We are officially changing our tape to DVD process and prices now. In a nutshell, our process is better, and the end result is better. AND the prices are cheaper. We used to have two levels of transfers - Basic and Advanced. We're now doing all transfers as "advanced" but billing them as "basic". This makes our tape transfers more competitive with the "transfer mills" process and prices. Our main advantage will always be
The mills do a good job most of the time with easy tapes, but if you have problem tapes, a lot of short tapes, or anything that remotely falls out of the norm, they just can't handle it. Their main selling point in my opinion is the DVD packaging they provide. Most of the mills provide you with a very fancy case and printout for your transfer, and that is not a service we provide at this time. If that is more important than the transfer, than you will want to use their services.
In this digital age, everyone is converting their old analog sources to digital, which we strongly recommend. Not only VHS tapes, but also audio cassettes. A good client of ours recently brought in a cassette tape of a memorial service that he needed converted to CD. This is a very simple and affordable service we offer. We can also create mp3's and other audio formats as well. In the process, we can clean up the audio and make it louder, filter it, or whatever is needed to make it clearer. Please look at our Audio Services page for more information.
We recently filmed some speaker presentations for a client. In addition to the DVDs, they would like to have a variety of web versions available. They requested Quicktime Movies (MOV), MP4 files, and WMV files, in order to cover all their bases. We were able to provide all the formats they needed, but it brings up a serious issue in today's video world. There are literally hundreds of playback formats, and playback compatibility is a real issue. There was a time when MPG1 was the universal compressed playback format that could play on anything. That was a nice thing, although it had its limitations. I hope that one day the standards consortium will be able to agree on a universal playback format again.
One of the many requests we get is to convert one format to another, such as a VHS tape to a DVD. Older tapes can present a problem especially with VCR tracking issues. When trying to record these older tapes straight to DVD, tracking problems can render a recording useless. The problem can be even more difficult when converting foreign PAL tapes. In these types of situations, we have to record the footage into our computers to make the DVD (rather than the simpler method of recording straight to DVD discs). When a tracking issue occurs, we stop the tape, rewind to the point that the tracking messed up, press play, and start capturing again. This will usually "reset" the tracking, until it becomes misaligned again. After all the footage is captured, we piece it together to create a seamless DVD (provided we could resolve the tracking issues). If you have a PAL tape that you need converted to DVD, please call us if you are interested in converting it to DVD. Newer PAL tapes won't need this kind of nursing, but older ones probably will.