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Has one of your camcorder tapes wrinkled? Twisted? Snapped? Or does it jam when playing in a camcorder? With this simple fix guide, you can learn how to repair camcorder tapes like 8mm, Hi8, Digital 8, Mini DV and even VHS!

This guide is a temporary fix designed for those who are wanting to digitise their tapes.

Since camcorder tapes are becoming fragile and worn, it is best to repair your tape right before having it digitised to prevent further damage. If you want to receive the best quality transfer of your tape, I recommend leaving the repair to a professional who has the correct equipment and knowledge for it.

You Will Need:

  • Small, magnetic crosshead screwdriver
  • Sharp scissors
  • Clear sellotape
  • Gloves

Instructions To Repair Camcorder Tapes:

1. Place your tape facedown on the table and unscrew all five screws fixed in the back*. Keep the screws in a safe place for later.

*If your tape does not have visible screws: you will need to send it to a tape repair service. This is because the plastic casing will need to be forced open, and your magnetic tape will need to be rehoused.

2. Carefully unpeel the back of the case off, ensuring you do not move any of the parts inside. If you are fixing a VHS tape, I recommend taking a picture of the inside to know how it should look after fixing.

3. As a pre-warning, take special care when cutting the film. You will need to make sure that both of your cuts match for when you stick them together. A clean, straight cut is what you are aiming for.

Whilst wearing the gloves, gently unravel the damaged reel until you reach tape in good condition. Cut off all the damaged strip of film, ensuring you make a clean, straight cut. Do the same with the second reel.

4.Align the two edges of your film together. When joining the two strips of film, you cannot have any gaps or overlap.

5. Using a small strip of sellotape, stick the two strips of film together. Any bits of sellotape hanging over the magnetic tape will need to be cut off – do not wrap the sellotape around the edges!

6. Wind your reels until the magnetic tape is tight again and check everything in your case is in the correct place.

7. Place the back plastic casing on top and fasten in the screws.

8. Congratulations on fixing your camcorder tape! Now use a professional camcorder to DVD service to ensure your memories are preserved forever.

Splicing is the act of joining two sections of film together. It is used for fixing breakages in film, joining two separate reels, or for editing*.

(*If you want to edit your film by splicing, I recommend digitising your cine films beforehand and editing your videos digitally. To learn more, read our guide on editing videos.)

This guide will teach you how to splice two separate reels together – a practical skill for creating a longer video or filling half-empty spools.

What You Need:

  • Sharp scissors
  • Clear sellotape
  • Cotton gloves
  • Desk lamp (optional)

Splicing film is a simple process but needs care and attention when handling the film. Many cine reels will be slightly damaged and brittle due to ageing. Make sure you wear gloves before touching the film. We recommend cotton gloves, but any type of clean glove will be acceptable.

How to Splice Film Together:

1. First, you will need to decide which cine films you want to splice together and the order you want to watch them.

Ensure that the two reels you pick are the same type of film; this can be checked by lining up the sprockets (holes) to see if they match.

2. Next, you want to cut the edges of the cine films you are splicing together. Align your scissors with the edge of the last frame from your first cine reel and make a straight, clean cut. Do the same with the starting frame of your second reel.

3. Line up the two reels’ edges by overlapping the final holes and ensuring that the pattern continues.

4. Finally, using clear sellotape, stick the edges of your cine reels together. It is best to have about 5-10mm of tape on either side of the joining reels and ensure the sellotape covers the reels’ edges. Otherwise, the film will break whilst scanning.

 

Has something gone wrong?

Don’t worry!

At Digital Converters, we are professionals at splicing films. When ordering, please explain in the additional notes where you would like your films splicing (or film need repairing), and our expert technicians will do their best to help.

Have you started spring cleaning but don’t know where to recycle VHS tapes?

The large plastic casing and toxic film make VHS tapes notoriously tricky to chuck. In a landfill, the plastic case can take decades to decompose, while the plastic film inside is coated in hazardous metals toxic to the environment when it breaks down.

