How to Convert 9mm Film to DVD
By Marshal M. Rosenthal
Film requires a special projector in order to play it, so the best solution is to convert 9mm film to DVD so that it can be watched using a computer or DVD player. This format will also insure the life of the film over the long term. The procedure for converting 9mm film to DVD can be done at home, and will not take more than a couple of hours to complete.
Rent or buy a 9mm film projector. Set it up in a darkened room opposite a movie screen on the wall. Thread the 9mm film onto the projector and turn it on. Focus the image of the film so that it is sharp. Turn off the projector.
Place a video camcorder on a tripod so that it is aimed directly at the screen and centered to where the film image is being projected. Turn on the video camcorder. Turn on the film projector and start the film playing.
Look through the video camcorder and make any adjustments necessary so that the image of the film on the screen looks good. Rewind the film back to the beginning. Start the video camcorder recording and start the film projector so that the film starts playing again from the beginning.
Rewind the film back to the beginning. Start the video camcorder recording and start the film projector so that the film starts playing again from the beginning.
Record the entire film until it reaches the end of the reel. Turn off the video camcorder. Turn off the projector's bulb and rewind the film back to the beginning. Remove the film and turn off the projector.
Attach the S-video output of the video camcorder to the Easy VHS to DVD (see Resources) S-video input using an S-video cable. Plug the Easy VHS to DVD USB device into the USB port of the computer.
Run the Easy VHS to DVD software. Select "S-video" as the input and "full frame" as the aspect ratio of the image from the menus presented by the software. Start the video camcorder playing to verify that the image of the recorded 9mm film is being seen on the Easy VHS to DVD window on the computer.
Rewind the video on the video camcorder back to the beginning. Hit the "Record" button on the Easy VHS to DVD software. Start the playback of the 9mm film recording on the video camcorder.
Stop the recording on the Easy VHS to DVD software. Follow the menu choices to save the digital file of the video recording to the computer's hard drive.
Convert Using a Mac
Run the Toast software (see Resources) and select the "Video" tab at the upper left side. Select the "DVD-Video" submenu. Select "DVD" at the lower right-hand corner of the Toast program.
Drag the digital video file that was created of the 9mm film into the right side of the Toast program. Select a menu choice from the "Options" section of Toast at the left side and checkmark that the DVD should start automatically when inserted into a DVD player. Leave the encoding at "Automatic" and the video quality slider at "Best."
Press the red "Record" button at the lower right-hand side of the Toast program and name the DVD in the window that appears. Press "OK" to close the window.
Insert a blank DVD into the disc tray that has now ejected. Press the "Close Tray."
Eject the DVD disc when the burning to disc is complete. Quit Toast and archive the digital file of the 9mm film for future uses.
Convert Using a PC
Download and install Nero 6 (see Resources). Restart the PC once the software has been installed. Insert a blank DVD into the DVD recordable drive.
Run the Nero 6 program. Click on the "Photo and Video" icon in the Nero StartSmart menu.
Click the "Add Video Files" button in the "Content" window and highlight the digital file of the 9mm film. Press the "OK" button to close the window. Select options as desired from the "Content" window, such as configuring the quality of the video, editing the video and creating chapters automatically.
Make a menu for the DVD by selecting from the choices presented on the right side of the "Select Menu" window. Press the "Next" button at the lower right corner.
Select the type of burn settings desired and set copies to "1." Click "Burn" to burn the digital file to the blank DVD. Remove the disc when the burning is complete and quit Nero 6. Archive the digital file for future uses.
- Used 9mm projectors can be found on auction sites like eBay. Try renting a 9mm projector from a film store or major telecine company. Experiment with settings on the camcorder in order to gain the best video image being taken off of the 9mm film as it is projected on the screen. A rear-projection screen that allows the camcorder to get very close to it will provide for a brighter image than that of having the projector throw its image onto a screen or the wall. Use a tripod on the camcorder to record a stable image.
- As the 9mm film will be brittle, it is best to do the playing yourself. If that is not possible, then hand-deliver it to a lab that will do the conversion for you so as to avoid loss or damage by mail or messenger.
Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."