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Cine Film to DVD – FAQ

There’s a lot more information than some realise when they consider getting their cine films transferred!  We’ve listed below all the common questions we’re asked, if there’s anything missing or you can’t find what you’re looking for then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

 

01. How much does it cost?

Our prices are calculated on a ‘per 50ft’ basis, as 50ft is the most common amount of film around and is found on the small 3 inch reels. We charge £7.50 per 50ft to transfer your films in high definition, however if you only want to transfer your cine film to DVD then we apply a 10% discount on the transfer cost, bringing it down to £6.75 per 50ft.

02. My reel says ‘dual 8mm 25 foot’ on it.

Many 8mm films originally came on a 16mm wide, 25ft long reel. You would film on one side of the film (around 2 minutes in total), then you would turn the reel over and film of the other side. When you sent your films away to be developed, the film was cut down the middle during the process and then spliced to create a single 50ft long reel.

03. Is there a real difference between SD and HD?

Understandably this is a common question due to the misinformation found around other websites unfortunately. If done correctly a HD scan will provide a great deal more detail on the final product than an SD version would.

An SD image holds 414,720 pixels on screen which is an awful lot, and these pixels count to make up the quality of the image. An HD image however holds 2,073,600 pixels on screen at 1080p, although considering the aspect of cine film the image area, the count of an HD transfer on cine would be 1,728,000. Considering those figures, on screen a HD version of your films will have 4x as many pixels on screen than the SD version, and those details go towards holding much more details from your films.

As a side snippet, the highest recorded resolution for 8mm cine film was in the region of 900p meaning there would be around 1,197,000 pixels to record, and having done this in SD would mean compressing those pixels into a 3rd of the original count and squashing those details together. Not all cine film will be this high in quality though, but we firmly believe all cine film is a higher resolution than standard definition film and quality will always be lost on an SD transfer, how ever small.

04. Is HD really worth it?

See above. Transferring these films shouldn’t be something you have to do once every several years. If you want our honest advice then we’d suggest getting your films transferred in full HD – whoever it may be with – and then at least you know you have the highest quality transfer you can get for your films and they’re very much future proof.

Please be aware – while many companies are offering transfers on to Blu-Ray disc, not all of them are necessarily transferring your films in high definition, but instead just burning your SD footage onto these discs instead. There is no benefit to doing this what-so-ever so make sure you’re getting what you pay for.

05. How long will it take?

We always try to aim for a turn around time in the region of 2-3 weeks. On the rare occasion it may be quicker than that, what decides our turn around times though are larger orders arriving. These kinds of orders can be up to 10x more work, some cases much more than that, so our time scales will take a huge bump. Whilst we always work additional hours to try to keep on top of such occurrences, it’s not as straight forward as we would prefer.

Our customer account now includes an update on what order we’re currently working on, so you can relate to where you are in the queue. We will aim to provide as much information here as possible so you will have a rough idea on times, but we will always update you when progress on your order is made as well.

06. What if I need my order sooner?

We aim to accommodate everyones needs. Some people find us with a week to spare for some body’s birthday, and we can’t argue that their old family films fresh on DVD or Blu-Ray is a fantastic gift. In the case that you need your order back sooner rather than later, please contact us or leave a message in the live chat at the bottom of the screen and we can discuss your requirements.  Fast track orders are always done in out of office hours so not to disturb our standard queue.

07. Will you do me a discount?

We’ve always been for the idea of offering incentives with our service and those incentives have changed over the years. If you have a large order then it’s certainly worth getting in touch so we can discuss details for a possible discount, but aside from that and special offers held from time to time we can’t really offer discounts for all customers.

One way we’re working to put a lighter touch on this is to offer many extra’s included on your order for free, some which we used to charge for and others that were only recently added to our service – such as DVD menus with full chapter list access along with titles for each reel throughout your film, cloud storage of your films so you can view them anywhere and share them with other family as well as free collection and delivery of your order.

08. How do I pay?

Once you fill in our order form, if you decide to go ahead and complete your order you can pay instantly via Paypal either by card or your Paypal account, or you can choose to pay by card over the phone, Paypal, bank transfer or by cheque after we’ve received the order. We will always check your order when it arrives and confirm the amount so you don’t have to worry about working it all out paying the wrong amount.

