We believe there are six main differences:
We have been transferring 8mm film to DVD since 2002. Since inception we have transferred over 39 million feet of film to DVD, and are the largest 8mm film transfer company in the nation. Yes, we are experienced.
Our 8mm to DVD ordering process is very simple. First, complete the order form and print it out. If desired, put your reels in the order you want to see them on the DVD, and write a number series on the reels (1 through the end) with a Sharpie or other marker. If you want individual titles for each reel, either write them on the reel, or include a page showing each reel number and the title you want. Please limit reel titles to a total of 15 characters and spaces.
Next, package your 8mm reels and order form securely in a good box and send it to us. We highly recommend using UPS or Fedex due to the security of your shipment, and the ability to track your shipment via the internet. Once we receive your shipment, we will complete your 8mm to DVD transfer within about 6 business days, and then ship both your DVD and your original reels back to you. We will charge your credit card account using the number you provide us on your order form. UPS will also send you an email confirming your order has been shipped, along with a tracking number.
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.
To provide the highest possible video quality for our 8mm to DVD transfers, we use a 10-Mbps DVD data transfer rate, which means one hour of 8mm or Super8 footage will fit on a 4.7GB DVD. Depending on your format (8mm or Super8), you can get 15-20 three-inch reels, 4-5 full five-inch reels, 3-4 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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, just note that on the order form. We recommend you get at least one copy on DVD because it will last much longer than VHS tape or MiniDV tape. If you want to capture and edit your 8mm footage on a computer, we can provide MiniDV as well as Digital8 versions of your transfer.
Our DVD's will play in the vast majority of DVD players. 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 get at Blockbuster, 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. 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. In addition, we always use Verbatim name-brand DVDs which have been shown in separate tests to be among the most compatible duplicated DVDs. However, because we can't be 100% sure our DVD's will play in your player, Just8mm.com offers free re-burns of our DVDs if one won't play properly on your player.
You should be aware that this compatibility issue affects every single one of our competitors, as well.
Assuming you have the correct hardware and software configuration, you should be able to 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 our own DVDs for archiving purposes on a tower duplicator dozens of times every day.
Our DVDs are formatted as .VOB files, which is the most compatible file format for playback on standalone DVD players. Because you can't usually directly edit a .VOB file, you will need to choose among several alternatives if you want to edit your footage.
The most common solution is that we can 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.
A second option is 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.
Third, there are shareware programs available for free download which will convert a non-editable .VOB file into an editable file. 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.
Finally, if you provide a portable hard drive we can create .avi files of your transfer for an additional charge of $30 per hour of material. The hard drive should be NTFS formatted or unformatted.
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 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 several Gold Star Awards from them for superior customer service.
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.
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 1940's, and occasionally from the 1930's and even the late 1920's, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Note that transferring your film in HD (high definition) is absolute overkill, and there is no visible difference in an HD transfer and an SD (standard definition) transfer. The reason is that 8mm and Super8 film is relatively limited in its image detail (compared to the resolution of HD video). The image itself measures only a few millimeters across, and grain of the film is the highest level of image detail that can be achieved. Once a transfer method is able to pull out the grain detail, as our method does, adding more video detail doesn't pull out any additional film detail. Think of scanning newspaper print on a flatbed scanner. Once you have increased your dpi (level of detail) to a point where you can see the little ink dots that make up a picture, going to a higher dpi will not add detail to the picture. You can't add additional detail where none exists.
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.
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.
For orders over $200, we will pay for return shipping. For orders under $200, we will add $12 for UPS ground shipping back to you.
Yes, it is $15, not including shipping.
You bet, customers do this all the time. Send us 2 three-inch reels to transfer, which will cost you $27.95 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.
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!
Yes, you get your film back and our transfer process will not alter or damage your film in any way.
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.
We can also transfer your videotape formats. The price for video to DVD transfers is $12.50 per hour of running time. You can use the order form on this website, just keep in mind that some of the form is not applicable to the format you have.
If you have 16mm shot at 24 frames per second (most sound 16mm, old 16mm football reels, etc) then we can transfer it to DVD. We can't transfer 16mm film shot at 18 fps or slower.
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 transfer company 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 over the last nine years.