what to do with old home movies ??

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albireo13
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what to do with old home movies ??

Post by albireo13 »

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? :happy
niagara_guy
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by niagara_guy »

I did this 15 years ago. I bought a Hauppauge product that allowed my pc to read an analog tv signal (from an old vcr) and use it to copy old vcr tapes to digital on my windows pc. You can probably by an old vcr on Ebay or elsewhere.
dcabler
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by dcabler »

niagara_guy wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:14 am I did this 15 years ago. I bought a Hauppauge product that allowed my pc to read an analog tv signal (from an old vcr) and use it to copy old vcr tapes to digital on my windows pc. You can probably by an old vcr on Ebay or elsewhere.
Likewise. We only had VHS-C tapes and I still had the old camera (with analog outputs) when we purchased a USB device that converted analog TV to digital and we digitized all of the tapes. The device was relatively cheap as I recall.

There are also companies out there that will do this for you for a fee.

Cheers.
cheesepep
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by cheesepep »

Yard sale or Craigslist. $5 per cardboard box fully loaded with your movies.
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lthenderson
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by lthenderson »

I did a google search and found a place near me that digitizes just about any media. I took a large cardboard box full of 8 mm reels and a few VCR tapes that I hadn't yet digitized via previously mentioned devices, and got a bulk rate to convert them all into digital format. I think it cost me a few hundred dollars (probably 15 years ago) but at least for me, it was money well spent to see all those 8 mm films my grandparents created. They still reside on my hard drive backed up to the Cloud.
mtwhmemn
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by mtwhmemn »

What I'm doing is digitizing all my video from various formats and putting the segments I want to save on YouTube with "unlisted" links. Unlisted means only people with the links can see the videos. They aren't even searchable by title. Privacy is important on a project like this. Remember, DVDs eventually fail as do hard drives, spinning and SSD.

I then share the unlisted links with family members. I figure YouTube (Alphabet/Google) will be around for many, many more decades so the footage is preserved for future generations.
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by Sandtrap »

albireo13 wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:41 am 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? :happy
Amazon.com (maybe you can find similar on ebay).
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F ... UTF8&psc=1
We bought this Panasonic unit in 2006 and have used it ever since to convert various VHS to digital. For 8mm, we sent them out to be converted. For slides, we bought a slide viewer inputter that worked well with the computer to digitize them. Same for many many volumes of family photo albums. We had literally, closets of material and it took a long time to convert all of it.

Our main computer has a stacked RAID drive unit and the digitized material is backed up there on SSD and Spinners.

j :D
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by Doom&Gloom »

dcabler wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:25 am
niagara_guy wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:14 am I did this 15 years ago. I bought a Hauppauge product that allowed my pc to read an analog tv signal (from an old vcr) and use it to copy old vcr tapes to digital on my windows pc. You can probably by an old vcr on Ebay or elsewhere.
Likewise. We only had VHS-C tapes and I still had the old camera (with analog outputs) when we purchased a USB device that converted analog TV to digital and we digitized all of the tapes. The device was relatively cheap as I recall.

There are also companies out there that will do this for you for a fee.

Cheers.
I did this as well several months ago with VHS-C and VHS tapes. It is a little time consuming, and the quality is no better than the original of course. The quality of our old tapes leaves a lot to be desired compared to recordings made recently. That may be a deciding factor for some. Overall, we were happy to have done it.

The toughest part was finding a working player at a reasonable price if you do not have one. Luckily our VHS-C camera still worked and functioned as a player. VHS, OTOH, was a struggle. It is been many years since we had a VHS player. Prices I found on the internet were high and there was no guarantee that they were in good working order. DD found a cheap player from a neighbor, but it was DOA. I went browsing at a local flea market where a guy dealt in old movies, games, players, etc. He told me that working VCRs were one of the toughest items to find for him. He took my cell #, and, true to his word, he called me when he got a player in and verified it worked. Deal! I told him I might bring it back in a few weeks to see if he would buy it back, and he was happy with that. After I finished with it, I took it back and gave it to him gratis as I thought the price was extremely cheap, he gave me a separate rewinder to use for no extra charge, and we had a couple of interesting conversations about other subjects.

If you have the time, really want the tape for someone to watch later, are happy with the original quality of the recording, and don't mind chasing around for an operational player, I recommend doing it. If all those things don't fall in line for you ...

