DIY Project #7214 ~ Transferring Home Movies to DVD

It has been the year of DIY at the Humpfreeze house.

After the DIY kitchen remodel, I was all over another DIY project.


Should I mention now that the kitchen is still not done?

Since I can’t even seem to blog once a week, I’m pretty sure that I shouldn’t try to paint the kitchen.

Instead, December has crept up on me along with our baking frenzy weekend. More on that later.

Back to transferring our home movies…

Darling twin Rachel was suppose to transfer all of our Sony 8mm tapes and VHS tapes to DVD for me about four or five years ago. I know that the tapes deteriorate over time and using DVD media would extend the life of our home movies.

I said it would be the best Christmas gift. Ever.

Somehow my friend Nancy in California got ahead of me in the line and she mailed all her videotapes to Rachel and she got hers transferred. I think it was the cash payment vs. gift for mom that got her better service.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And then they broke the camcorder we bought to do the transfer.

Sadly, we couldn’t even watch the tapes because we had no working Sony camcorder.

Sony is not my friend.

Sony tapes only work in Sony equipment. It’s an endless, expensive loop of frustration.

After much research with my best friend, Google, I found a Sony DVD recorder that I could transfer all of our 8mm tapes to DVD.


Even sweeter, I found a refurbished model for the bargain price of $39.99 at Micro Center so we drove to Marietta to buy it. Which increased the price a wee bit because of gas prices but that’s just how much we don’t like to pay retail.

But don’t forget I still had to buy a Sony 8mm camcorder since ours didn’t work and their tapes are exclusive to their equipment.

The same weekend I found a used camcorder on ebay right here in Sugar Hill which is very near where we live. The nice seller let us come pick it up at his house after I won the auction at $70.00. I still saved quite a bit since the recorder AND camcorder were less than the retail price of the recorder which is $199.99.

It seems the stars were aligned for me to start this massive project.

Except you can’t duplicate the actual DVDs because they are still encoded with Sony blah-blah-blah.

I wanted to make copies of special tapes for the kids. Because I’m sure they will cherish them. When I’m dead.

This was a time-intensive DIY project. I ran the machine pretty much daily for about two weeks. I made duplicate copies of the tapes through the Sony recorder of some major events but I only have one copy of most.

It was all worth it. Absolutely precious video of their teeny tiny days when they were so stinkin’ cute. I can hardly watch them without welling up with emotion.

Because they make me cry now for entirely different reasons.


Priceless video of my dad, their Grandad Jimbo with them. I did make extra copies of that VHS tape that PhilBillPaul had made for me the year after he died.

So glad I finally took the time for this DIY home movie transfer to DVD. 62 DVDs later, I can mark that off my to-do list.

And now we can watch some of them during Christmas when everyone is home.

Next, I need to figure out how to share a few little clips here on the blog. DIY video editing on my list for 2012.

I know that I should put them in a safety deposit box before the four little piglets touch them, break them or lose them.

Do you have family movies? Are you able to watch them?


One year ago..

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  1. 1
    Melinda says:

    Yet another way we are alike yet different. I too had the urge to get this project done but since I am NOT a DIY type I took mine to Ritz camera and had the transfers done. Cost more – stress less.. still the same check mark. Hopefully they will enjoy them after we are gone…

    Merry Christmas to the Humpfreeze family from the Franklin family!

  2. 2
    Karen says:

    I am pretty sure I have the Sony camcorder you were looking for. This is also on my to do list but admittedly we do not have as much home video as I’d like. After a certain point we just got lazy and didn’t carry that camcorder everywhere. It was also a pain to work with–hook up to watch it back etc. We bought a camcorder at the wrong time!! And like you, it makes me cry.
    Karen recently posted..Accessorizing Your Holiday Outfits

  3. 3
    ~julie says:

    My son wants credit as the “videographer” (is that a real word?) of much of the AAU basketball footage. He is especially proud of the footage shot without tripod and the “we only have 20 minutes of tape for a 30 minute game so be sure to turn off the camera when nothing is happening” footage. I blame you for his years in therapy 🙂

  4. 4
    Jenn Ross says:

    Okay this is also one of my projects but probably not until january and hopefully when I am trapped in the house with lots of chocolate and snow outside! BUT I have a question because I have the SAME exact equipment. Whats the deal with the copyright on Sony DVDS or what ever that was…need to know before I start.
    While cleaning the basement ( an ongoing task) I found an old VHS tape labeled family. Turns out it is our oldest daughters 3rd b-day party. We were too poor to own a camera so this is the earliest video we have. I am going to transfer it to DVD and give it to her this week.. That and a million other projects that need to be done! Thanks for the inspiration ( I think 🙂
    Jenn Ross recently posted..Victory in the tri-ing!