Digital Creative Blog Articles

Transfer Anew?

I had my movies transferred 20 years ago to VHS. Should I digitize again?

By Advent Media, Inc. Webmaster on
Topics: Movie Film
Transfer Anew?

If you had movie films transferred to VHS or DVD a long time ago hopefully you didn't throw the original films away. The video standards have changed dramatically since the 1990s and 2000s, and you would be advised to have those films scanned in HD to preserve everything the film has to offer.

What has changed? The HDTV revolution brought about the big flat screen TVs in every living room. If you still have a VCR or DVD player and you try to run it on the big screen, you'll notice something: the films look awful! Why? Because DVD and VHS are all "standard definition." Not only do they not fill the screen, the resolution is such that they will look very fuzzy when blown up to HD or 4K. 

If you care to know the numbers, VHS has a horizontal resolution almost four times lower than the HDTV set you'll be watching. Eight times lower than a 4K set.  DVD is a little better at close to 3x lower than HDTV.

Not only that, but both VHS tapes and DVD discs have a shelf life. DVDs may last only 10 years. You can preserve them by copying the DVD to a fresh disc or backing them up to a hard disk, but that may make it difficult to play. And for the VHS tapes, if you transferred them there, if they've been stored improperly, they may jam up the machine if you try to play them - assuming you still have a working VHS deck. 

You can't just "blow up" the VHS or DVD footage to HD without significant artifacts. In order to get a film transfer that looks decent on your big screen, we need to start from scratch with the original source films. With our system your film never passes through a projector gate, where it could be scratched, burned or jammed.  Color correction and scratch/dirt removal are available.

Don't wait for the films to fade to nothing in your closet. Preserve them in full HD with Advent Digitizing. Your legacy will thank you.

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