What we transfer                     available to consumers         

  • Beta tape                                                              1971            
  • VHS, Super VHS, VHS-C                            1976, 1985           
  • 8mm, Hi-8, Digital 8                                      1984, 1985
  • MiniDV (digital video)                                 1995

2   Behind the scenes, the tape transfer process begins with the real-time playback on a professional deck which outputs the analog tape signal (through A/V cables) to a computer workstation. This custom-built computer is equipped with a digital converter and capture-card which allows it to store the signal as a series of durable digital files.

3    Digital files may be sent directly to DVD (or other storage) unretouched or, following our standard practice, we utilize high-end video editing programs to clean-up the footage a bit.  How much video editing we do is up to you.

What it costs

The cost of video transfer is the hourly charge applied to the recorded portion of a tape. In other words, you are not charged for blank portions on the tape. 

 Why (should you particularly) transfer video ASAP ???          

1    We receive your tapes and keep them boxed separately, organized and secure.  Typically, you are on hand to discuss your project, so we will go through the materials with you noting details such as dates, sequence order, subject matter and location. Together, we may preview certain tapes to determine their condition. The duration of the tapes is discussed and editing options can be discussed. Video sequences may run for an hour or more: sometimes a little pruning is called for.

How we transfer 1-€”2-3


Video tape has a short life span: distressingly shorter than film.

Bands of pixelization (oxidization) form at the top and bottom of the frame after just a few years, and distortions get progressively worse . (see sidebar for explanation)

The practical choice to halt the deterioration of your video tapes is to convert them to a digital format.


Video tape is unstable. Video is magnetic tape, a category that includes VHS, and camcorder tapes, including miniDV (digital video).

The three main components to video tape are prone to enviro-mental and mechanical  deterior-ation: (1) the plastic tape (which becomes brittle and is affected by heat and humidity, (2) the magnetic iron oxide particles with the audio and video data (that literally rusts and rubs off from the friction of the playheads), and  (3) the binder that holds the magnetic particles to the plastic tape (and progressively looses its adhesive properties).  

 Q   What was  the issue back in the 80s between Beta and VHS ?

 Q    Really? WHY is video tape such a problem as a storage medium ?

That became known as the "First Format War".  As companies scrambled to capitalize on the popularity of television, the next great goal became recording technology for the home. For the consumer market the tech had to  be low-cost, sturdy, and easy to operate.

Competition led to the release of three different, mutually incomatible VCR (video casette recorder) formats:

  • Sony's 'Betamax' (1975);
  • JVC's 'VHS'  (Video Home System' (1976);
  • Philip's 'Video-2000' (1978)

But, really, it was Beta vs. VHS. By the mid-1980s, it was clear:         VHS won.

The deciding factors in favor of VHS were:

  • the perceived negligible difference in picture quality as viewed on the average television of the era (1970-mid 1990s)
  • VHS recorders were available at lower cost than Beta recorders
  • VHS tapes (initially) offered longer recording times than Beta tapes.

50 Years of the

Video Cassette Recorder

Wipo Magazine (issue 6/2006)