I have some old 8mm that my parents took. I last watched them a few decades ago. I wouldn't mind seeing them again, but once would probably be enough for me. I probably won't bother to do anything with those, and they will find their way to the trash heap when I do.
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nisiprius
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by nisiprius »

"Fortunately" home movies were sufficiently expensive to shoot that there isn't usually all THAT much material. In our case, perhaps six 400' reels of 8mm that my folks shot, and roughly as much Super 8 that we shot. Hmmm... very roughly a half hour each, so six hours grand total.

I had some of it done "professionally." And I bought a $70 optical transfer box, with a 45° mirror and a plastic "ground glass" screen and an appropriately positioned closeup lens. Shoot the projector into one side, let a camcorder watch through another side, and get a tolerable transfer. The problems of course are that you never get everything lined up right and the illumination is not even edge to edge. But, seriously, when you look at how low quality an 8mm movie is, a little more quality loss is... negligible. And the quality is WAY WAY better than projecting it on a screen and pointing a camcorder at the screen.

For tapes, I bought a $170 gadget that did a half-decent job of transferring VCR composite video or S-Video output to MP4 on a USB stick--which could then be copied to a computer. I've had various pieces of software theoretically capable of using various computer video inputs, but they all succumbed to bitrot. My Hi-8 camcorder was still working to play the 8mm cassettes. It turns out that my VHS player had died, so I bought another one on eBay for $70.

One big problem with all home media conversion projects is that it takes longer to pick and choose than to Just Do Everything.

As for "and what then," I don't know. No, I don't trust anything involving free online storage. In case you haven't noticed, online services have been cancelling and reneging on that stuff left and right. I've been a Shutterfly customer for over 15 years, and even they are now threatening to delete my stuff unless I buy something every year.

P.S. My kids and their families are way less instructed in our old photos and home movies than I think they should be. Just mentioning that.

P.P.S. Here is a story of media loss. I tell it as it was told to me. Some weird features but that's what I was told. My grandfather was an enthusiastic home moviemaker who shot tons of movies of his family. In 16mm! Of course. But, of course, the problem is that he shot it on nitrate film, which by all account is spectacularly hazardous stuff. Way beyond merely "flammable." The story is that all of it was lost because one day a fire inspector came around inspecting apartments, and asked about various hazardous materials, and my grandfather was out but my mom's "Uncle Ike" who lived in an adjacent apartment was there, and said yes, there was--and the fire inspector took it all away.
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SmileyFace
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by SmileyFace »

If you have children and they are interested (or even if they are not) - dump them on the kids. That's what a lot of people do with mementos and family stuff they don't want.

Someone in our community created a media room at our library with a setup to view and convert from several formats. Make sure your library didn't do similar (although requires big time commitment still which it doesn't sound like you are interested in).
Glockenspiel
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by Glockenspiel »

I would totally get them digitized, save the files in a google drive, and also send to your kids.
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albireo13
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by albireo13 »

Well, I found a used Sanyo VCR player for $10 at a local donation shop. It is functional.
So far, I have looked at one VHS tape from 1988 of my family and kids. Fun to see but the video quality is terrible!
Not very sharp and the color is waay off. I am not sure if it is the VHS player or the tape ... probably the tape since it is almost 40 years old.
I used composite video cabled from the player to our TV.

At least I can review tapes for subject matter and decide if it is worth keeping. If so, I may send selected tapes to a service to digitize them.

Most of the tapes are boring .. like 40minutes watching my daughter on a swing, etc. :P
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by roamingzebra »

nisiprius wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:27 am As for "and what then," I don't know. No, I don't trust anything involving free online storage. In case you haven't noticed, online services have been cancelling and reneging on that stuff left and right. I've been a Shutterfly customer for over 15 years, and even they are now threatening to delete my stuff unless I buy something every year.
AGPTEK and a few other companies have digital media players that allow you to play MP4s and other formats locally. Just plug into your TV (HDMI or AV port). (I use a dumb TV). They are small devices that cost 40-50 bucks. It's a great way to keep your family vids viewable regardless of changes in technology. These devices can also "play" jpg photos but I've found the interface lacking for that application.
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by obgraham »

The sad reality is that few if any of the younger generations are interested in the stuff we thought so important as to record it -- via slides, prints, tapes, or films.

Having gone through this process with all of our slides, photos, and albums, I'm starting to accept that when I am gone, this stuff will also die.

That's a good argument for just bagging it up and putting it in next week's trash bin. Sad, but true.
dcdowden
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by dcdowden »

I avoided this project for many years, but I found it wasn't quite so bad with this standalone device that converts any composite video/audio source to MP4. Fortunately, we still had working camcorders and players which I still have. But now that all my old VHS and 8mm video tapes have been converted, those tapes all went into the trash.

