Where are you located?
We are a home-based business in south Snohomish County. For the protection and care of our family as well as for other clients’ precious materials whose projects we’re currently working on, we are a mail-in-mail-out company except during the Christmas holiday season. Please request a formal estimate. Thanks!
Is there any way you can do a test run so I can see what the quality looks like?
Usually we are not able to accommodate test runs due to our current running workload and the time and materials necessary for such a service. What we can offer is experience and we have scores of only positive reviews here and here from satisfied customers online to show the kind of work we can perform, without a single complaint to date in regards to quality. We believe in transferring your material at the highest quality resolution possible, so as to avoid over-compression, which would defeat the purpose of the transfer. If you proceed with a test run, and then decide to proceed with your larger job, we are unable to extend the same bulk discount that the test run job would have made your larger job eligible for. But you can rest assured that the DVD or digital versions of your original analog/digital media will be free from pixilation or any unpleasant artifacts, unless those were in the source material to begin with. The difference between the digital representation of your original analog media will not even be detectable by the naked eye and your original native quality will be preserved.
How is Film Reel Transfer conducted?
Our equipment is custom designed to create Super 8, 8mm and 16mm film reel transfers that offer the breathtaking clarity that can only come from frame by frame scanning. The film is first cleaned by hand with antistatic film cleaner, then put into a Ziploc bag for moisturizing purposes and to insure additional dirt doesn’t contact the film until the film is transferred. The film system is a redesigned variable speed projection system with a customized Achromatic lens which provides Ultra low reflection and free from color distortion. The camera is a 3CCD camera with 1/2 chips which creates a stable color environment that can’t be achieved from camera systems with smaller chip sizes. Additionally, the capture comes directly from the Achromatic lens into the computer via Firewire so there’s no converter in between either. Once the film is captured into the computer, additional color correction and basic edits are completed as needed to provide a DVD quality product. Please note that film reel transfer, unlike videocassette transfer, takes 3-5 weeks to process.
I saw a home movie transfer service on the Internet that will transfer 2 hours of video for only $10! Should I use them?
With Seattle Video Transfer, you get MUCH more than what you pay for! Other services charge varying rates for different lengths of footage, and we have heard plenty of horror stories from customers regarding the quality of the transfer performed. Sometimes these companies will not transfer multiple tapes to DVD’s, or they offer NO custom packaging. Additionally, these companies outsource your material out-of-state, such as what Costco and Walgreen’s do, and the turnaround time can be 3 weeks or greater. Think of what could happen if they mailed your materials to some third party and the materials were lost in the mail. With Seattle Video Transfer, you get a flat-rate per in-house transfer, extremely quick turnaround, excellent production, and we are known for discounts! The more tapes you have, the less your price per tape is. We also have over 20 years of graphic design experience behind us, so you’re going to get absolutely stunning and beautiful DVD inserts so that your new DVD library of all of your old tapes is absolutely pristine. We offer an extremely competitive price for the excellent work we do, and we have scores of only positive reviews here, here, or here unlike our competitors like Costco who have very poor reviews.
Can I combine, say, a 20-minute DVD slideshow with about an hour of video footage on one DVD? (The video is separate from the slideshow.)
Yes, as long as the slide show is also on some video format, transferrable to the new media. Alternatively, we can instead perform video editing at $50 per working hour.
Can you do video editing?
Yes, we do video editing at $50 per working hour. If you discuss with us what you’re looking for, we can more accurately assess your editing needs. Feel free to request an estimate on custom video editing here
Can you transfer professional VHS tapes to DVD? I’ve got some VHS movies that might never be released on DVD, and I want to preserve them
We do not transfer copyright material for legal reasons, even copyrighted material without monetary gain, as per the DMCA and Title 17 of the US Code. If you are able to obtain written permission from the original copyright holder, we are able to transfer it. Copyrights usually have a 50-year registration and can be renewed at the end of said term.
Will my video look better when it is transferred to DVD?
Potentially, maybe – but over the long haul, absolutely. Your first step towards preservation is getting that old degrading analog material off its original source film and applied to longer-lasting digital media. We use professional video equipment, which helps the picture tremendously, but the simple fact is that the DVD will only look as good as the original tape. Over time, however, you will continue to experience degradation on your original tapes, due to aging, condensation, heat, magnetism, dust, static, etc.. DVD’s do not experience this type of quick degradation.
My videotape is already degrading, with some snow or lines across the screen. Will transferring it to a DVD fix these problems?
