Our 8mm to DVD Transfer Method

At Just8mm.com, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding quality when we convert 8mm and Super 8 film to DVD. Using equipment we build ourselves, we utilize a true "telecine" method during the process of converting 8mm film to DVD. 

First, we backlight your 8mm film with a low-wattage diffused light source.  This eliminates the super hot projector bulb, so it is impossible to scorch your film.  Then, using a device which essentially acts as a magnifying glass, we image the surface of the 8mm film.  That means NOTHING comes between the film and the DVD video stream...no screen, no wall, no plastic...and therefore you get an exact replication of what is on your 8mm film without distortion, hotspots, halos, screen texture, or focus "bleeds".  Your 8mm and Super8 film will actually look better than it does on a projector and screen, because the screen adds texture, and thus reduces resolution. We remove the film gates on our equipment, so you will see 10-15% more of the 8mm film image than you do on a projector.

We use high quality, professional imaging equipment so you get impeccable color reproduction and resolution for your 8mm to DVD transfer. We also automatically adjust the exposure throughout each film reel, which helps to lighten dark scenes, and darkens overexposed film. Our DVDs are written at 10Mbps, which is a very high data rate.  This ensures impeccable video quality with no artifacts, blocking or pixelation. We proudly stand our 8mm to DVD transfer quality up against any other method, period.

Each 8mm movie reel we transfer will be a separate chapter on your DVD menu, with a brief descriptive title if you provide one. You can scroll down to a particular film reel you want to watch, or just start at the beginning and watch it all the way through. The DVD itself comes with a custom label with a title you provide, packaged in a black plastic hardcase with labeled insert. We use archive quality Verbatim brand DVD media, which are estimated by the manufacturer to have a useful life of 100 years or more.

We keep a copy of your DVD in archive, filed under your name. This service is included in our pricing. This allows us to quickly make additional copies of your film and provides added peace of mind in case your disk and/or original 8mm reels become damaged or destroyed.

Why our method is better than frame by frame.

In a frame by frame transfer, each frame of the film is imaged separately, then assembled in computer editing software to create a moving video.  The problem is that 8mm film is intended to be played on a projector with internal, spinning blades.  These blades move in front of the film each time a frame goes by (this happens far faster than we can see) and have the effect of fooling our brains into thinking we are seeing smooth, continuous action.  Without the blades, the motion of 8mm film seems choppy and jittery, which is exactly the result you get with a frame by frame transfer.  With our method, the motion in the film is much smoother and more natural because we utilize the spinning blades with which the film was meant to be used.

Why High Definition will not improve the look of your transfer.

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 has to be cut off entirely, or color bars have to be added to the sides of the HD screen. 

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