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How You Should Be Storing Your Old Home Movies:

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Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by Sukhen

Technology Has Changed The Game

Unless you can maintain equipment designed for physical film, you’re going to have to think about digital options for your old home movies. When it comes to 8mm film, videos, and betamax formats, most new technology can’t interface.

Digital tech incorporates new means of storing and playing moving images. Here we’ll cover a few storage strategies to help you retain your old footage into the future.


1. Solid State Drives And Hard Disk Drives

Most new computers use a Solid State Drive or SSD. Some computers still use a Hard Disk Drive or HDD, but these aren’t as efficient or reliable over the long term owing to an increase in moving parts.

HDDs have a little disk that actually spins, and is subject to physical disturbance. If you’ve got an HDD, and you drop it or bump it wrong, it may break. Here’s a closer look at the two hard drive options.

While you can similarly break an SSD, that’s less likely, as these drives are more like a USB thumb drive. Essentially, there aren’t moving parts involved in storage. This means SSDs work both faster and more reliably over the long term. So if you’ve transferred the video to HDD drives, you’ll likely want to transfer that footage to an SSD eventually.

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While this isn’t immediately necessary, it’s something to think about. Footage stored on CD-ROM or floppy disks is footage you may not even be able to view for the same reason the analog film is hard to upkeep and view. Technological formats have changed. So once you’ve transferred footage, if it’s not on some sort of SSD, you’ll likely have to transfer it again.

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2. Transferring Film To Digital Formats

Before you put the film on an SSD or an HDD, you’ll want to get it transferred to a digital format. There are a number of different ways to do this, one of the most popular beings is to put the footage on a Digital Video Disk, or DVD. From there, you can transfer it to an SSD or HDD for long-term storage.

Your computer may have an SSD or HDD built-in, but owing to the size of video files, it’s a good idea to have a hard drive external to your device for more secure long-term storage. That said, first, you’ve got to digitize the film, and there are a few ways to do that.

To convert “super 8” film to DVD requires a little bit of experience. The same is true of videotape footage, though it’s a bit easier to transfer footage from a VHS tape to a DVD with a simple conversion rig that features VHS and DVD slots. If you’re going the “super 8” route, you may need a projector or specialized equipment. It’s more cost-effective to use a service.

3. Keeping Data Alive In The Cloud

Another move beyond SSD, HDD, or DVD formats is uploading your video footage to the cloud. Now there are some benefits and drawbacks to this approach. On the one hand, you’ve got better security in storage owing to the onus of cloud providers to securely maintain the data on clients. On the other, you’re trusting private information with such public providers.

As a data backup, in the event, some catastrophe destroys physical copies of your 8mm film, or your DVDs, or your HDD or SDD drives, the cloud is a good safeguard as you can rest assured precious memories are preserved. Ostensibly, there’s no legal avenue for abuse of that data. However, there is the human nature component to consider.

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Accordingly, though the cloud is an option for some private information, it may be wiser to transfer that information to a DVD, and then transfer such data from the DVD to an SSD you keep in a safe, dry, temperate environment somewhere—like a basement closet safe from the elements, or something of the kind.

Keeping Precious Memories Alive

Switching 8mm footage to DVD, putting such footage on SSD drives, and exploring cloud computing storage options represent three wise ways to assure old footage is retained into the future.

Certainly, keep the old 8mm reels and VHS tapes around as well; but media to read them is disappearing, and physical footage succumbs to decay easier than digital options. Since tech keeps marching on, and digital storage has superior aspects, it’s smart to at least store your footage in this way as well.

Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

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