Dust, humidity and neglect can spell ruin for your old home movies. Transferring these old movies to the DVD format allows you to restore and conserve priceless memories that might otherwise be lost to environmental damage and slow deterioration over the years. User-friendly software programs allow you to enhance old movies on your home computer and copy them in DVD format. Although improving the quality of old movies can be somewhat time-consuming, the rewards of preserving irreplaceable movies is well worth the effort.
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Things you need
- VHS player
- Video-converter box or MiniDV camcorder
- Movie-making software
- DVD burner
Convert your old movies into digital format. If you are working with old VHS videos, import old movies into your computer by connecting a VCR player to your computer using an analogue-to-digital video converter box. You can also use a MiniDV camcorder to convert old analogue movies into digital format. Connect the VCR to the camcorder, using compatible audio and video cables, then connect the camcorder to your computer using a FireWire or USB cable. Select the pass-through mode to import the video into your computer's moviemaking software. If your old movies are in an obsolete format, such as 8mm or Betamax, send your old footage to a professional video-transfer service that can create a digital transfer.
Launch your computer's moviemaking software and screen your movie clips. Most moviemaking programs automatically slice up your video footage into short digital clips. Check each clip for sound and image quality, making note of clips in need of restoration.
Use your software's editing tools to correct colour, enhance brightness and improve the sound of your clips. Cut out shaky, out-of-focus, inaudible or otherwise unusable shots.
Add music and titles to your movie clips. Play all the clips of the movie, one after another--otherwise known as streaming--making edits and adjustments to individual clips as necessary. Save the final version.
Make a DVD copy of the restored movie, using your computer's DVD burner. If your computer does not have a DVD burner, purchase an external rewritable DVD burner, connect it to your computer and make copies.
Tips and warnings
- If you have many hours of digital movie footage to edit and restore, consider purchasing an extra hard drive where you can store these files. Movie files are very large and can quickly fill up your computer's disk storage space.
- If your VCR is not in good working condition, don't risk losing old movies to a malfunctioning machine. Send your old home videos to a professional transfer service that can convert them into digital format for you.
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