Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Convert Your VHS & Camcorder tapes

Do you have a bunch of these lying around???
  I have talked to so many people who keep meaning to get them converted to DVD, but just don't get around to it. This should actually be one of your first priorities!!  These tapes will NOT last forever. Image and sound quality degradation becomes noticeable in as little as 5 years and may only be usable up to 20 years! If you have tapes that are older than that, you are really pushing your luck. One day you may put it in and it won't play. So DON'T LOSE THOSE MEMORIES!!! Get them converted right away!

This is an example of our oldest VHS tape.  It's from 1987 and so the quality was never as good as our footage we take today, BUT it did not used to shake like that or have lines through it.  I wish that we would have gotten it converted just a few years earlier!


*Costco will do 2 tapes, up to 2 hours on each for $17.99, so that is about $9 a tape.  This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to go.  I understand this can end up costing a lot if you have a lot of tapes, but it will be SO worth the money!  You can even spread it out by taking in just a few tapes per month or something. 

*Walmart is another alternative if you don't have a Costco membership.  They charge $19.96 for up to 2 tapes, 2 hours maximum.

*Google people who can do it for you.  You can always see who offers these services locally.  These can be a little pricier because most of them put more time into it, giving you chapters for each section of video and possibly a custom menu.  People can do it from home, like myself and MIGHT charge less.  If you are close to the Salt Lake Valley, you can check out a few of these that I've looked into that offer the service, including myself:

AubMarie Productions
Home Video Studio
The Multi Media Center (this one could probably help try to save any damaged tapes)
Anything to DVD
Sharper Transfer
*Do it yourself!  If you have a LOT of tapes, it may be cheapest to convert them yourself.  This may still cost you a couple hundred, if you are needed to purchase the correct equipment and programs, but it would beat paying $500 for someone else to do it also.

What you will need:

1. For VHS tapes you need a VCR and if you have camcorder tapes, you need the camcorder that the tapes work in. 

2.  A way to hook the VCR and Camcorder to your computer.  For that you need something like this:

A USB Video Conversion System.  You can look around, but Amazon has it for anywhere from $50-$68 depending on who you go through. 

Once you have this conversion system, and pull up the software, you simply put a tape in, rewind it to the beginning, push play and then immediately push record on the computer software.  The tape will just play through while recording a file to be stored on your computer.  Because it stores on your computer, I would recommend getting an external hard drive to hold the files.  They can be anywhere from 2-9GB each and will fill up your computer quickly, depending on how much free space you have.

3. Editing Software = A conversion device, like the one above usually comes with an editing software that will capture the video to your computer, but also allow you to edit the video any way you like and then burn to DVD.  But read closely to make sure.  If it does not come with something, you will need to also purchase a video editing software.  The one that I found to be the most simple to use is Corel Videostudio. 

HOPEFULLY THIS HELPS TO GET YOU STARTED!  This is something many people put off year after year and my goal is that you at least get it started this month!  I understand it gets expensive, so if you at least choose someone to go through and then you can do a few tapes every month to spread out the cost.  Let me know if you have any questions or recommendations on what worked for you! Stay tuned for more tasks under January's Theme of Preserving Your Memories.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing!! I really appreciate it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...