what to do with old home movies?

albireo13

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We are going through our basement and trying to get rid of too much collected stuff. Along with a million slides and prints (another topic)

we have boxes of old family home movies. We have VHS, a lot of 8mm, and VHS-C tapes. Our video cameras are long gone and we have no video players anymore so, we have no way to review them. I was thinking of getting them copied to DVDs, since maybe the kid would get a kick out of them.
However, it would cost a lot to get them all copied over and I bet most of it is boring useless stuff.
In order to review them myself, I'd have to find and buy several video players all over again ... ugh.

My wife says just chuck them all but, I am not sure about that.

What do other folks do with their old videos?
 
You might try to find a local person who has the equipment to view them. DW has the ability to view and copy the VHS and VHS-C. The 8mm may be a little harder to deal with - especially the copying of it.

There's no doubt dealing with it would be expensive and/or time consuming. DW took over a year to do all of ours. Of course that was doing it when she had time. It's a long process because you basically have to replay everything. Worse, they don't make/sell VHS machines any more so they're tough to find.

DW could never throw them away. I would. So, I'd either commit to spending the money to have it done or chuck them. It would be a BTD for sure.
 
I only have a few VHS tapes and can find a used plyer for that pretty cheap. I will try doing that. Unfortunately, most are 8mm which is more problematic.
 
I have a Hauppauge Colossus card in the Media PC (along with TV tuner card for PVR). Hooked up the VHS player to it and recorded the VHS content onto the PC. Worked very well but obviously a little slow so we took trips down memory lane with the tasks :) I think the 8MM that we had used Firewire so had bought a PCI card for that to do the same.
Looking on Amazon I don't see many options for the 8MM player / recorder but there are some on eBay. Sending off to a company to do this for you will get expensive I'm sure!
Txinga
 
I spent a few days transferring all our 8mm to VHS. Decades later, I spent a few days transferring all that to PC video. I spent a few weeks during the pandemic transferring all photos to JPGS.

I sent pointers out to the extended family.

Nobody cares. :facepalm:

I say burn 'em.
 
You might try to find a local person who has the equipment to view them. DW has the ability to view and copy the VHS and VHS-C. The 8mm may be a little harder to deal with - especially the copying of it.

There's no doubt dealing with it would be expensive and/or time consuming. DW took over a year to do all of ours. Of course that was doing it when she had time. It's a long process because you basically have to replay everything. Worse, they don't make/sell VHS machines any more so they're tough to find.

DW could never throw them away. I would. So, I'd either commit to spending the money to have it done or chuck them. It would be a BTD for sure.
I did about 50 hours of HI-8 to DVD (multiple copies) using my original camera (and a $50 used HI-8 camera) to a cheap DVD recorder/player that I had. You're likely able to find such used equipment at pawn stores or resale shops or among friends/relatives. Check around.

I copied 8mm film to HI-8 by simply setting up the screen, running the film and videotaping the screen image. W*rked better than I thought. Then (eventually) transferred to DVD. Make multiple DVDs for everyone (and to insure that they survive for a while.)

I assume you can transfer a DVD to a computer file and keep on a multi-terabyte portable hard drive (make at least 2.)

This hardware is getting hard to find but I think it's all still out there, used. MY old HI-8 cameras still function - I just have to charge up the batteries at least once a year. YMMV
 
When my mom was dying she asked if anyone wanted them and no one did. She threw them in the garbage herself.

I made a photo album for each of my kids where they are the main character and gave it to them. I threw out half the pictures and kept a few albums for myself. Now when I die they can just throw mine away.
 
I spent a few days transferring all our 8mm to VHS. Decades later, I spent a few days transferring all that to PC video. I spent a few weeks during the pandemic transferring all photos to JPGS.

I sent pointers out to the extended family.

Nobody cares. :facepalm:

I say burn 'em.
DW spent a small fortune copying a few videos of her late brother. She watched them once.

My rule of thumb is, if you haven't looked at it for a year or two, dont waste your time.

I threw out over 40 years of old slides and videos and haven't missed them.
 
