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How Much Does Video Transfer Cost?

Video Transfer Prices

Old home videos are a piece of family history that, if not converted to a more permanent format, could be lost forever. All magnetic media, including VHS, Hi 8, and Digital 8, deteriorates over time, and eventually information is erased entirely. Unless you've been storing your videos in ideal conditions (cool and dry, with no swings in temperature or humidity), their image quality has likely already suffered. Prevent it from further degrading and keep priceless family memories alive by having your old tapes and films converted to DVD.

How Video Transfers Work

The hardest part of the video transfer process may be working up the courage to temporarily part with your priceless video tape heirlooms. But once they're out of your hands, the company you entrust them to will clean up the image and playback quality and burn the information to a standard-definition DVD.

The description above is a generalization of how video transfers work. Because there are many different companies that offer this service, the transfer process as well as the finished product may vary from one establishment to the next. You should, at the very least, expect technicians to correct color, lightly edit (including the removal of track breaks, tracking information, and blue screens), and stabilize images.

Sometimes included at no extra charge is the addition of chapters and chapter titles. Videos may need slight repairs before they can be transferred; this typically costs extra. The DVDs aren't copy-protected, so you can transfer the files to your computer for unlimited copying and distribution. You can also order multiple copies of the same DVD (the more you order, the cheaper they are) or, if the company allows it, order digital files of the video footage.

Again, each company offers slightly different services. Know what's included with a standard transfer service so that you can more accurately compare pricing among companies.

Types of Video That Can Be Transferred

Most companies can digitize and transfer the following types of video and movie film:

  • VHS
  • S-VHS
  • VHS-C
  • Hi8
  • Digital 8
  • Mini-DV
  • 8mm
  • Super 8
  • 16 mm
  • Super 16

Photo Transfers

Videos and movies aren't the only media at risk of degradation. Photographs, slides, and negatives are also losing the battle against time. Preserve these irreplaceable mementos by having them stored on DVD. Companies that offer video transfer services almost always perform a similar service for photographic media. Basic correction should be included for free, while damaged photos can be repaired for an extra charge.

Video Transfer Average Costs

  • The cost of video transfer is usually priced per video tape (for VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, Hi8, Digital 8, MiniDV) and per foot (8mm, Super 8, 16mm, Super 16). A DVD can hold up to 2 hours of video tape media and between 1,600 and 3,200 feet of movie film depending on the format.
  • Prices for video tape transfer average $15 to $35 per tape. Additional copies cost less.
  • Movie transfers cost $.15 to $.25 per foot (movie reels contain 50 to 400 ft. of film depending on the size of the reel).
  • Some movie film is high-definition (HD). Find out whether a video transfer provider can deliver HD media on HD or Blu-Ray discs.
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