We offer high-quality transfers of common video tape formats, including:
Magnetic video tape for the consumer market was never meant as a long-term storage medium and has an average lifespan of around 20 years. Many factors can affect how well our home video recordings have held up over time. Recordings on older tapes manufactured in the 1980's are sometimes in better condition than recordings made on tapes in the 1990's because the consumer market for blank tapes became flooded with thinner, cheaper tapestocks.
The bottom line is: the older your tapes get the more likely they are to develop playback problems. The best solution is to have them transferred to a digital medium like DVD while they're still playable.
Video Tape Transfer Pricing Guide
Imagewërks offers two levels of service for tape transfers.
TAPE to DVD Transfers
We work with you to organize your tapes and gather information that we will use to develop a custom DVD menu, disc artwork and case insert. Tapes are inspected before transfer for any mechanical issues, and repairs made if necessary. Chapter stops are inserted to match changes in scenes allowing you to quickly navigate from one scene to the next.
TAPE to DIGITAL FILES
Now you can transfer your tapes to a digital file format to play on your computer and mobile devices, or upload to share on YouTube, Vimeo or save in cloud storage. This can be an add-on to a DVD transfer order or done as a standalone service if you do not require your videos to be on disc. A USB thumb drive sized to fit your order will be included in your order total at cost.
Our transfer systems use high quality Sony VTR's with time-base correction (TBC), not inferior all-in-one units, to give you the best quality transfer available. Make sure to watch our short sample above.
TAPE to DVD Transfers
$25/tape up to 2 hrs.*
Includes Master Disc.
Additional copies are $15 each.
TAPE to DIGITAL FILES
$20/tape up to 2 hrs.*
$5/half hour as an add-on
to TAPE to DVD transfers.
A USB thumb drive sized to fit your order
will be included in your order total at cost.
*If tapes exceed 2 hrs add $5 for each additional half hour.
$20 minimun setup charge per tape if less than 30 minutes.
Not sure what you have? Mouse over the formats below for a description of common tape formats.
The winner in the format war of the late 1970's against Sony's competing Beta format, VHS became the standard for home video recording around 1980. Development of the VHS (or Video Home System) format originally came from JVC (the Victor Company of Japan) when in 1973 a prototype was produced after two years of development. Recording times are typically 2, 4, or 6 hrs depending on recording speed (SP, LP, or EP modes).
The shell of the cassettes measure 7 3/8" wide x 4 1/8" deep x 1" high. Both the feed and take-up reels are generally visible through clear plastic windows on the top of the cassette.
The Compact VHS cassette was introduced in 1982 with the rising demand for smaller and more portable camcorders. Based on the VHS format, VHS-C tapes could be inserted into an adapter which could then be inserted into a standard VHS VCR. Due to the smaller size of the cassette recording time was limited to 30 minutes in SP mode, though this could be extended to 60 or even 90 minutes if recording in slower, lower quality, LP or EP modes.
The cassette measures roughly 3 5/8" x 2 1/4"
x 3/4", allowing it to fit inside an adapter that is the same size as a VHS tape, and has a clear window on the feed side of the cassette.
Short for Betamax, this home video format was introduced by Sony Corp. in Japan in 1975. Though technically superior in quality to VHS, the Beta tape design limited them to 1 hour of recording time due to their smaller cassettes. To compete with VHS's 2 hour recording capacity Sony introduced units able to record at half-speed in 1977. The slower speed option extended the recording time to match VHS but at the expense of picture quality. Popularity of the Beta format dropped quickly throughout the 1980's as VHS took hold as the dominant format. Sony halted production of Betamax recorders in 2002.
Beta cassettes measure 6 1/8" x 3 3/4" x 1" and have a clear window on the feed side of the cassette.
Introduced by Sony Corp. in 1985, Video8 ushered in a revolution in the home video market by radically shrinking the size of consumer cameras, marketed as "palmcorders" as they could now fit in the palm of your hand. Picture quality was similar to VHS and Beta as Video8 still utilized analog recording technology. Sound quality was greatly improved however, as it was now being recorded on high-speed tracks alongside the video signal on the tape.
Video8 cassettes measure 3 3/4" x 2 7/16"
x 9/16" and have a clear window showing both the feed and take-up reels of the cassette.
An improvement in the Video8 format came in the early 1990's with the introduction of Hi-band 8mm video. Though still an analog recording process, picture quality was improved with advances in electronics and recording media allowing for up to 400 lines of horizontal resolution. Hi8 recorders utilized new tapestock formulated for the format while the dimensions of the cassettes remained identical to the older Video8 tapes. Hi8 equipment could play back older Video8 recordings but not the other way around.
Hi8 cassettes measure 3 3/4" x 2 7/16" x 9/16" and have a clear window showing both the feed and take-up reels of the cassette. With the exception of the Hi8 labeling they appear identical to Video8 cassettes.
The biggest change in the Video8 format came in 1999 with the introduction of Digital8 video. Recording required the use of Hi8 or Digital8 tapes where digital audio and video are encoded to at twice the running speed of Video8 and Hi8. This effectively allowing for only 1 hour of recording time on a 2 hour Hi8 tape.
Once again the dimensions of the cassettes were identical to the older Video8 tapes. Some Digital8 equipment was capable of playing back older Video8 and Hi8 recordings but not the other way around.
Digital8 cassettes measure 3 3/4" x 2 7/16" x 9/16" and have a clear window showing both the feed and take-up spools of the cassette. Generally these were Hi8 tapes that only allowed for half the marked recording time on Digital8 recorders. Other than labeling they appear identical to older Video8 cassettes.
The MiniDV tape format was introduced in 1995. This format is used with a variety of cameras recording in multiple formats, from standard definition consumer cameras to high-definition pro-sumer and professional units. Playback of video recorded on this type of tape would need to be on equipment supporting the format it was originally recorded in.
The MiniDV cassettes measures
2 9/16" x 1 7/8" x 15/32".