DW spent a small fortune copying a few videos of her late brother. She watched them once.

My rule of thumb is, if you haven't looked at it for a year or two, dont waste your time.

I threw out over 40 years of old slides and videos and haven't missed them.
I have a big box of "family" photos dating back over 100 years. I haven't been able to pitch them, but don't even know who a lot of the people are. I guess our kids will throw them into the same dumpster that they throw our furniture and other keep-sakes. Such is life.
 
we have boxes of old family home movies. We have VHS, a lot of 8mm, and VHS-C tapes. Our video cameras are long gone and we have no video players anymore so, we have no way to review them. I was thinking of getting them copied to DVDs, since maybe the kid would get a kick out of them.

What do other folks do with their old videos?

You could buy a used VHS machine off Facebook or Craig's List, I suppose for $5 or less. Might even be people giving them away. Ask if it was used a lot or not very much. Get one that was not used very much. Try for a name brand like Panasonic, Sony, or JVC. Now you can watch your VHS tapes.

Once you've got a VHS machine and can watch VHS tapes, buy a VHS-C to VHS adapter cassette. This lets you place your smaller VHS-C tapes into the adapter and play the tapes on a VHS machine. Now you can watch your VHS-C tapes.

Unfortunately, there are no 8mm to VHS adapters. If you want to watch your 8mm tapes you will need to get a 8mm camcorder to play them. Borrow one? Rent one? Buy a used one?

I would then watch the tapes and keep a notebook with scenes and the elapsed time mark on the tape of those scenes you'd like to keep. I'd put labels right on the tapes with scenes and time spans indicated. Then I'd bring these tapes to a analog to digital service that specializes in converting VHS to digital format. Instead of DVD's I'd get them placed on USB thumb drives because I think DVD's will be obsolete in 5 to 10 years. But, you could get them on DVD's and USB drives.

You could do the conversion process yourself but it would take quite a bit of time and while not complicated, it's not that straightforward either.
 
Unfortunately, there are no 8mm to VHS adapters. If you want to watch your 8mm tapes you will need to get a 8mm camcorder to play them. Borrow one? Rent one? Buy a used one?
Most, but not all models of Sony Digital 8 camcorders will play analog 8 mm / Hi 8 tapes. I have one of them. There were some models that couldn't do this (easily found with a google search). I never had analog 8 mm / Hi 8 tapes, so I never did that with my Digital 8 camcorder. If a Digital 8 model works, you might be able to capture via firewire with the camera doing the analog to digital conversion (and using DV codec compression).
 
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I spent a few days transferring all our 8mm to VHS. Decades later, I spent a few days transferring all that to PC video. I spent a few weeks during the pandemic transferring all photos to JPGS.

I sent pointers out to the extended family.

Nobody cares. :facepalm:

I say burn 'em.
Thank you for sharing your experience.

I have two huge boxes of photos and VHS-C tapes from when the kids were little and pulled them out to go through them. The now adult kids seemed lukewarm about receiving any of it. Instead of spending a lot of time, I think I will use the photo archive app on my phone and just send a small digital album of the highlights and toss the videos.
 
I think the bottom line is that if you can't get them converted to digital format for viewing from a computer/phone, then you might as well chuck them into the garbage. No one is going to use a CD/DVD/Tape. I spent $75 to convert a few minutes of 8mm video to digital format a year or so ago. I uploaded it to a website and distributed a link to my family. I think most probably watched it. Once. Then it is long forgotten. Personally, I wouldn't waste the time or the money to do it again.
 
Most, but not all models of Sony Digital 8 camcorders will play analog 8 mm / Hi 8 tapes. I have one of them. There were some models that couldn't do this (easily found with a google search). I never had analog 8 mm / Hi 8 tapes, so I never did that with my Digital 8 camcorder. If a Digital 8 model works, you might be able to capture via firewire with the camera doing the analog to digital conversion (and using DV codec compression).