So, how do you dispose of your VHS tapes correctly?

Once you have saved your old media files digitally by converting your VHS to DVD, dispose of your old tapes by recycling or upcycling them.

Recycling VHS Tapes:

The simplest way to figure out how to recycle VHS tapes is by checking your local household waste recycling centre.  Many centres in the UK can safely dispose of your videos by collecting them in the ‘Waste for Energy’ skips.

If you have commercial tapes (such as films or television shows), you can place them in the Reuse Area for charities to sell.

If your local area does not dispose of tapes, many companies will recycle VHS videos for you:

Butterfly Garden: This garden project has set up a fantastic recycling programme for plastics. They will dispose of your tapes for free – you just have to pay for the postage.

TerraCycle: This company offers a simple solution for a high price. You can order a box to fill with your old tapes. Once filled, TerraCycle will collect the box from you and recycle the tapes.

Upcycling VHS Tapes:

A more creative solution to dispose of your bulky tape collection is upcycling your VHS tapes into decorations or furniture. The plastic film used in tapes is excellent for scaring birds away from your vegetable patch or decorating one of your lampshades.

Pinterest is a great website to help inspire your creative mind! They offer many ideas to reuse your tapes, from creating a pencil case to building a full-blown table.

If you are not artistically gifted, then donate your VHS tapes to art programmes or companies:

Urban Beachcomber creates beautiful works of art with rubbish and unloved materials. You can message them on Facebook before sending your old tapes. It is an attractive option for giving your tapes a new lease on life.

Espensen Spirit in Bristol is always asking for customers to send in empty VHS cases of films and television series to use as packaging for their gin. This option is fantastic if you have lost videos but still have the case!

Selling VHS Tapes:

This option is the least viable for getting rid of your videos. It takes a lot of time, effort, and knowledge of your tapes to profit from selling.

Movies on VHS tapes sell at a profit if they were never released on DVD. Similarly, if you have a large Disney film collection, there is a chance you can sell them for a small profit to a VHS collector.

Otherwise, blank tapes sell for a profit since VHS tapes stopped production in 2008.

 

Finally, if you choose to have your tapes converted with Digital Converters, you can ask us to dispose of your videos with us after conversion. We will keep your tapes for 30 days before upcycling or disposing of them.

The day is finally here. You open your blinds and peer out of your living room window to see the sight you’ve been longing for – your reliable Royal Mail hero brandishing a box with your name on it. The patterned “DC” tape on the box confirms it – it’s your Mini DV transfer!

You grab the box, scramble inside and race to insert your memory stick into the computer. Finally, you can watch all your old memories again.

Feels good, right?

But we know you aren’t the type to stop there. You want to go bigger – so what’s next?

Turn your memories from hours of Mini DV transfers into a montage of best bits fit for the big screen. It’s time to learn how to edit videos!

You Will Need:

For this guide, we will be using Wondershare Filmora, a highly recommended software at DC and unbeaten compared with other editing software.

Importing your Mini DV Transfer Files

To import your files, open Filmora and click the “Media” button on the Top Menu. Then, select “Project Media” from the Side Menu.

This is where you will put your files for editing.

Check your Filmora screen looks like the image below after completing:

To move the files into Filmora, click on the green clapperboard icon shown in the image above. This will open a window where you can select the files you want to import; when you’ve found your video folder, double-click to open and access your individual files.

Next, select the files you want from the folder. Click and drag the files as shown below, or hold “Ctrl” and select the files you want.

Once all the desired files are selected, click “Open” to import the files to Filmora. 

Below are the sample videos included with Filmora, but it should look similar to this:

Now your files are ready to be edited!

Adding Footage to the Timeline

To create anything in your project, it needs to be added to the Timeline.

Drag and drop one of the videos from the Media Screen onto the Timeline as shown below:

Cutting Footage

If you want a specific clip from a video, then cutting footage is the perfect tool for you. Thankfully, Filmora has made this tool easy to use.

At the bottom of the page, there is an empty timeline with a red line that is used as the cursor. Above the timeline, you will see a scissor icon.

