Thursday, June 4, 2015

Throwback Thursday - LegacyBox

While trying to organize the family photographs, there was also the question of what to do with video especially my Dad's Super 8 film reels crossed my mind. We had looked into this many years ago, but the cost was extremely expensive. Something like $12 per foot and Dad took a lot of film.

From Reel 1: Italian Family Gathering a la Norman Rockwell
Front to back: Ma in red sweater, Uncle S. (Ma's brother-in-law,) Auntie P,
(Dad's Brother M's Wife,(I think), Paternal Grandpa, Paternal Great Uncle J
I saw an ad on Facebook for LegacyBox.  LegacyBox is a service that will digitally preserve your photos, VHS tapes, mini-cassette, audio tape, and film. They price by numbers of items and have a size for all budgets. Even better, by visiting their site, they offered 25% off for adding your email address to their customer list.

I decided to give it a try, but had a question about film reels. Dad loved filming. Besides his camera, he also had a film splicer. So rather than have a bunch of small reels, Dad spliced several reels into a couple of large reels. I wasn't sure how LegacyBox would count the large reel. No worries. An online chat with a LegacyBox representative answered all my questions. The large reel would count as one item. Cool!

I decided to go with the smallest box, the Starter. 3 items (3 films, 3 tapes, or 25 pictures or mix and match). I sent the large reel, a VHS tape of every second of every event of the Eldest's First 3 years, and a mini-cassette of us at the Skowhegan (Maine) Fair when the Young One was 3 years old.

After purchasing the Starter Kit, a week or so later, a sturdy, mailing box with a shipping label arrived from LegacyBox. I packed my items and shipped it back. Shipping is included in the price.

I wasn't sure what was going to happen with the large reel. The film was in terrible condition. Over the past 65 years, it had been kept in the brutal heat and cold of an attic, and a damp basement. The conversion process takes 4 to 6 weeks. The media is not restored just digitized. I half expected to get a sorry no can do email.

Along the way, I received email updates keeping me informed of the process. The LegacyBox arrived with 3 DVDs and my original film canister and cassettes.

When the LegacyBox arrived, I immediately played the film reel DVD. I knew there wouldn't have been a problem converting the VHS or the mini-cassette. It's amazing LegacyBox was able to digitize any image from the film reel. Sections of the film had heat damage and that shows up on the DVD. (Remember, these are not restored just digitized.)

 The DVDs play on the DVD player and computer. I was thrilled to see images of my paternal grandparents. I did not know these grandparents as my grandfather passed before I was born, and my grandmother passed a month after I was born. How exciting to see all the aunts and uncles when they were young parents.  I was very pleased with the DVDs, but...

I was not able to burn copies of the DVDs to share with other family members. LegacyBox states the DVDs will be in MP4 format, though looking at the file the extension is .VOB, a type of MP4 format. Apparently, the .vob file format is copyright protected. LegacyBox is copyrighting their DVD except the customer owns the images. I should be able to make as many copies as I want. I also can't find any information on their site about cost for extra DVDs. I'll be giving customer service a call to see about copies.

Overall, I was pleased with their service. LegacyBox delivered what they said they would do. Also, seems to be a sale going on starting today 50% off.


  1. How wonderful that you were able to get to see this film in DVD form...I've got old reels from a late Aunt and wonder if there is somewhere here in the UK would do the to google search now. :-)

  2. I'm hesitant after reading some of the reviews....but might give it a go. Let us know what they say about copies. :)