If you have old VHS tapes, there is a good chance you have considered video transfer services in order to access whatever memories are saved on them. You may be wondering where to go for those services. Do you choose a family-based business, or do you just take them to Costco or Walgreens during one of your standard shopping trips? Each option has unique merits, but in many cases these tapes represent your memories and your history, and those things deserve to be part of your decision process.
Home videos have gone through a lot of advancement and technological changes over the years, and many people have old tapes ranging from 8mm film to VHS tapes, and it is hard to find a machine to replay some of these videos anymore. Often the content on these tapes are just as valuable, if not more so, than when they were recorded. Fortunately, these are not lost to time, they simply needs to be converted into a format that can be played on your computer or a modern television.
A.R.S. started as a labor of love, much like many of the videos that we convert for our customers. We are a family-owned company, started after we bought a video conversion machine in the late 1980s, and we used this machine to start a business that modernized memories as a part time business. To this day, we take the process personally, whether we are converting 8mm tapes, or more commonly VHS tapes, to digital files that can be viewed on computers or televisions, and even uploaded for viewing on tablets and phones.
Customer Service has always been central to our business, along with keeping up with the most modern technology advancements. Today our equipment is capable of transforming 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm film into high-definition files. We can also transfer from videotapes in standard definition to high definition. Once the transfer is complete, each customer is provided with a flash drive that is formatted to be easily used on a computer or television, as well as returning the original video format to you. If you still prefer a DVD, we can provide that as well.
Costco has a service that transfers VHS tapes to DVD, but this service is actually outsourced to another company called Yes Video that is based in California. As a result, Costco is mailing your VHS tapes out to California to be converted, and then returning them to you once they have been shipped back to their store. Each DVD can hold up to two hours of content, so if you need additional content, you will have to use another DVD, and extra DVDs mean extra fees. They typically allow you to choose a theme for the DVD menu under basic umbrella topics, such as “wedding,” “baby,” or “Christmas.”
While most of the time things turn out okay with Costco’s conversions, their services are limited, and if you have tapes from an older camera, they can’t be converted at all. Much of the conversion is done offsite, so you don’t have the ability to be involved or updated with the actual process. Also getting your DVD back can be delayed because the process is outsourced. The service works in a sense, but it doesn’t carry the personal touch of ARS.
The process of having VHS tapes converted at Walgreens is also a long one. Some stores have photo and video kiosks, but they aren’t in every store. Most often, it takes between three and five weeks before you can get your DVD. Some bonus services, such as enhancing quality or extra copies are available at a cost. Like Costco’s conversion services, they are also limited to transferring VHS tapes, and often need to ship the original tapes offsite, and it involves a lot of wait time where originals are not easily tracked.
Another limitation of the conversion services at Costco and Walgreens, is that their ability to convert audio can be very limited. For example, they simply can’t pull the audio from any Super8 films that they may convert.
Convert Your Memories Today
Your memories and your family history are something you want to keep close tabs on. Chances are this is a big reason why you are taking the time to convert old tapes so that current and future generations can enjoy old videos. You don’t want to risk tapes getting lost, and you want to be able to keep tabs on the process with a company that cares about the service they are providing, the way that you care about the memories. It may mean one extra stop in the beginning, but here at ARS, we are determined to make the experience worthwhile.