Dragging the red line will move the cursor along, and clicking the scissors will cut the footage at the point where the cursor is.

This will allow you to carry a clip of your video freely – as shown in the clip below:

From here, delete the video’s unwanted parts by clicking and pressing the “Delete” key on your keyboard.

Adding Mini DV Transfer Clips Together

After deleting all the video parts you do not want, you can stitch them together to create your montage.

Drag each of your clips to the left to join on to the clip before it, as shown here:

If you want to join two Mini DV transfer clips from different tapes, repeat the steps above with a second video.

Drag and drop your second video to your timeline, only this time drop the video away from your first video so that it does not replace any of the first clip.

Cut the unwanted parts and drag the clips together.

The clip below summarises everything you have learned:

If you’re still standing after this information overload, congratulations!

You’re now ready to make the best birthday party montage anyone’s ever seen!

 

Want to edit your camcorder tapes and enjoy them with your family for years to come? Convert your tapes with the number one professional digitisation service in the UK!

The newest addition to our services is the Gift Voucher — a great alternative for gifting the ones you loved with memories they choose to keep.

What is the Gift Voucher option?

At Digital Converters, we understand that many customers digitise their old media as gifts for their partner, family, or close friends.  Whether this is a wedding video for an anniversary, or digitising slide photos of your times at University for an old friend, our service caters for all types of nostalgia.

With our Gift Voucher service, we can offer our customers a flexible and time-stress free option for gifting. Since our service takes time to convert your media to high-quality digital files, you alleviate the time pressure of ensuring your newly digitised media is returned for a particular date by choosing the Gift Voucher option.

The Gift Card gives the recipient the control of what videos or photographs they would like to have digitised. This is especially useful if you are not sure what is on their old tapes. That way, you cannot be held responsible for presenting them television recordings from the ’90s!

How do the Gift Vouchers work?

You can find the Gift Vouchers on our website by following the link here. Once bought they are valid for a 12-month period.

The Gift Card begins at £20 and offers you the flexibility to choose the amount would like to gift. The base price offers your giftee the choice of 1 tape, a 3-inch reel, or 30 photographs to be digitised.

Once the amount is selected, you can choose to have your gift card beautifully packaged and sent to your chosen address or a free e-Voucher sent via email. The voucher will contain a unique gift code that can only be redeemed once through our online store.

How do I use my Gift Card on the website?

On the website, you can choose what media you would like to have digitised and to what output (DVD, USB or cloud download). Once selected head to the checkout to view your order summary. Before entering your payment method, copy your unique gift-code into the discount code section and click ‘Apply’.

At Digital Converters, we return your digitised videos and photographs in three different formats and it can be quite confusing deciding which format is right for you. We have created this guide to help you choose the right output and how to place your order correctly.

This article will guide you through how each of our output formats work. We recommend choosing multiple formats so that you can feel safe in knowing that your digitised media are future-proofed through any circumstance.

Memory Stick: The most versatile of formats

USB’s are our most popular choice to save digitised media. They can easily be used on your computer, Smart TV, games consoles and other devices.

  • Each of your videos are saved as individual files:

All your videos/photos will be saved as individual files onto the memory stick. This means that if you have ordered 10 tapes to be converted, you will receive 1 USB containing 10 individual video files saved on it.

  • Easy for editing and sharing:

Your videos are saved as an MP4 format. We do not encrypt memory sticks for the benefit of the customer wanting to: save their media elsewhere; create multiple copies; or to edit their videos or photographs. It is by far the most versatile format for editing and changing your digitised media.

  • Downsize your video collection to a singular USB:

When ordering a memory stick on our website it is important to bear in mind that you will receive all your videos/photographs on one memory stick. We have a variety of sized memory sticks to ensure all your media will be kept together on one device.

Cloud: The safest choice to protect your media

This is the format choice we personally recommend at Digital Converters.

  • Turnaround time is quicker:

Choosing this format means you will receive your digitised media quicker as we can send your media through an email as soon as it is completed.

