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9265 Dowdy Dr
Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92126
Mon-Thur: 10-6
Fri: 10-5
Sat/Sun: Closed

Transfer Movies to DVD & Video

When is the last time you found your home movies, took them out of the closet and watched them?  Do you still have a projector that works?  We can transfer your family movies to video DVD or digital files so you'll be able to watch them anytime you like.  But the longer you wait, the more you'll lose of the picture quality,  and eventually their condition will be so bad that we won't be able to convert them at all and the memories will be lost forever.  

Transfer 8mm, Super 8, and 16mm Movies to DVD

  For nearly 17 years, Sunray Video has strived to provide one of the best quality methods available for transferring 8mm, super 8 and 16mm films and movies to DVD and video. We handle every film transfer personally, from the moment we take possession of your home movies until you pick them up, and your films are NEVER sent to a mass-transfer factory for processing.  We know how irreplaceable your family memories are so we treat them like our very own.

Do your movies look like this?

 According to an article on the National Film Preservation Foundation's website films are subject to deteriorization by a process know as "vinegar syndrome".  "The symptoms of vinegar syndrome are a pungent vinegar smell (hence the name), followed eventually by shrinkage, embrittlement, and buckling of the gelatin emulsion. Storage in warm and humid conditions greatly accelerates the onset of decay. Once it begins in earnest, the remaining life of the film is short because the process speeds up as it goes along."

16mm and 8mm films are nearing the end of their life-cycle.  We have received many reels of film that have shown signs of fading, warping, color-shifting, shrinking, mold, and acetate film base degradation, often referred to as "vinegar syndrome" due to the overwhelming vinegar-like odor coming from the film itself.

Mold accumulated on 8mm film reel


Bring in your films today for a FREE analysis of your film and estimate!


We transfer the following 8mm and 16mm movie film formats to video

Which type of film do you have?  Click on the corresponding format that matches your film for more information

8mm movie film

Super 8 film with sound

Super 8 movie film

16mm movie film


Do your films smell like vinegar?

16mm film with vinegar syndrome

8mm and 16mm films are nearing the end of their useful life-cycle.  Are your films warped or rigid?  Do they have a strong vinegar-like smell when you open the film reel container?  We have received many reels of film that have shown signs of fading, warping, color-shifting, shrinking, mold, and acetate film base degradation, often referred to as "vinegar syndrome" due to the overwhelming vinegar-like odor coming from the film itself.  

There is an article on the National Film Preservation Foundation's website that discusses vinegar syndrome.  It mentions "The symptoms of vinegar syndrome are a pungent vinegar smell (hence the name), followed eventually by shrinkage, embrittlement, and buckling of the gelatin emulsion. Storage in warm and humid conditions greatly accelerates the onset of decay. Once it begins in earnest, the remaining life of the film is short because the process speeds up as it goes along."

The reel on the right shows mold accumulation.  Needless to say, that if you still have any home movies lying around in a closet, this would be the best time to transfer them while we still can.  

Every month that goes by can mean the difference between whether the film reel is still able to be transferred at all or not.  Unfortunately, we've had to inform a few of our customers that there was nothing we could do to save their film.

Mold accumulated on 8mm film reel

Do you want to know what condition your films are in?  Want to know if they can still be saved?

Bring your reels in today for a FREE evaluation. 

DID YOU KNOW...that in cases of natural disasters and emergency evacuations, DVDs are the easiest momentos to grab in a hurry?


Consumer Bob shares why you should transfer your film to video & DVD now.


Your family memories deserve the best transfer service available...

But how do you know?

  There are many different methods available for transferring films to video and a significant difference in the levels of quality between them.  Since most companies don't reveal very much about their service, it's hard to know what you're really getting.  Here is a summary of some of the most common transfer methods.

Projecting on a wall or screen

As of this writing, sadly, there are some companies out there that are just pointing a movie projector at a wall and videotaping it with a cheap camcorder.  There are so many reasons why this is bad.  It's hard to believe they actually charge people for this level of service.  Even if they used a screen instead of a wall you can expect the picture and color to appear washed out or faded, there will be significant flickering of the image and you even see the texture of the wall coming through into the image.  A few places have opted to use a cheap film transfer box that typically yields similar results.  Don't waste your money on these.

Telecine machines

More than half of the firms are employing the use of the Elmo (or similar) Telecine projectors.  These units were manufactured in the 1980s when VHS was the primary format for video recorders.  The picture resolution of VHS is only 240 lines so the video chip inside the telecine machines was only capable of transferring film at 240 lines.  Unfortunately the telecine machines being used now are these very same machines.  Even though DVDs will handle at least 480 lines movie transfers from these companies will only yield VHS quality of 240 lines.  It's hard to believe how much some of these companies are charging for this.  Costco, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and RiteAid are among the companies that ship their customers' films out to another company that uses this old, out-dated technology.  You can read more about what Costco and these other firms aren't telling their customers here.


