5 Ways to Digitize Your Old Home Movies

Memories are precious! While some are safely etched in our minds and hearts, others are in film reels, DVDs, and old VHS tapes that we cherish. 

VHS tapes, films, and DVDs can store those sentimental movies for years when stored in the right way and environment, but they have a shelf life too. After some time, despite proper storage, your old home movies may not play, and you lose the content forever. The devices in the market today also make it impossible to play DVDs and VHS tapes. Digitizing your old content will also save you physical space as most old storage formats are bulky. 

Modern technology offers several solutions with practical ways to store your content digitally. Here are ways to digitize your old home movies.

5 Ways to Digitize Your Old Home Movies

Convert from Film to Video

VHS and DVD players are less common in homes today, and the existing ones are held as memorabilia. Playing your old home movies in their original formats compromises the quality of the content with every play as it may lead to losing the film or parts of it. Transfer 8mm to digital files using a film-to-video converter. All you need to do is load the reels into the machine and allow the footage to copy to a digital memory card. 

You will spend about 300 to1000 dollars on the right equipment for the job, but the investment is a small price to pay for preserving the priceless memories. This option is best when you have a lot of content to digitalize, as buying it for one or two digital conversion projects may not make sense.

Converting the film to video preserves the quality, so you may not get the same quality as the original one.

Transfer the Old Movies into a Computer

Use a video-capture device to digitize your favorite old movies directly into the computer. This device enables you to capture videos and audio content from its source and save it as data-optimized before uploading using the software. 

You can connect a tape player on one side and the other plug into your USB port. Once connected, convert your old home movies from the tapes into digital files to store using the software. You will need to download the right software which comes with the adapter. 

A video capture device may cost as little as 20 dollars but will allow you to keep those precious memories you cannot quantify. Navigating the software may pose challenges, though it is nothing that you cannot handle.

Record Again!

This is among the most basic ways to transfer your old home videos into a digital device. You will need to play or project the home movie on a projector or screen while recording with another device. Ensure the sheet is crispy clean.

You do not have to invest in sophisticated cameras, as modern smartphones are good enough to capture quality footage. 

Remember, while the content may still be watchable, the quality will be low. Analog films and VHS tapes don’t have the best quality and are prone to deteriorate over time. The rate will reduce as you play and record the footage with another camera device. 

Recording again is viable if you only need to salvage the content before it is completely ruined or on a very tight budget and you are not very keen on the picture quality. Place your phone or digital camera on a tripod for stable pictures, so it doesn’t shake through the recording process.

Use a DVD Recorder

Transferring your old home movies into a DVD  is another inexpensive way to digitize your content. You will need a DVD recorder that connects to a tape player. Video cameras evolved, and many tape formats like VHS, Betacam, Hi8, Mini-DV, and VHS-C emerged.  

Ensure that the player is the right one for your tape collection. Record the content on a blank DVD as you play your old movies. After having it on the DVD, use a video ripper to digitize your film into your computer. 

Finding a new DVD recorder may pose a challenge, but you can try to source second-hand equipment on Facebook marketplaces, Craigslist, or eBay. You will get a good bargain if you land an old one.  

Consider a Professional

Sometimes getting a professional may be the best option. Many businesses deal with digitizing content depending on the services you need and time. Hiring a service provider will save you money as you do not need to invest money to purchase the equipment you will not use in the future. 

Since the professionals are experts in the field, rest assured that you will get the best possible quality.


Home is a haven of beautiful memories, and preserving your old home movies is one way to protect your most valued possession.

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