This is great for those of you who have a deadline for their videos being returned, or if you want to check your videos before we post your originals back to you.

  • Easy to share with friends and family:

You can easily view cloud links on your mobile phone or a computer which makes this a great choice for sharing your media with friends and family – whether in person or online.

  • Each of your videos are saved as individual files:

Each of your videos/photographs will be saved as an individual file for you to pick and choose which ones you would like to download onto your device.

  • Your media is protected forever from physical damage:

One of the benefits of choosing a cloud download is that your precious memories are protected from being lost or physical damage.

Your files will be sent to you through a Dropbox weblink and you have a lifetime guarantee that your media will be protected there. No longer do you have to worry about breakages or corrupt video files.

DVD: The simplest format to watch your videos

We recommend this format if you are more comfortable with older technology.

  • A simpler way to watch your videos:

It is an easy way to watch your videos on a DVD player or computer. DVD’s are reliable for those who are wanting to watch their videos on the television.

  • Outdated technology:

However, we must warn you that this format is slowly becoming obsolete as new computers do not have disc drives.

  • Standard definition videos:

Likewise, the quality of your content is poorer due to DVDs being limited to standard definition. This is a huge downfall if you are converting cine reels as you will lose the high-quality definition recorded through our machines.

When ordering a DVD set on our website, we save files differently depending on the media you are converting:

If you are converting tapes…

Ordering a quantity of 1 DVD set means you will receive a full set of your videos. Each tape will be saved on a separate, individual disc. This means that if you have ordered 10 tapes to be converted, you will receive 10 DVDs each containing one of your tapes in return.

DVD’s are limited by their memory space: if any of your videos are over 3 hours long, they will be split over multiple discs. This service is included free of charge.

If you are converting cine reels…

Ordering a quantity of 1 DVD set means you will receive a full set of your videos. We gather multiple videos onto one DVD because reels are significantly shorter in time compared to tapes. You will be able to watch separate cine reels through the title menu on your DVD.

If the total run time of your cine reels is over 3 hours long: we will split your reels into multiple sets and add a volume number to the title of your disc. This service is included free of charge.

If you are converting slides, negatives, or loose photos…

Ordering a quantity of 1 DVD set means you will receive all your digitised photographs on DVD. We will save your photographs as separate files on the disc.

Have you received a memory stick with your digitised video files on it but are struggling to watch the videos on your television or other devices? This guide will help teach you to format your USB so you can watch your videos on any device you like.

There are two main formats of a memory stick which we use at Digital Converters: exFAT and FAT32. FAT32 is our favourite choice of formatting because it works on most devices (such as, your Smart TV). However, it cannot handle files over 4GB (roughly 3 hours of video footage) whereas exFAT can.

If you are struggling to get your memory stick working on your TV, try formatting it to FAT32 by following one of our guides:

Guide to formatting a memory stick on a Windows PC:

1. Connect your memory stick to your computer and open the USB’s file on File Explorer.

Occasionally, there will be a pop-up which comes on the screen asking what you would like to do with the USB device inserted. Click on the option to open and view the files. If this pop-up does not appear, open File Explorer and find the USB device through there.

Your USB will be named after your order number. This is the same number printed on the labels found on the media you sent to us.

2. Copy all the files on to your computer’s hard drive to back them up.

This is the most important step!

If you do not back up your files onto your computer, you will lose all your precious media when formatting.

To copy the files onto your computer: select all the files on the memory stick; right-click and select copy; open Documents on File Explorer and create a file to save your media in. Open the file, right-click and select paste.

3. Right click on your USB drive and click on ‘Format’.

A new window will pop-up asking how you would like your USB formatted.

4. From the window, select FAT32 from the drop-down bar under File System.

FAT32 is the most accessible of USB formats. It works with the majority of Smart TV’s and supports other devices.

5. Click on ‘Start’ and ‘OK’ to commence the formatting process.

This process will take a few minutes – you may want to make a cuppa whilst you are waiting.

