We all make mistakes and the only way to learn is by taking advice from each other. When converting VHS to DVD or movie film to DVD, it is common to have pre-conceived notions that may not necessarily be fact. It is human nature to make assumptions - you are definitely not the only one who does it (we are guilty too)!
Because there are so many formats that can be digitized it is normal that each has their own list of misconceptions. Like with slides, negatives and prints, you’ll find common thoughts that aren’t completely true about VHS and movie film.
Below we have detailed a few we have found to be the most common from our conversations with others.
4 Misconceptions About Converting VHS and Movie Film to DVD
"I still have a VHS player so I don't need to convert my VHS to DVD."
It is all well and good that you still own your VHS player but we would caution you against continually playing your VHS tapes. If you keep using the same old player, the film will eventually degrade reducing the video quality and clarity. The film can get caught and “eaten” by the VHS tape - at least if you convert them to DVD you would have another medium to view your memories on.
Be mindful of the life span on video tapes as well - they really are only supposed to last for a couple decades as opposed to discs that are said to last for over one hundred years! As the age of your tape gets steadily older, the voices will fade. There is no contest that DVD quality surpasses a VHS tape.
“Regular DVDs aren’t high enough quality for it to be worth it for me to convert.”
You’re right - there is new technology out there that makes a regular DVD seem ancient (though nowhere near the level of a VHS). The fact of the matter is that scanning services can convert video tapes into different things. You have options! Most scanning services offer DVDs, blue ray discs and hard drives. The blue ray discs would take care of the issue that you think a regular DVD wouldn’t live up the quality of your currently technology for playback.
Using the hard drive option allows you to edit the digital files, which yields a much better result than editing VHS tapes. A scanning service would put an avi or mov file on the hard drive or you can rip the MPEG file from the DVD to your computer and edit and rearrange from there. The avi/mov option allows easier access to editing if desired.
“I can convert movie film myself.”
Sure you can convert prints and VHS at home but it’s actually not common to be able to convert movie film yourself. There is a special, high quality machine used specifically manufactured to be used to convert movie film to digital. Scanning services, like FotoBridge, use these kinds of machines to digitize your memories. FotoBridge uses one of the best machines in the nation! The enhancements that result from the process are spectacular.
“I can still watch movie film at home.”
If you have a projector, can we borrow it?! It’s very rare to find a residential home with a working projector to play movie film. Unlike a VHS player, these are much more rare to be in someone’s possession.
We hope we were able to shed some light on a subject we find to be a little confusing for some. Have more questions about converting VHS to DVD? Or converting movie film to DVD? Feel free to contact us here with any questions.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for advice on how to select the right service for you, we’ve got that too!
Photo Credit: DRs Kulturarvsprojekt