I have to admit this sounds like it should an ideal method of film transfer, at least on paper, but it's not.  The idea of scanning one frame-at-a-time should produce better results, but it's limited to the video chip being used for the transfer.  Most of the devices I found being used never exceeded 450 lines of resolution.  Ultimately, the quality of the transfer will be determined by the quality of the video image processor or video chip being used.

Film scanner

One of the better methods available for the transfer of 8mm and 16mm film involves the use of a Rank Cintel film scanner.  Hollywood movies have been transferred using one of these machines.  While it does provide a decent product, the machine itself is quite expensive and the cost for transferring your home movies may be be unreasonably high.  8mm films contain such a small image and are often very grainy.  It may not be worth paying a lot more for a tiny improvement in transfer quality.

Our method

Our custom-built film to video movie transfer method involves a mid-air transfer using high-contrast imaging from the film directly onto a $10,000 800-line, 3 CCD chip video capture device.  A cost-effective, high-resolution option that provides more than 3 times the resolution and clarity of the old telecine machines mentioned above and costs a lot less than the Rank film scanner.  In addition to transferring more of each frame of film than most of our competitors, it allows for manual brightness adjustments and moderate color-correction during the transfer process.  It produces some of the best results we've seen at this price level for film transfer.  We invite you to try it out yourself.

For more information of the various transfer methods, check out our film to video transfer methods page.

4 ways to save your memories

  Most movie transfer companies offer conversion from film to DVD only.  If your disc ever gets scratched or damaged, you'll have to pay to have all of your movies transferred all over again and that can get expensive.  Look at the surface of some of your discs now; how do they look?  We offer 4 ways to save the memories from your home movies that are just not available from most places.  And ONLY Sunray Video offers ALL 4 of them.

Digital Master Tapes

  DVDs require compressing 2 hours of video down to 4.5GBs of data.  Our digital master tape will contain the original uncompressed version of your film transfer project.  From this master we can make additional or replacement DVDs, digitize your films to a flash or hard drive or convert them to any other format you desire, now or later.  And you'll never need to have your films transferred all over again.  We provide a digital master tape with every order.  Available on DVCAM, Mini DV and Digital 8 while supplies last.

Gold 100-year Archival DVDs

Only the true Gold Archival DVDs are manufactured to last at least 100 years.  Read more about the Gold Archival DVDs here.

Digitizing to flash & external hard drives

If you are ambitious enough to want to edit your own films, we can digitize your films to AVI, MOV or MP4 files and put them on a flash or hard drive for you.

2nd DVD copy FREE!

All orders over 500 feet qualify for a FREE 2nd DVD copy.

And no stick-on labels that can ruin a disc.

We print custom-designed labels directly on the face of your DVD so you'll never have trouble with a disc that stops playing after a few years or a label that could peel off inside a DVD player forcing you to buy a new one.

  We've invested the past 17 years researching the best equipment for providing a high-quality transfer at a reasonable price without sacrificing picture quality or damaging precious film.

We provide the only movie transfer service that includes:

Your movies will be returned in the same condition as we received them.  Your films may be kept on their original reels if you prefer.
Your film is personally transferred to video by our staff and never shipped out of state to a mass-transfer factory like Costco does.
Film is cleaned without the use of any harsh chemicals that can damage film.
Broken film is repaired at no extra charge.
Every foot of film is personally monitored throughout the transfer process. Your movies are never left unattended during transfer.
Film is synced up with video to eliminate flicker.
Brightness levels are manually adjusted to provide the best picture possible.
1st level of color correction is applied during the transfer process.  Advanced color correction is also available.
800-line, high-resolution transfer - More than 3 times the resolution of most transfer services.
Digital master included - No other company provides a digital master tape in the event your DVDs get damaged or lost.  You'll never have to pay to have your films transferred all over again.