6. Once the formatting is completed click on ‘OK’.

Your memory stick has now been formatted to FAT32!

7. Copy the backed-up files back on to the USB drive.

Open the file where you have copied your media onto. Copy these files and paste them onto your newly formatted memory stick.

You will now be able to watch your media on your television and other devices!

 

Guide to formatting a memory stick on an Apple Mac:

1. Connect your memory stick to your computer and open the USB’s file.

If you have the latest MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, you will need a USB-C adaptor to connect our memory sticks to your computer.

To find the memory stick’s folder, click the Finder window and select the correct drive.

2. Back-up your files onto the computer.

This is the most important step!

If you do not back up your files onto your computer, you will lose all your precious media when formatting.

To copy your files onto your computer: highlight the files to be copied; press Command-C; find a safe destination to save your files; press Command-V to paste your precious memories onto your computer.

3. Open Applications: select Utilities and double-click Disk Utility.

Formatting the USB will wipe all the data saved onto it. Please make sure you have backed-up your files before continuing!

4. From the left windowpane, select your USB drive.

At Digital Converters, we always title memory sticks with your order number. This will be a 5-digit number that is printed on the labels found on your media you sent to us.

5. Click on the ‘Erase’ tab displayed on the top toolbar and select Format on the dropdown bar.

You have the choice to change the name of your memory stick here. This may be useful if you want your own personalised name for the memory stick instead of our generated order number.

6. From the dropdown bar, select FAT32.

FAT32 is the file format which can be accessed by the most devices.

7. To begin the formatting, click on OK and then Erase.

This process may take a few minutes – whilst you are waiting you may want to make yourself a cuppa!

8. Finally, copy your backed up files on to the USB drive.

Open the file where you have copied your media onto. Copy these files again and paste them into your newly formatted memory stick.

You will now be able to watch your media on your television and other devices!

 

If something goes wrong:

We have a lovely customer service team who can help you with any technical issues you may have with your memory stick.

Our office is open on weekdays from 9am to 5:30pm:

Phone: 01423 319041

Email: info@digitalconverters.co.uk

Online Chat: https://www.facebook.com/DigitalConverters/

      https://www.digitalconverters.co.uk/

 

At Digital Converters, we’ve made sending your parcels that little bit easier by offering courier collection. This is perfect option for those who cannot easily access a Post Office or are self-isolating.

Here is an in-depth explanation on how it works:

1. Select ‘Collection’ at checkout.

When you checkout, your screen will look like this:

Digital Converters Courier Collection

At the ‘Shipping’ section, you need to select ‘Collection’.

 

2. After placing your order, reply to the automated email sent to you.

You will be sent a confirmation email and a courier collection email. The courier collection email will include instructions on how to prepare for collection.

You will need to reply to this email (or email info@digitalconverters.co.uk) with a weekday where you are available throughout the day (9am to 5:30pm).

Unfortunately, because we use external companies, we cannot specify timeslots for them to come and collect your parcel in.

 

3. Package your media and order number into a box.

We strongly recommend parcelling your media into a box because it is much more secure compared to a jiffy bag. Use plenty of bubble wrap or scrunched paper to protect your precious memories from breaking during transit. But please remember that someone at our end has the chore of unwrapping it!

Before sealing your box, pop your order sheet (or order number written down) into the box so we can identify your order when it arrives. Your order number will be a 5 digit number. Then, write our address on the box:

Digital Converters
Unit 1 Barugh Avenue
Barker Business Park
Melmerby
North Yorkshire
HG4 5FG

 

4. Check your emails for confirmation of courier collection.

Once we have booked in your collection, we will send you another email to confirm that a courier is coming on the day you specified. If an email has not arrived before the day of your collection, please get in touch! (Occasionally, we have the odd technical error and would hate for you to spend a day waiting for a collection which was not booked).

If a confirmation email has not arrived, please contact us:

Contact Number: 01423 319041

Email:  info@digitalconverters.co.uk

 

5. Collection day!

A courier will collect your parcel between 9am to 5:30pm on your specified delivery day. All you have to do is make sure you are in!