Basic transfer does not provide cleaning services for your original source material. For a different service, video editing can be applied wherein your tape can be analyzed, adjusted audibly and visually, image-stabilized, and more. DVD quality depends on the source tape. If your video is in a questionable state already and you’re worried about it, then it’s absolutely time for videotape preservation! However, please note that we reject tapes with mold or other contaminants on them.
What if I only have one hour of video to transfer – is it cheaper?
No, but if your tape is under 15 minutes, you will receive a $2 credit on that transfer. You’re also not charged for blank tapes.
How do I tell you where I want the chapters to be located?
With basic transfer, chapter markers and menus are fairly basic, thus the name. The transfer allows for incremental “chapter-forwarding”, allowing the browser to jump forward and back through the video footage. The increments vary by machine, but are generally every 5 minutes. Full Video capture and editing allows for more control, and thus, specific customization, of your chapter locations.
Can I put video from more than one tape onto a single DVD?
Yes. Each each single running piece of videotape is a video segment. A video segment is any piece of tape that transfers without being stopped, cued, or a new tape being put in. Each of those video segments could be from different videotapes. Please keep in mind, though, that the length of your segments altogether should not exceed 2 hours.
Can you transfer just part of my videotape? I don’t need the whole thing.
Yes. Please review your video prior to submission, and ensure that notations are made based on the video counter for where you would like to stop and start. Video capture and editing is available for a different rate.
How much video will fit on a DVD?
To take advantage of the best quality encoding, we generally transfer no more than two hours of video on a DVD. You don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity to fit more onto a DVD. The bottom line is that if you try to fit 6 hours of an EP VHS tape onto a 2-hour DVD, you will see moderate pixilation and sound quality will dither, especially since the original recording was already set at a substantially lower quality rate. It’s never a good idea to combine too many tapes onto one disc. Optimum transfer, at standard recording rates specific to each tape, is (1) VHS to DVD, (1 or 2) hi8 or 8mm to DVD (depending on the length), (2) MiniDV to DVD, (4) VHS-C to DVD, etc..
What is the shelf-life of a DVD vs. my existing analog or digital tapes?
Among the manufacturers that have done testing, there is consensus that, under recommended storage conditions, CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD+R discs should have a life expectancy of 100 to 200 years or more; CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM discs should have a life expectancy of 25 years or more. Little information is available for CD-ROM and DVD-ROM discs (including audio and video), resulting in an increased level of uncertainty for their life expectancy. Expectations vary from 20 to 100 years for these discs. Most video experts agree the life span of analog or digital video tapes is between 8 to 12 years and they recommend transferring them into digital media within the first 5 years.
Do I get any special packaging?
For a nominal fee, you can have full-color inserts incorporating family pictures, or any other digital photographs you would like to incorporate, along with customized backgrounds and beautiful text of your choosing!
What is the turnaround time?
Video Transfer is done in real time, so the high estimate is that if you have 20 hours of material, it will take 20 hours to transfer. It usually goes faster, however, as we have multiple machines and can usually split the time between them. Please allow additional time for printing and packaging your inserts and labels, as well as assembly. Additional copies of the DVD’s also take time to burn.
What types of video does Seattle Video Transfer convert?
At this time, we convert the following types of cassettes: VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, MiniDV, MiniHDV, 8mm, Digital 8, Hi-8, Beta, U-Matic, Polavision, and PAL (European format) VHS. We also transfer the following types of film reel: 8mm, Super 8, Super 8 w/Sound, 16mm, 16mm w/Sound, and 35mm. This reflects our focus on the family videographer of roughly the past thirty years (the time period when video cameras became a popular family item). We do not convert fitness videos, pornographic or copyright-protected media to DVD. Essentially, we transfer nothing that is or might be a commercial release, or even potentially copyright-protected, without the express written consent of the original copyright holder.
How many tapes can you fit on one DVD?
This ultimately depends on the lengths of your tapes. We can fit multiple tapes onto one DVD if we know in advance how short or long your tapes are. The maximum suggested capacity for a standard 4.7GB Video DVD is roughly around 2 hours. Examples:
- Example 1: If you have a tape that is 2 hours, we can fit the entire tape onto one DVD.
- Example 2: If you have two MiniDV tapes that are an hour each, we can fit both onto one DVD.
- Example 3: If you have four VHS-C that are 1/2-hour each, we can fit all four onto one DVD.
Essentially, a number of tapes can be transferred onto a single DVD, as long as the cumulative length of all tapes in question does not exceed 2 total hours in length. To compress more than 2 hours of material in length to one DVD, you run the risk of overcompression, and this defeats the purpose of preserving your material on disc if it means it’s going to be preserved a lesser resolution than the original tape media. Therefore, we strongly recommend keeping to under 2 hours per DVD.