Custom labels are printed directly onto the DVD, so you'll never have to worry about a label peeling off inside a DVD player and damaging both the DVD and the player. We never use magic markers on DVDs as they've been know to damage the disc over time.
Our DVDs are water-resistant so the ink on the label won't smear or run.
Most orders come with a 2nd DVD copy FREE!*

Also available:

100-year Gold Archival DVDs are also available. Made with real gold (that won't rust or break down over time) to last longer than any other DVD available.  (See article below & our DVD FAQ page)
Titles may be added between reels of film on the DVD.
Music or projector sound can be added to your films.  Your used to watching video with sound, but most home movies are silent.  Why not make them more interesting?  You may add your own personal narration if you like.
Don't know what order you want them in?  No problem.  We can rearrange the order after they've been transferred to video.  You can have some footage removed if you like.
Custom chapters can be added to the DVD menu providing direct access to any portion of the films.
Your films can be digitized (transfer to digital) and put onto a USB flash drive or an external hard drive so you can edit your own movies or share them with others.  We offer AVI, MOV, MPEG2, MPEG4, WMV, FLV and other formats. 
We can also digitize your films for the cloud, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, iPads, iPods, and even your iPhone or Android phone so you can share them with anyone.
Blu ray DVDs also available. 

Sunray has transferred over 3 million feet of movies and films to video and DVD Our usual turn-around time is 7-10 business days for 8mm film and 8-10 business days for 16mm film.  We back our work with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.

You get our high-resolution transfer with a digital master and 2 DVD copies* for only $ 0.19 per foot of film!  ($ 0.17 for orders over 1,500 feet.  $ 0.16 for orders over 3,000 feet.)

Add a Gold Archival DVD copy for just $ 0.01 per foot.

Additional standard DVD copies start at just $9/disc.

For special rates on 16mm film to DVD transfer, give us a call.

*All transfer orders under 500 feet do not qualify for the additional free standard DVD copy. 

Not sure what's on your movie films? Need help putting them in order?

We offer 2 options to help you with editing or rearranging the order of your films.

1. We can transfer your films to a hard drive where the reels can be shuffled around into the correct order.  You can do it yourself or sit down with one of our experienced editors.

2. We are the first and only company to offer 8mm & Super 8 film projector rentals anywhere in the U.S.A.  Screens are also available.  Our supply is limited, so give us a call to reserve one today. 

Projectors are only available in the San Diego area.  16mm projectors not available.

How does Sunray compare with other film transfer services?

  From time to time I search the web to see what our competitors are saying about their movie film to DVD transfer process and there are 2 things I notice the most.  The first is that they don't say anything about their transfer process or the level of quality they provide.  

  For example, there are about 20% of the home movie transfer companies out there that just project the film onto a wall and record it with a consumer camcorder.  About 40-60% of the companies are using 25-30 year old technology that feature a single 240-line video chip.  Back in the days of VHS, only 240 lines of video resolution were needed since that was the limit of VHS video tape.

  A few place have been misleading consumers into believing that a frame-by-frame process is best, while failing to disclose that their video chips typically offer less than 500 lines of picture resolution.  If you're going to invest the money to transfer irreplaceable home movies, why not try to get the best picture quality for the money.  

  By comparison, we employ a transfer technology that provides 800 lines of video information.  The quality of the video chip being used has the most significant impact on the quality of the transfer.  

    Read more about the differences between the various film to video and DVD transfer methods here.

  The 2nd thing I notice is that virtually no other company offers a digital master or even a free copy with their transfer.  So, if your DVD should ever get scratched or damaged, you'd have to take your films back in to have them transferred all over again, assuming you still have them.  We believe you should have a high quality digital master of you home movies, so you'll never have to worry about damaged discs again.  We'll even include an extra copy for free on most orders.

  Did you know that a few companies will put a stick-on label on their DVDs?  Stick-on labels have been known to cause damage to DVDs over time.  After a few years, some discs just won't play anymore.  In some cases the labels have peeled off inside the DVD player and damaged the player as well as the disc.

  And very few companies offer the 100-year Gold Archival DVDs.  One of the reasons that Gold is so valuable in our society today is the properties it contains; mostly that it is not subject to rust, corrode or break down over time. That is what makes it so valuable for producing true long-lasting archival DVDs. The "100 year archival DVDs" offered by most of our competitors do not contain any gold, instead they used a metal composite that is subject to corrosion over time.  You can read more about the Gold DVDs below and on our DVD FAQ page.

  In the pages on our website (listed below), I've compiled years of research to provide you with the most comprehensive information on everything you should know about putting your 8mm, super 8 and 16mm movie films on DVD. I've included a lot of missing and misleading information I've uncovered from competitors' websites.  At Sunray, we believe it's important to keep consumers up-to-date on the latest trends in our industry and informed on how to keep from being ripped off by other film transfer companies.  

Film to Video & DVD resources:

Film to DVD transfer methods explained

Film to DVD Transfer FAQs

Start your movie film to video transfer now

What you should know about other film to DVD transfer services

Acetate film base degradation (vinegar syndrome) -_National Film Preservation Foundation website


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