 

What happens if things go wrong?

If you have followed these instructions and the courier did not arrive, please contact us as soon as possible (01423 319041). We use two delivery companies to collect parcels and can book in a new collection with the alternate delivery company where required.

 

To get started follow one of the below links to get to your required service:

Convert Tapes: Video to Digital

Convert Cine: Cine to DVD or Digital

Scan Photos: Digitise 35mm Slides or Photos

Convert Audio: Convert Audio Cassettes or Reels

Did you film 40 minutes of the bottom of your handbag? Want to create a moving montage of your best moments? By using an editing software, you can tailor your digitised videos exactly how you would like them.

In this article, we will cover the requirements needed to edit your footage – as well as our top recommendations for editing software!

You Will Need:

  • A PC or Mac that can handle editing software;
  • Basic knowledge of computer use;
  • Your video tapes transferred to USB or Cloud using a film digitisation service.

Wondershare Filmora

Available on: PC, Mac, iOS and Android.

We thoroughly endorse this software – and for good reason! You’ll be hard-pressed to find an editing software as elegant, intuitive, and feature-packed as Filmora.

Filmora offers all the functionality of any high-end editing software in a simple format. Its user-friendly interface does a good job for any first time editor. If you fancy really pushing the boat out and jazzing up your converted footage: Filmora offers various titles, visual effects, and even a library of royalty-free music to bring your home movies to life!

Unfortunately, there is a cost to Filmora with a lifetime licence priced at $69.99 (£51.14). There is a free trial if you would like to test the waters before buying – or, an annual subscription for those only wanting a short-term answer to editing their videos.

Pros

Cons

  • Advanced features for a professional touch
  • Simple interface for beginners
  • Royalty free music – great for editing cine reels     
  • Expensive for short-term editing

 

Official Page: https://filmora.wondershare.com/

Adobe Premiere Rush

Available on: PC, Mac, iOS and Android

Another editing software available on multiple platforms, Adobe Premiere Rush is a cheaper alternative to Filmora (at least in the short term) despite carrying the Adobe name.

Adobe Premiere Rush may lack some of the features of Filmora, but this also results in it being less complex and easier to learn quickly. One of the perks of Adobe are there interactive tutorials to help you learn the basics of their programmes.

If you’re looking for a fast, effective editing software for a one-off project or short-term use, the £9.98 per month price tag is more than justified. (Just make sure to cancel your subscription when you’re done!)

Pros

 Cons

  • Cheap alternative for short-term editing
  • Simple interface for basic editing
  • Interactive guides teach you the basics quickly        
  • Can only pay a subscription fee
  • Limited editing features

Official Page: https://www.adobe.com/uk/products/premiere-rush.html 

iMovie

Available on: Mac, iOS

If you own an Apple computer, chances are you already have iMovie. It comes bundled for free with new Mac purchases – and is easy to download if not installed.

Apple is renowned for their innovative, stylish and simplistic design; and this philosophy is carried over to their software. iMovie’s user interface is very easy on the eye without much of a “form over function” issue. iMovie also includes all the basic editing features, such as: splicing, colour effects and even a green screen feature.

Once your masterpiece is ready to be enjoyed you can easily share your masterpiece on social media with iMovie’s seamless social media integration feature.

Pros

Cons

  • Stylish and simple to use
  • Already installed on many Macs
  • Easy to share videos on social media
  • Only available for Apple users
  • Basic editing software

Official Page: https://www.apple.com/uk/imovie/

Avidemux

Available on: Windows and Mac

If you’re looking for a free and easy software to do simple edits on your footage, Avidemux could be for you. This software is completely free and offers a few basic features: cutting and connecting different clips, adding subtitles, and cropping/resizing your footage.

Avidemux is a great option if you want to cut together some chosen clips from your footage. It may not be the most flashy (or even the most functional) but it performs the basics well. What’s not to love?

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Free to use
  • Very basic and limited editing software

Official Page: https://sourceforge.net/projects/avidemux/