Video Tapes and Cine Films
- I want to transfer to digital, what does this mean?
- Digital could mean a number of things, so you need to give this some thought. A DVD is digital and we can still convert to DVD. We can also transfer to digital file which can be put on to a USB stick or hard drive but there are different sorts of digital files ...
- If you wish to edit your footage then you would probably want a .mov file (or QuickTime), most editing software works with .mov files nowadays. However, these can be large files, so some editing programmes (especially free ones) and computers may struggle. These files are generally used with editing software so will not necessarily play on software supplied with your computer. However, in addition to .mov files we can also create MP4 files ...
- MP4 files will play across several platforms including computers, iPads, phones and Smart TVs. They are compressed files, so they are smaller in size to a .mov file but they are convenient and easy to use.
- Please note - It is not possible to create MP4 files without first making .mov files or DVD. So your first decision is are you happy with just .mov files or DVD or do you want MP4 files as well?
- Help! I don't know what I want - don't worry, we can advise.
- How much does it cost to have one video tape transferred? - This will most probably be covered by the minimum charge which is £45.00. We need to have this to cover our costs. It is more cost-effective to bring in several tapes, then this charge will not apply.
- How much will it cost to transfer our camcorder tapes? - If you want digital files the cost is £22/hour to .mov or £37/hour to .mov and MP4 (including a basic tidy up), minimum charges apply these costs are after the first hour of transfer and exclude hard ware. For DVDs cost will depend on quantity and format. It is cheaper to get five or more tapes transferred. We have tried to price this fairly and clearly so you can work out your budget. Different sorts of video cassettes are priced slightly differently, partly to make it easier for you to understand and partly because of the different characteristics (such as 8mm tapes being very slow to rewind) not to mention the cost, maintenance and scarcity of some old tape decks.
- I don't know what format my videos are - Don't worry, give us a call and we can usually work out what type of videos you have.
- My video tapes aren't very long, can I put more than one onto a DVD? - Yes, you can and this is usually a cheaper option. We usually put up to 2 hours onto a DVD.
- There's probably all sorts of rubbish on my tapes, can you edit it out? - Yes, up to a point but a transfer is not the same as an edit. If there are some very obvious things that you don't want transferred, we can leave them out (such as television programmes). However, you would need to tell us this in advance.
- How long will it take? - Video tapes are transferred in real time, so it will depend on how many you bring and our workload at the time. Having said that, we can usually accommodate requests for a certain date.
- Will I be able to play my DVD on my computer? - Yes, as long as you have a disc drive and a DVD player installed.
- Can I edit my DVDs? - No, not unless you have the software to rip the content from the DVD.
- Can I have my videos on a memory stick/flash drive? Yes. Although if you have a lot of footage we would ask you to supply a hard drive.
- Do I have to have a DVD? No, you don't, however, it is still a good option for large quantites of video (rather than short clips). We have been working in video for a long time and believe, from an archiving point of view, that it is a good idea to have something physical. You can always have MP4 files as well from your DVDs.
- I don't want a DVD, can I have a file? Yes, we can now create .mov files from analogue (and digital) tapes, these are large files suitable for editing if you have the appropriate editing software, however, they are not suitable for uploading or playing on iPads etc. For this you would need an MP4 file. We can make these files into MP4 files as well but it is a two-stage process.
- I'm now confused! Not surprised! That's why we're here to advise what is appropriate for you.
- Can I have extra copies of DVDs? - Yes, you can.
- Do you watch the videos? - We keep an eye on them although we don't watch every minute.
- Can you transfer/repair faulty tapes? - We prefer not to although we can deal with some faults. We do not transfer mouldy tapes as these could damage our machines.
- Do BVP transfer NTSC videos (videos from America and Japan) - no, we don't.
8mm Cine Films
- Is it worth getting cine films transferred? - yes, is the simple answer to this question.
- My films are really old, I'm not sure what the quality will be like - films from as far back as the late 1950s and 60s can still give excellent results. Yes, the enamel may have cracked a bit and the picture may be a little grainy but this all adds to their charm. We have only ever had one set of films that were not worth transferring and this was because they had suffered water damage.
- Should I just bring in one film to try it out? - well you can if you wish but we wouldn't recommend it. We have a set-up charge of £55 which includes up to 200ft on a larger reel or 2 small 50ft reels. If you bring your films in individually you will be charged this each time.
- I don't know what is on the films, I'm not sure if it's worth transferring them - cine films were expensive and the original reels were only a few minutes long, therefore, most people were selective about what they filmed, consequently the quality of filming is often very good.
- Can we edit our films - if you wish but more often than not people are happy with the films as they are. You can, however, do a little homework which will save a lot of time editing, simply put your films in the order you would like them transferred. (If your films are not dated/titled BVP can, up to a point, work out the order by packaging/reels.)
- Can my films be supplied on a USB stick/Hard drive? Yes. The cost includes either a DVD or a digital file (there is an additional cost for USB sticks or we would ask you to supply a hard drive). The digital file would be .mov, which is suitable for editing but not playing or uploading on a computer without the appropriate software. You may have MP4 files created in addition to the .mov files (it is a two stage process) and these are suitable for use on regular computers. So to summarise you can either have a DVD or a .mov file included in the price. MP4 files can also be made from both .mov and DVD but they are extra. Happy to advise as to what is best for you.