09. What happens to my original films and will I get them back?

Absolutely nothing. We run your films through our system and then rewind the film back on to the reels once finished.  All your films will come back to you in one piece along with the new DVDs/Blu-Rays/hard drive.  Some customers have asked us to dispose of their original films in the past which we are happy to do as long as we have written consent to do so.

10. How do I know what how much film I have?

We’ve always based our prices on 50 foot blocks as the smaller 3 inch reels are the most common, and these hold 50 foot of film! It’s quite straight forward in most cases to work out how much film you have as when the reels are full you will have either 50ft (on a small 3 inch diameter reel), 200ft (on a 5 inch diameter reel) or 400ft (on a 7 inch diameter reel).  Please see the diagram below for more info.

Some times reels are quite full of film – normally on 200ft and 400ft spool – but most of the time these spools will have markings on the side measuring in either feet, meters or both. Using these charts you should be able to get some idea on the amount of film you have.

cine-sizes

11. What type of film do I have, does it have sound?

Before going into too much detail we should point out that there’s no difference in our service as to which format of 8mm film you have, both run through our system fine.

We currently specialise in 8mm film of which there are 2 types – standard 8 and super 8.  Standard 8 was the first of the formats and is mostly found to be silent, although some people would add a commentary to their films. Super 8 was the more modern format of 8mm film and again is mostly silent however can be found to have sound included thanks to the ability to record audio along with the video on some cameras.

The sound stripe can be quite easy to spot, it’s normally a gold/bronze strip that runs down the edge of the film on the opposite side to the sprocket holes. It’s quite distinct so don’t confuse it with a colour fade that can sometimes be found on the same edge.  Please see the image below for more info.

v35-cinetypes2

12. Can I bring my films to you?

Of course, you’re very welcome to visit us and deliver your films personally – not everyone is a fan of the post office or couriers and we completely understand that. Please check our opening hours before you do visit and if you wish you can book a visit in with us so someone is readily available to see you when you arrive.

We are open for a shorter period on Saturdays but if you would like to arrange to meet outside of our regular opening times then we can certainly arrange something to suit you the best we can.

13. How do I place an order

If you’re ordering online you can go to our calculating form to get a quote for your order. Once you’ve filled in the order details and you’re happy to go ahead, just click the ‘Next’ button at the bottom of the page to continue and fill out your contact information and select your payment method, then submit that to place the order. You’ll receive a confirmation email containing your order information, as we will receive one informing us of the submitted order.  We will check this through and confirm receipt by email/text message.  Alternatively you can call us and we can talk your order through and fill in an order form for you.

Once this has been completed and confirmed we will create your customer account and then arrange collection of your order unless you’re arranging sending the package yourself or calling in to see us personally.

Once we receive your order, we will check the order for you and make sure all the details of the order are correct.  If there are any differences we’ll contact you again to confirm and amend accordingly.  Once this is done, the order has now been booked in and will join the queue for transfers.  By this point you will have access to your customer account which you can log into using the details provided by email or text message.  If payment hasn’t been made already by this point you will also receive your invoice to pay by your chosen method.

There will be no updates until the order is due to be transferred so once your order has arrived at the front of the queue you will receive another quick update via email/text message informing you that your order is to begin transfer, and then another update once this has been completed.  From here you’ll hear from us again once your order has been edited and the discs/hard drive files have been created and your order is complete, by which point we will contact you to arrange delivery of your order.

Each stage of your order is recorded in your customer account area so all the information you need is in here, but if there is anything else you need to know otherwise you can simple contact us for further details via email or give us a call.

14. What if I don’t have a Blu-Ray player?

To view your films in high definition on Blu-Ray you will need a Blu-Ray player as DVD players will not play these discs (although Blu-Ray players will play DVDs!).  While the costs on Blu-Ray players are certainly coming down, we understand that not everyone has one yet. To fix this we produce a DVD copy of your films (in standard definition) along with your Blu-Ray discs so that you can watch your films on DVD until you do finally upgrade. This comes at no extra cost and the DVD discs will accompany the Blu-Ray discs either in the same case or in a different case as a set for larger orders.

Please note that we do offer the option to order your films in SD on DVD only rather than in HD. While we would much prefer giving you the best quality we can produce, we understand that not everybody is interested in worrying about technology and keep up to date so you can simply order the DVDs and enjoy your films that way.  In this case we discount 10% from the transfer price bring the costs down to £6.75 per 50ft of film instead of £7.50.

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