Many companies offer video to DVD service, but fewer offer an option for transferring an analog video cassette to computer digital video files (or conversion services from one video file type to another). Among the companies that do offer to convert to MOV or AVI, transfer quality can vary widely. Ask a video service what hardware and software they use for their conversions. If they won't give details, be warned: they might be using consumer-grade equipment!
We're proud to compare our professional equipment and experienced process to that of any other service! Not only is our video hardware beyond a consumer's ability to purchase, even most video services have not invested in video equipment to the degree we have.
The VCR used to transfer video to computer is the most essential factor to extracting a tape's quality. We have an wide collection of top playback decks by a variety of manufacturers, since matching a a deck to a given tape is key to the best conversion.
For VHS tapes, we mainly work with VCRs from JVC's HR-S9000 and W-VHS lines. These decks' "Digipure" processing includes a video stabilizer and fabulous noise reduction. We also use Panasonic's studio-grade AG-1980, which is particularly suited for tracking EP and LP tapes. Our studio is also stocked with high-level decks for transferring from video camera to computer, including Video8/8mm, Hi8, and Digital8; Mini DV and DVCAM; and Betamax.
Next, we use extra hardware to pull even more quality from your tapes. The most important of these is the time base corrector (TBC), which processes the frames in a video signal in order to fix timing errors. By doing this, a time-base corrector can fix jitter, audio-visual sync, and moving lines. It is an necessary piece of equipment for digitizing worn or aging videotapes. See our Video to Digital page for more information about TBCs.
Video then goes into a processing amplifier, hardware that can fix a picture's contrast, color, and hue. Finally, your video runs through a detailer, which sharpens and defines the video picture by boosting the high frequencies of the signal. We believe the benefits gained from these extra processors are worth it for our clients' conversions!
The next step is getting the analog video to computer files. Timeless DVD primarily uses the Grass Valley / Canopus professional video converter. The Canopus is an award-winning digital converter that provides the industry's best picture quality preservation. Unlike many other devices, they produce zero noise when we convert to AVI or MOV.
We choose the computer and program for the capture based on the file format the client prefers. For an AVI file, we connect the video converter to a Windows computer and capture via Adobe Premiere Pro. For MOV or Quicktime, we use a studio Mac and Final Cut Pro. Both Premiere and Final Cut Pro are professional-level video programs. And we've found MPEGStreamclip to be second to none for MP4 file preparation.
If you have asked for your video files to be provided on data DVDs (as opposed to video on hard drive), we will then author your files to Taiyo Yuden discs, which are widely recognized as the best DVD blank media available. The discs are printed with a Primera Bravo, a dedicated disc printer.
Why are we revealing so many details about our analog to computer process? Because the video hardware and methods we use are far beyond the ability of many people – and even most video companies. By revealing our secrets, we show you that we have the ideal experience required to convert your video tapes!