VIDEO CASSETTE TRANSFER SERVICES

With the development of hard disk and DVD- formatted camcorders, the cassette- based video cameras of a decade or more ago are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Much like 8mm and Super8 film, the equipment and media involved in these older formats is disappearing. Despite this evolution in technology, the memories and history that are contained on those cassettes is no less important than they were the day that they were recorded. Video cassettes- while a very robust format- are subject to many of the same "perils" that can befall old film. Condensation, "degaussing" from close proximity to magnets, and mechanical failure of the cassette are just a few added dangers that are unique to the format.

If one considers the history of 8mm and Super8 film, it becomes easy to see that video cassettes will likely follow a similar path over the coming years. As video tape equipment becomes scarce, prices for that equipment will rise which in turn will drive the price of transferring and archiving camcorder cassettes. It is very likely that this service will never be more affordable than it is today. That said, it is important to also note that the transfer of video cassettes is a labor- intensive process primarily due to the fact that they must be transferred in "real time". This means that a cassette containing 2 hours of video can take up to 3 hours of time to transfer to DVD- and even more if the cassette is damaged and requires repair.

Far Q Productions uses high- quality video decks and equipment manufactured by Sony, Panasonic, and JVC to transfer video cassettes to DVD. This ensures that your cassettes will look their best when transferred to DVD, since this equipment allows for the use of the highest- quality connectors that were available for each specific format. Video cassette transfer rates are based on running time, and are assessed per cassette. As always, you are only ever charged for the actual amount of video that is transferred. All of the video formats and services offered are explained below, but as always if you have any questions or would like a personalized quote please call or email me via the information on the "Contact" page on this website. I will be more than happy to answer any and all of the questions you may have. All prices listed are in U. S. Dollars (USD).

 

FORMATS & SERVICES

Far Q Productions offers transfer services for the following video cassette formats:

 

VHS, S-VHS, VHS- C, VIDEO8, HI8, DIGITAL8, DV, MiniDV, DVCAM.

 

Video cassettes are transferred to DVD using "best fit" protocols, so several short cassettes can be compiled on a single disc. Standard pricing delivers 2 complete sets of the resulting DVDs. Any necessary mechanical repairs- when repair is possible- are included. Because many collections contain cassettes that are not full, these projects are usually estimated on a "low/high" basis. The final invoice total typically ends up somewhere between the two figures. The rates below are for all video formats offered. Shipping charges also apply to these services, and options can be discussed at the time your order is placed.

 

Number Of Cassettes
Price Per Cassette
1 - 9 $20.00 To $30.00 For 1st 2 Hours. $10.00 For Each Add'l Hour
10 And Above $15.00 To $25.00 For 1st 2 Hours. $10.00 For Each Add'l Hour

 

A FEW ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Additional DVD copies can be requested for only $3.00 per DVD. The DVDs created by this process are never encrypted or "copy- protected" in any way, so you are also free to make as many copies as you would like.

Regarding VHS Cassettes- I feel that it's important to take a few seconds and pass on some information regarding the transfer of VHS video. Over the past years, manufacturers made great strides in the area of VHS to DVD transfer and were offering easy- to- use equipment that allowed consumers to safely transfer their own cassettes to DVD with very good video quality. While this development was not new, it was worth mentioning that they had also significantly lowered their prices for this equipment. Because of global economic forces, the situation has changed. The VHS to DVD equipment that is offered for sale now has seriously decreased in quality, with nearly all of the best manufacturers stepping away from these machines altogether. While good- quality equipment can still be found on the "used" market, I prefer not to recommend that anyone take a chance with their irreplaceable VHS cassettes. Please beware of low- quality equipment that can damage your cassettes.

 

MOVIE FILM & VIDEO TRANSFER TO HARD DRIVE/DIGITAL FILES

Movie film and video cassette footage can be delivered as digital files on an external hard drive, in addition to our DVD transfer service. Since movie film transferred here is archived on MiniDV cassette, this process is regarded as a video project and is offered as a separate service. Pricing is very similar to the charge for video cassette transfers, with the addition of the cost for an external hard drive which becomes the property of the customer. This type of transfer is fairly straightforward, but each project is unique so I strongly recommend visiting the CONTACT page and requesting a quote, since only general information can be provided here.

Movie film and video transfers to hard drive are captured and delivered as Microsoft DV .AVI files. This standard definition video file type was developed for use with the older formats that are common in home movie collections. It delivers robust and high- resolution video that can be used for higher- order editing or creating "web- friendly" video files for sharing. For Mac users with older computers, the .AVI format can be easily converted to .MOV. Due to FQP's focus on recovering old media, this video file is the only one that we offer. Because of internet security and liability issues, electronic delivery of video files is not possible. Again, please call or email for more specific details regarding your project.

 

VIDEO & AUDIO TAPE RESTORATION

Video and audio tape deterioration is a factor that many people are unaware of with regard to their home movie collections. Those with decades of experience in the industry have been aware of it for a long time, though. In general, this degeneration is referred to as "Sticky Shed Syndrome" and a fair amount of information can be found on the internet with a quick web search. As a brief explanation, humidity in the storage environment can interact with video and audio tape causing the adhesive used in the manufacturing process become wet and sticky again. The good news is that it's possible to restore "sticky" tape to a useable condition and transfer its contents onto new media. The bad news is that the process is lengthy and expensive. The best advise is to transfer your audio and video tapes sooner than later, in order to avoid the problem altogether.

Far Q Productions does offer restoration services for both audio and video tape. Sticky Shed is often not discovered until the transfer project is underway, and thankfully it is not a common enough problem for most people to worry about today. However, if you have audio tape manufactured after 1966 or VHS cassettes manufactured before 1990 Sticky Shed may be present or not too far away. Please consider transferring these materials before the problem can arise.