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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by blaugranamd »

We sent a few boxes of old VHS, 8mm, etc home videos off to digitized after my parents passed. Now all my siblings have easy copies of them. You might not think they're too useful but one day those boring old tapes will be tear jerkers.
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by bombcar »

The effort to review and the effort to do a "home quality" transfer isn't much more (you can watch and record to your PC while you do other things).

I think that's the best, and then pay to transfer the best ones.
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by protagonist »

obgraham wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 1:28 pm The sad reality is that few if any of the younger generations are interested in the stuff we thought so important as to record it
A 20-something, probably not.
But when they become 50-somethings with kids of their own, almost definitely interested.
Of course, they will have to figure out a way to transform today's MP4s into whatever they will be using in the 2050s.
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by UM70 »

My father was the family historian and I had all of his tapes moved on to CDs several years ago. Rather than spending a lot of time editing I decided to simply divide them out by year and within a year segments of about 15 minutes each; parts were determined by elapsed time; I didn't bother trying to edit for content in any way.

Eventually I copied the files to my OneDrive.

Occasionally I go back to particular years and just see what's there. At other times, for different reasons, I've become interested in particular years and it's been nice to pull them up and see what was recorded. With the short segments it's easy to skip around if I'm looking for something in particular.
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by the_wiki »

albireo13 wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:21 pm Well, I found a used Sanyo VCR player for $10 at a local donation shop. It is functional.
So far, I have looked at one VHS tape from 1988 of my family and kids. Fun to see but the video quality is terrible!
Not very sharp and the color is waay off. I am not sure if it is the VHS player or the tape ... probably the tape since it is almost 40 years old.
I used composite video cabled from the player to our TV.
VHS is very low quality, but it did look better on analog TV. Upscaled and digitally presented, the flaws are too apparent. But also our standards have all changed with sharp 4K cameras in every pocket

You can probably find a VHS-C adapter to play those in the VCR.
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by the_wiki »

protagonist wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 2:47 pm
obgraham wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 1:28 pm The sad reality is that few if any of the younger generations are interested in the stuff we thought so important as to record it
A 20-something, probably not.
But when they become 50-somethings with kids of their own, almost definitely interested.
Of course, they will have to figure out a way to transform today's MP4s into whatever they will be using in the 2050s.
That should not be hard. We can play QuickTime and realmedia files from early 90s no problem. Anything with sufficient usage will have a converter.
MathWizard
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by MathWizard »

albireo13 wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:41 am 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? :happy
I used this capture card, input was from composite video (red yellow white) output to USB.

https://www.amazon.com/Elgato-Video-Cap ... d_source=1

You need to watch the video, or set a timer, and you can trim the start and stop points. It created an MP4 file on my MacBook , which would play anywhere, even on my phone.

I copied video from my old video camera and VCR.

This preserved the video of my kids,my wife, and my mother that would be lost once the tape player or camera died.

I haven't put it in the cloud due to objection to that from a couple of people in the videos, but I distributed copies of the videos of my mother to siblings, do it could be recovered. Maybe I'll drop a labeled USB flashdrive in my safety deposit box.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by Doom&Gloom »

^^^
That's the same capture card I used a few months ago. It was easy to figure out and the results were better than I expected--or at least the copy was closer to the original than I expected.
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by rogue_economist »

I do all my own capture work. The services you have heard of are garbage. All capture cards sold today are garbage. All VCRs sold after about 2000 were garbage. You need a TBC as well, no longer manufactured either.
To do it right requires serious commitment and time.

To get a player just for checking tapes should be cheap, thrift store, estate sale, etc. I'd get one and review the tapes.

If you have any broadcast recordings let me know.
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Valuethinker
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Re: what to do with old home movies ??

Post by Valuethinker »

So I knew a man whose father had been an LTC in Vietnam, and had taught at West Point.

.

The home movies included film of Jackie Kennedy among others. I think from the 1950s.

It doesn't have to be famous people, to give historical resonance.

It is really worth digitising. Future developments in Artificial Intelligence will improve cataloguing and searching to no end.

When we were going through 100 years of family stuff from my aunt, we found postcards sent from the Western Front in WW1, by great uncles who never made it back. Fortunately one of my cousins has a large country home.

The auctioneer told us not to throw out old letters, for example. People have published those ("Diary of an Edwardian Country Lady") to huge success.

Home movies from the 1960s, say, will have resonance. A totally different world. Look at the effort to recreate it for "Mad Men". Everyone smoking, the furniture, the colour schemes etc. The cars.

You don't know what the future will find valuable. You don't know what your children and grandchildren will want to see.
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