Do it Yourself: Equipment to Transfer 8mm Film to DVD

By Stephen A. Powell

Transferring the contents of 8mm film to DVD can save you space and potential loss of footage due to the fragility of the original analog medium. While you could have a video professional perform the transfer for you, doing it yourself is a cost-efficient alternative that may prove worthwhile for converting a large collection of 8mm cassettes and footage. As far as equipment goes, you will only need an A/V or RCA cable to pair with a DVD recorder or TV tuner in order to execute a seamless transfer from 8mm film to DVD.

Things You'll Need

  • A/V or RCA cable
  • DVD recorder or TV tuner and DVD writer drive
  • Blank writable DVD

DVD Recorder

Step 1

Connect your 8mm player to the DVD recorder. Insert the RCA end of your camcorder's A/V cable into the DVD recorder's color-coded "Video In" or "Line In" port. Alternatively, insert one end of an RCA cable into the "Video Out" or "Line In" port on a standalone 8mm player. Insert the other end of the RCA cable into the DVD recorder's "Video In" or "Line In" port.

Step 2

Cue the 8mm cassette for DVD recording. Rewind or scan forward so that the 8mm film content you wish to transfer will play as soon as you push the "Play" button.

Step 3

Load a blank writable DVD into your DVD recorder. Push the "Record" button.

Step 4

Push "Play" on your camcorder or 8mm player immediately to avoid empty space at the beginning of your DVD recording. The 8mm film's content will transfer to the DVD in real time upon playback.

Step 5

Push the "Stop" button on your DVD recorder when the 8mm film's playback has completed. Doing so finalizes the burn and completes the 8mm film's transfer to DVD.

TV Tuner

Step 1

Connect your 8mm player to the TV tuner. Insert the RCA end of your camcorder's A/V cable into the TV tuner's color-coded "Video In" or "Line In" port. Alternatively, insert one end of an RCA cable into the "Video Out" or "Line In" port on a standalone 8mm player and insert the other end of the RCA cable into the TV tuner's "Video In" or "Line In" port.

Step 2

Cue the 8mm cassette for digital recording. Rewind or scan forward so that the 8mm film content you wish to transfer will play as soon as you push the "Play" button.

Step 3

Launch your TV tuner's control panel. Push the "Record" button to begin capturing the 8mm player's output.

Step 4

Push "Play" on the 8mm player immediately. Doing so minimizes empty space at the beginning of your DVD recording. The 8mm film's content will transfer to the DVD in real time upon playback.

Step 5

Push "Stop" on the TV tuner's control panel to end the digital recording. Save the recording as a digital video file in a format that is compatible with your DVD writer program, such as AVI, MOV or MPEG. Select "Save As" from the menu bar's "File" tab and choose your desired file format from the "File Type" drop-down menu before saving.

Step 6

Insert a blank writable DVD into your computer's DVD writer drive.

Step 7

Launch your DVD writer program. Load the newly created digital video recording into the DVD writer program's burn list. Click "Burn" to finalize the 8mm film's transfer to DVD.