Yep. I've got a Sony 8mm camcorder that will play both analog 8mm and Hi 8 tapes. I did some conversions to mp4 video about 10 years ago. My current computer does not have a firewire connector, but I suppose I could add one, or else get an adapter to convert firewire to USB 3.0.

Now that you've brought it up, I've also got a Sony analog 8mm camcorder...
 
The tapes are a bit complex to copy, others have given good suggestions.

Slides can be pretty easy and quick, if you use a less than $100 copier and don't mind getting all the original specks in the photo. I did a few hundred per hour. Just classified them by date.

Haven't looked at them since doing it, but at least now they take up zero space.
 
Most, but not all models of Sony Digital 8 camcorders will play analog 8 mm / Hi 8 tapes. I have one of them. There were some models that couldn't do this (easily found with a google search). I never had analog 8 mm / Hi 8 tapes, so I never did that with my Digital 8 camcorder. If a Digital 8 model works, you might be able to capture via firewire with the camera doing the analog to digital conversion (and using DV codec compression).

You may or may not be aware of this, but if you have a Sony camcorder that can play both analog and digital 8mm tapes you can use it as a passthrough and convert VHS tapes to digital format. You connect the VHS player to the Sony camcorders inputs and then connect the Sony outputs to your firewire connection on your computer. Voila! An analog to digital converter.
 
You may or may not be aware of this, but if you have a Sony camcorder that can play both analog and digital 8mm tapes you can use it as a passthrough and convert VHS tapes to digital format. You connect the VHS player to the Sony camcorders inputs and then connect the Sony outputs to your firewire connection on your computer. Voila! An analog to digital converter.
Yep, there were folks on a video forum doing this back in 1999 or so when I got my D8. I never did get around to converting my old analog VHS and VHS-C tapes, although I need to do that now that I'm finally retired.
 
I have a box of the small 8mm reel to reel video tapes. ~100 that my grandpa took on his handheld camera.

It is quite cost prohibitive to have them converted. I still have 2 projectors and a large screen that my dad "handed down". One of the projectors still works. The other needs a bulb.

As we look at downsizing, these things will have to go.

I have considered playing each movie and recording with another device to get them to a digital format. So far while working that project has not come to fruition.

We also have ~25 cassettes from a camcorder that could be converted. We do still have the camcorder to play them and it works still.

The joys of old tech.
 
When closing out my late MIL's apartment, we came across boxes of slides. My late wife looked at some and did not recognize any of the people, so we tossed them.
 
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We found a bunch of DW old 8mm family movies. I went on Ebay and got a projector and flicker sync tool and played them while recording them to a digital camera. They are all now on DVDs.
 
My relatives have interest in material that shows either people they remember, or their direct predecessors in the family tree. There's little interest in anyone else. Relatives have more interest in still photos than videos perhaps because uninteresting photos can easily be skipped. I have made a text file that includes details about some digitized photos, like people, places, and dates. I've been thinking of copying that info into the image file's metadata.
 
If you'd rather not DIY the conversion (due to the hassle factor or lack of proper equipment), there are services that will do it for you. I used LegacyBox many years ago and got good results. Not cheap (at least $10/item, plus shipping and other fees), but will give you the highest possible quality. LegacyBox has good Groupon offers and various discounts available all the time.
 
Our local library has the equipmet to digitize things from many formats. We have used them to digitize record albums, still photos, VHS tapes, and 8 mm movies. Not sure what else they have available. Patrons can do it themselves, or the library staff will do it for you. And all for no charge.

Check your library system to see if they offer a similar service.
 
When my parents sold their home and went on the road full time in an RV they asked me to store their photo albums and home movies. I held onto them for 20 years until they sold the RV and bought a house. When I asked them if they wanted them back they told me to pitch them since they'd learned to live without useless clutter while living in a motorhome. At least they didn't pay for a storage facility all that time.
 
I realize I have a few movies also. These are on super 8. None would be considered works of art.

If I project it on a wall, and film it with a camera will that work ? or does the frame rate flickering cause an issue ?

I did throw out my projector screen, if I can borrow or buy one cheap is that worth it more than a fresh painted white wall ?
 
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