8mm tape to digital service should come as a last resort for you if you’re planning to digitize your old 8mm tapes.
If you’re going to convert your 8mm video to digital, then there are two routes open to you.
If you’re taking this route, then you won’t need to have a video capture device connecting your camcorder to your computer.
The video capture device will be replaced by a Firewire cable. For Firewire transfer to be possible, your computer must have a Firewire port.
Now, going the DIY route is only sensible and economical if you have a huge collection of tapes to convert.
When to Use a 8mm Tape to Digital Service?
If you’ve only a tape or two, It would be much more convenient to use a tape to digital service.
If you decide to choose a 8mm tape to digital service, here are some tips to ensure that your experience with it goes well.
What Kind of Delivery Service You Should Opt For?
Most services offer the mailing option. You pack up your tapes and courier it to them. They convert your tapes and mail them back to you.
As reliable as courier services are, you shouldn’t take the risk when it comes to priceless family memories. You don’t want to end up with lost or damaged tapes.
As far as possible, use an 8mm tape to digital service in your neighbourhood. You can turn up at their site in minutes and hand over your tapes in person.
At least you’ve the peace of mind from a safe delivery. When the conversion is done, opt for site pickup.
Some services offer home pickup. That’s convenient, yes. But if I were you, I wouldn’t opt for it.
Even if it’s a little trouble,, turn up at the site where you could meet a person face to face and get an acknowledgement of receipt.
Call or email them and make an appointment before going. But before you go, you could ask a few questions to get an indication of the service that you’ll be getting.
These would be questions not covered in their websites.
It would be good if you could get an estimate of the cost of the service that will be offered to you.
Most services charge a flat fee for the first 120 to 150 mins of conversion. You need to find out how much you will be charged if your tape length runs beyond that.
Also ask if they’ll charge extra for a different video format. For instance, if you’re in the USA, ask whether they’ll charge if you need to convert a PAL tape, for instance.
These questions will usually be covered in their websites. But it would good to get the information from the horse’s mouth. Any 8mm tape to digital service would be glad to answer your questions.
What Type of Service Can You Expect?
Basically, in the early days the most popular way of converting 8mm to digital is by burning your 8mm video to DVD after digitizing it.
These days, DVDs are not in vogue. Instead, a digital file file is what is sought by most folks. Plus not every computer these days come with DVD drives, especially laptop computers.
Still, if you insist on DVD, you’ll get a DVD with menu and chapters and you can even instruct on them on how to put together these sections.
Opt for a Digital File
A digital file can be easily copied to a thumb drive or an external hard disk and played through your computer, HDTV or mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
You can even directly upload it to YouTube to share your videos with a wider audience.
So, opt for a digital file which gives you the flexibility to further edit according to your preference. The format you should go for is MP4. though they’re prepared to convert it to any video format like AVI, MOV and MPEG.
With an MP4 file, you can play it over a PC or a Mac.
Services will not charge you extra if you provide them with thumb drives or an external hard disk to store the converted digital files.
Go Cloud for Peace of Mind
Some services will provide a cloud service. This will ensure that your converted files stay safe. You should opt for this service if offered. It would be a good backup for your digital file in case anythiong should happen – lost or damaged physical storage device or your files become corrupted.
Even if the 8mm tape to digital service doesn’t offer you cloud storage as part of the service, you should upload your converted files to cloud as soon as you receive your files.
Use a free service like Google Drive which offers you 15GB of storage for each Gmail account.
I store my important personal video files over Google Drive which I can access anywhere there’s an Internet connection.
8mm tape to digital services use professional level equipment in the form of dedicated video player decks and video capture devices.
One standout feature is their use of Time Base Correctors (TBC) to remove jitters and stabilize video playback and eliminate other types of playback errors, while ensuring that picture quality is always maintained.
Tape Repair Services
Some 8mm tape to digital service will repair your mouldy or damaged 8mm tape for an extra fee.
If such a service is offered, you should opt for it. They’ll certainly do a good job with the view to providing you with a good digital copy of your 8mm video.
Video Editing Services
If you feel your your 8mm video needs editing and you aren’t prepared to do it yourself, then you can request for video editing services.
You’ll be charged by the hour and you’ll get to sit down with a professional video editor to get the edited version you want.
The above tips will hopefully help you get the most out of a 8mm tape to digital service