Archive Your Memories: How to Convert Old Home Movies to Digital

During the 1980s, manufacturers such as Kodiak, JVC, and Sony came out with camcorders. No longer were cameras used only for video broadcasting. Now every family could record their family memories for generations to come.

Unfortunately, technology has evolved so quickly that it is difficult if not impossible to view those old tapes these days.

Read on to learn the best ways to convert old home movies to digital.

Use Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is a professional video editor and converter. Many people know you can use it to make great videos, but are surprised to learn that it can digitize analog video.

Plus, once you have your videos converted, you can edit, add soundtracks or special effects and so much more.

To convert old home movies to digital via Adobe, first, you will need to connect the analog device to your computer. Usually, it’s a camcorder with an SDI port.

Set the camcorder to Play or VCR mode. Next, you will open Premiere Pro, select New Project.

Choose DV or HDV preset that matches the format you want your end project to be.

Now, it’s time to tell Premiere Pro what you want to do with the old home movie. Start by clicking File — Capture.

In this menu, carefully review the Settings. You may need to change them depending on your analog device.

Now, cue up your analog device from where you want to start. Press Play. Immediately press the Record button in the Capture panel.

Now Premiere Pro will record the footage. Once that step is complete, you can use the many features in Premiere Pro to make your old home movie better.

Use VHS to DVD Software

Many people have a bunch of VHS videos kicking around. But most people no longer have a VHS player. Or even if you do, it’s important to convert home movies to mp4 for future generations.

You can purchase software that has a digital-to-analog converter. You can use this software to convert VHS to mp4. All you need is your old VHS player and a computer.

There are various software options that perform this function. The best options also include a video editor. That way you can remove content such as when your dad filmed the floor for 20 minutes.

You can then also add transitions, music, and other effects if you choose.

Think of all the free shelf space you will have when you no longer have rows and rows of VHS tapes!

Be sure that you visit to convert MOV files to mp4. It is better to have digital mp4 files for better quality video and longevity.

Use a VHS-DVD Player

Another option to digitize home movies is with a VHS-DVD player. If you already have one of these players at home, great!

Otherwise, you may be able to find one online through skites like eBay or Craigslist.

Each device is different but essentially you will play your VHS while at the same time burning the content to a DVD.

Then, you can upload those DVDs to the cloud, share copies with family members, and so on.

This is a great way to digitize old home movies without any skill. If you are wary of trying to learn how to use new software, this is a great option.

Film to Video Converter 

Some of us don’t have a stack of VHS tapes. Some of us have boxes full of 8mm film.

If you fall under this category, you will need a film-to-video converter. This machine might cost a few hundred dollars or more depending on the one you get.

Yet, if you have a big stack of tapes, it may be worth the investment.

This equipment is very easy to use. You simply load your 8mm tapes into the machine. Then the device will copy the footage to a memory card or USB.

From there, you can make a copy of your digital files and save it to the cloud or your hard drive. It’s easy and effective.

Use Your Home Theatre 

If you have a home theatre with a big screen in your home, you can use that to help you convert old home movies to digital.

First, project your analog video onto your projector screen or a white sheet. Set up a tripod (or make your own) for your camcorder or smartphone.

Once the image is in full view, hit record on your device.  Once you are done, upload your new digital video to a computer to save your new digital copy.

Mind you, this method will not yield excellent video quality, but it is a way that you can preserve those precious family memories.

It is also a cost-free way to convert home movies to mp4.

Use a Conversion Service

Your final option to convert home movies to digital is to use a conversion service.

Many big box stores offer a VHS to DVD conversion service for a nominal fee. For example, Walmart, Costco, and Southtree will convert a VHS video to DVD with chapter menus for a low price.

If you only have a few tapes and don’t want the hassle of doing it yourself, this may be your best bet.

Convert Old Home Movies to Digital to Preserve Memories 

There you have it! Now you know the many ways that you can use to convert old home movies to digital format.

We hope this article has helped you decide which option is best for you.

Be sure to check out our other blog posts for more interesting content for you to read.