convert. Thanks and love your blog!

    • Thanks, Carillon! I used Current Pixel in Sandy Spring Georgia. Here’s their website: http://currentpixel.com/
      I think they do 16mm conversions, too. I think they can work with pretty much anything. Check their website, I bet it will have that info too, or you may want to call them. Their phone number is 404-256-4108.

  10. Your organizational skills blow me away Susan! Thanks for the party and the info, enjoy those memories!

  11. Thanks so much for hosting each week!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

  12. have to say …I had drapes for my living at one time with the same material..how funny is that. Love reading your blog only one I subscribe to.
    rls

  13. Thanks for hosting. Isn’t it a great feeling to get that onto DVD?! We didn’t have tapes… we had old reel to reel movies that I had transferred to DVD. And yes, it was really emotional for me too… They started when I was a baby and went through til I had babies. We didn’t have that many so it all fit on one DVD. But what a great thing to do!

  14. Funny to think how long before memories are converted from DVDs to something.

  15. Cyndi Raines says:

    So glad you have the originals back and now everything is converted, does make one feel good to get a large project like this done. I too converted the small films to VHS and then to DVD’s and yes they are emotional to watch, but SO worth it!

  16. Thank you for so clearly sharing how you had your family videos and tapes saved to DVD’s. Whew!
    Thanks for hosting today, always appreciated.
    Happy Valentines !
    Joy

  17. I worked in a museum and digitized thousands of photos and stored them on dvds. At home, I also stored my photos on dvd’s. But be sure to store them to the Cloud or an on line storage (google photos, picmonkey, etc). There are so many great online photo sites. I often advise newbie techies to just put the dvd in, and let google photos do the rest. Google is going to be around for awhile. Technology is moving very fast and storage is always an issue. Your reader is correct about CD/DVD’s becoming obsolete for many companies. I now have a new home computer that does not have a cd/dvd reader. Thankful my photos are on the Cloud. I can always retrieve them.

  18. Susanne Craig says:

    After my dad passed in 2003, I took a box filled with hundreds of odd photos and my husband scanned, repaired with photoshop and they were put in order AND numbered. I made 4 copies (for my 3 siblings) and then typed a listing for each photo with the date, where we lived and who was in the photo (eg. Christmas in 1963, Dayton, Ohio). My dad was in the RCAF and we literally moved 21 times so it was a time-consuming task. My thoughts were that as all my siblings were younger than myself, they wouldn’t have a clue as to many of those facts – to pass on to their children, grandchildren. We do plan to have our videos done as yours, but, will have to do some editing there because my Dad made his own and literally got names mixed up for all time unless I correct it. I will type up an index for each cd done too. A huge job, but well worth the effort; good luck.

  19. Thank you for responding to my comment in yesterday’s post about following up with this project. I really appreciated reading about the results of having vhs tapes made into dvds. I am inspired to do the same with the vhs tapes I have collected over the years. Margie

  20. donna a zoltanski says:

    You and your son are adorable. My niece is just about his age and had similar crib/yellow bedding. I love that chair!!! I am so glad it survived that fire and happy you took the time to preserve precious memories. I always enjoyed our own special storytimes with our great niece and nephew. Moments to treasure forever!

  21. I looked back at the blog when your son was born and found it interesting that we also had a cat named Chalmers! Not a common name

    • We named him after a college professor my husband had greatly admired during his college days. Funny story: he saw him at a college reunion many years later and told him we had named our cat after him. No telling what he thought about that! 🙂

  22. Elizabeth Ann says:

    Susan
    Thank you for the web information and phone number you used. This is a huge help. I did not know where to begin. My family has bee wanting to do this for some time.

  23. I would love to do this but am worried about the price. We have tons of old movies and would LOVE to have them preserved.

  24. Hi Susan,
    Thank you for the update regarding the cd/DVD becoming obsolete, and we need the cloud for storage. My daughter is transferring our photos to a hard drive. She makes a DVD of the photo books by year. We did not have a movie camera, but pictures take up space. I love your rocker seat cover. We wallpapered our master bedroom in 1990 with the same paper. We had the paper hanging on the wall for 27 years. In 2015 we removed the wallpaper and painted the master bedroom. I loved the wallpaper pattern. See you Thursday.
    Joyously,
    Betty

  25. I enjoyed seeing you with your baby boy (and rocker) nice story! Glad you stuck to your idea of protecting the tapes. I’ve had similar situations where I lost special things 🙁

    I bought my husband a converter set for Christmas, but he hasn’t started that project yet! No precious memories, just VHS movies he wants to convert and keep.

    Thanks for hosting!

    Katherine

  26. We have a few videos we need to do this too Susan. One namely our wedding video. I still have a VCR packed away. My boys are always asking what the heck a VCR is. Thanks for the party.

  27. It was a great idea to take the tapes back home with you! Enjoy viewing them again with a box of tissues!

  28. Can you give me an idea about how much this cost per tape? Thanks!!

  29. Years ago I bought one of those converters and it is not so easy to digitize. I’m sure you saved yourself hours and hours of DIY time.
    Did the company add words or music to the conversions?
    For your son to enjoy, upload a few 15 minute increments to Youtube. Videos can always be private. I love videos and am just about ready to make the leap to upgrade my 2012 laptop (with CD/DVD reader/writer) to the 2018 Windows 10 with 4K technology so it will be inline with my 4K mirrorless camera. I hate to see the things I like being thrown to the curb but the crisp clarity of 4k is breath-taking. Now searching for external DVD/CD reader writer with USB port.
    Thanks for the links!

    • Thanks, Teresa! I had a set made for my son, too when I was having them made.
      My son has a 4K TV and LOVES it! Everything just keeps getting better and better! I will have to breakdown eventually and go to Windows 10. I am still using Windows 7 since the program I use to store photos won’t work properly on Windows 10. 🙁

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