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Transferring Film to DVD or Digital File – What to Choose?

If you’re looking to transfer your old film or films then one of the first things you need to decide upon is into what format should you make the transfer.

Generally speaking, this boils down to two options: DVD or one of the digital file types available.

It all depends on what you need.

Of course, there’s no absolute right answer as both formats have their merits and their limitations.

What it boils down to is the reason that you’re transferring the film in the first place.

  • Are you giving it as a gift?
  • Is it something you wish to play easily on your TV?
  • Do you need multiple copies?
  • Will it require future editing?
  • Do you wish to upload it to the internet (YouTube or similar)?

Let’s take a look at the options.

Transferring Film to DVD


  • It’s a format that can easily be played. If you have a DVD player in your house then it’s a case of popping it in the machine, turning on the TV and pressing play. 
  • Coming in disc form means that it’s a physical object and thus can be given as a gift or keepsake. 
  • It can easily be copied to create as many copies as you require.


  • Once copied on DVD you can’t make any further edits should they be needed.
  • DVD is a format that’s going to become outdated as the digital age progresses.

Transferring Film to a Digital File


  • A digital file can be easily shared through manually saving onto portable hard drives, memory sticks or the ever increasing ‘cloud’ type options such as Dropbox or similar. 
  • You can re-edit digital files after they’ve been transferred from film format.
  • Files can be uploaded to YouTube and similar online platforms.
  • Digital files are likely to have much more longevity than the DVD and will not become as quickly outdated.


  • The main drawback of a digital file is that they’re often not as easy to view as the DVD. You may need to re-format the file type to work on different platforms (Your PC or iPad for example).