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Most companies that offer video transfer they are the best. But we don't hesitate to offer an explanation as to WHY our process is the best! Ask a transfer service what equipment they use. If they won't tell you, be wary – they are probably using cheap equipment and don't want you to know!

The best transfer begins with the best hardware and process – period. Not only is our equipment beyond the ability of the hobbyist to purchase, even most services have not invested in hardware or skills to our degree.

Tape to DVD conversion starts with the VCR

Transfer DVD

The playback deck is the most important factor in pulling out a tape's quality, and so our studio is stocked with the top decks manufactured. We have an assortment of machines, since matching a tape with the best deck to play it is key to the best transfer. (Our Converting Video to DVD page explains further.)

For VHS to DVD, we primarily use VCRs from JVC's HR-S9000 and W-VHS lines, both widely considered the best VCRs available. The "Digipure" processing in these units features a video stabilizer, excellent noise reduction, and accurate color. We also use Panasonic's studio-grade AG-1980, which is particularly suited for tracking EP and LP tapes, and decks by Sony, Sharp, and Mitsubishi.

We also frequently convert Video8/8mm, Hi8, and Digital8. These tapes usually copy to DVD exceptionally well, and are processed in Sony's prosumer EV-S7000, A-500, or GV-D800. For Mini DV, Sony's DHR-1000 is top-notch. Finally, for Betamax transfers, we use Sony's "Dream Machine," the SL-HF1000.

Our chain to copy video to DVD

Next, we use additional video processors to gain significant benefits for a transfer DVD. The most important is a time-base corrector (TBC), which corrects timing errors caused by the imperfect moving parts of a VCR. A TBC is able to fix problems such as jitter, audio/video sync, and wavy lines, and is essential for transferring older, worn-out tapes.

Next, video passes through a SignVideo or Elite processing amplifier, which corrects a video's contrast, color, and hue. After you've seen the vibrant images that result when a tape is adjusted with a proc amp, you'll never want a transfer done without it! Finally, we add a SignVideo or Vidicraft detailer, which provides a high frequency boost to the video signal, making the transfer sharper and better defined.

Few video transfer services include these devices because they involve effort, but the benefits they provide for a video to DVD conversion are indisputable.

Transfer DVD - last steps

Like most services, Timeless DVD uses a recorder to copy video to DVD. The quality from a good DVD recorder is indistinguishable from that of a capture card, which can choke on many glitches that a recorder often fixes. The key is to use a recorder with an excellent digitizing chip. We primarily work with Toshiba hard drive recorders, which are regarded as having the most accurate picture of any DVD recorder. (We convert to MOV or AVI when we do significant editing.)

After the analog tape is converted, the video is tweaked in Womble's DVD Video Wizard. Our authoring is done with Adobe DVD Encore, and the files are burned onto Taiyo Yuden discs. The discs are printed via the Primera Bravo, a dedicated, professional-caliber disc printer. Our beautiful covers are created on prosumer Epson printers, and then inserted into one of our many studio-grade DVD cases.

How can we reveal all this information about how our VCR to DVD conversion is accomplished? Simple: The equipment and processes that our studio uses is far beyond the capabilities of most people, and even most conversion services.

Our tape to DVD conversion is the best available!


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