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TRANSFER VIDEO TO DVD

 

What is the turnaround time?
2–3 weeks for one or a few tapes. 3–4 weeks for 3–5 tapes. 4+ weeks for transfer of 6 or more tapes, depending upon the complexity and size of your specific project. Every large project is different. Turnaround time is also extended if you are requesting our "Send a Box" service. See our Video Service page for more, including details on rush services.

How much does it cost?
We charge $30 to transfer up to 2 hours of video from one video tape source. For additional pricing and options, see the Video to DVD – Prices page.

How do I place an order and get my videotapes to you?
Visit our Video to DVD Transfer page for detailed ordering instructions. Our Order Forms are available as PDFs at the top of the page. Then simply pack up your tapes and send the package to us. We'll let you know as soon as your order arrives. For detailed packaging and shipping options, visit our Shipping and Order Production page.

What tape formats does Timeless DVD accept?
We transfer VHS and S-VHS, VHS-C and S-VHS-C, Betamax, Video 8 and 8mm video, Hi8, Digital 8, Mini DV, and DVCAM tapes. We also convert Mini DVD discs, memory cards, and hard drive camcorders to DVD as part of our Digital Camcorder Conversion service. We do not transfer professional videotape formats, such as DVCPro, Betacam, or U-matic.

Do you transfer high-definition tape formats?
We can convert HDV video tapes to standard-definition DVDs. However, we do not currently transfer high-definition video to Blu-Ray. See our Convert to Blu-Ray page for updates on this type of service.

How much video fits on one DVD?
We can transfer up to 2 hours of video onto a DVD. While it is technically possible to transfer more than 2 hours, the quality becomes greatly reduced and more compatibility issues can arise. If a transfer company tells you they can fit more than 2 hours of video on a DVD, they clearly have no idea what they are doing.

What happens if my tape runs 2 hours, 5 minutes?
We can usually squeeze up to 5 minutes extra onto the DVD with no discernible loss in quality. However, for tape that are longer than 2:05, you will need to purchase our "Overflow disc" option for the rest of your tape's footage.

My tape is 6 hours long. How much that does cost for a video duplication?
If your tape contains more than 2 hours of video, you will need to purchase our "overflow disc" option. Overflow discs are housed in the same DVD case as the first DVD used for the tape. So for example, a 6-hour tape would require 2 overflow discs and a special 3-disc DVD case. DVD cases that house 2 discs or more are provided free of charge, as needed, for projects with overflow discs.

Is there a discount if my tape is less than 1 hour?
No, we offer the same price for any amount of video up to 2 hours. However, the shorter your videotape is, the higher the quality your transferred video will be, since we custom-modulate the quality level per the exact length of your tape.

Can I combine multiple tapes onto a single DVD?
Yes, absolutely! Please note that the total running time of all the tapes on the same DVD must not exceed 2 hours. Each additional tape you wish to add to the DVD beyond the first is an additional $10.

A lot of companies will not combine tapes to one DVD, saying it's to "preserve the quality of your footage." Hogwash. Doing this simply requires extra effort, which they are not willing to offer.

What if I have several tapes I want transferred to DVD?
Our DVD Transfer order form can handle multiple tapes, either transferred to one DVD apiece or combined onto DVDs. For larger orders, we recommend using our "Send a Box" order form and process and getting an estimate on your order. See our Video to DVD - How to Order page for all the details, and to select the option that's right for you.

Is there a limit to the quantity of tapes I can submit?
No, there is no limit. Timeless DVD can handle any size order, and in fact, we frequently transfer very large family video tape collections.

Can you make transfers from a tape recorded at LP, EP, or SLP speeds?
Yes. Keep in mind, though, that the quality used for the recording on the tape will be reflected on the DVD as well. We cannot vastly improve video that was recorded at the lower-quality tape speeds, and in fact, these types of tapes are usually harder to track and control.

Can just part of my tape be transferred?
Yes. On your order form, just make a notation in the special instructions section. We can exclude sections of your video from the finished DVD for no extra charge. Just provide the start and stop times for the segment(s) to be excluded.

Is video editing included in the price?
Yes, basic editing is included. We remove blue screen and static (unrecorded tape that often appears between video segments) and trim off the "video junk" that commonly appears at the beginning and end of tapes, so excess blank space will not be on the final DVD. We can also edit out or exclude portions of the tape from the finished DVD for no extra charge (no more than 8 exclusions per tape, please).

Is customized editing available, such as shuffling scenes or adding closed-captions?
Yes. We charge $70 per working hour for special editing services. Just let us know what you need.

Ordering video conversions to DVD

I have many tapes but don't know how long they are. How do I place an order?
Not a problem! We can assess all of your tapes and provide a customized project plan and individualized estimate for you. This is called our "Send a Box" process. See our Videos to DVD page for all the information.

I don't know what's on my tapes. Can you tell me?
Yes. As part of our "Send a Box" service, we can provide a brief overview of a tape's apparent content as part of your estimate.

Do I need to label all my tapes before sending them in?
No, we do not require labels. However, if the tapes are labeled, that can help immensely in titling your DVDs (particularly for large family video collections).

Do you offer any volume discounts?
Yes. Discounts are offered for large orders when our "Send a Box" process is utilized. Discounts are given on a case-by-case basis.

Will I be charged if a tape is blank?
No, we do not charge for completely blank tapes that have no video recorded. Unlike other services, we do not even charge a "setup fee" for finding out a tape is blank.

Can you fix a broken tape?
Yes, but we do not repair tapes in-house. A local repair shop handles repair work for us. We are able to repair cracked cases, splice cut tape together, or reattach tape to the spindle if it became loose. If you are sending broken tapes, please mark them so we know which ones they are. Please note that we do not repair tapes that have extensive damage, such as that caused by floods, mildew, or mold.

Do you edit out bad sections of my video?
We transfer all recorded video footage, intact, as it appears on the tape. Therefore, shaky or unfocused footage, or video where your camcorder was turned on by accident, will be on your DVD. The only sections of tape we edit out automatically are "blue screen" or static, which is not recorded video. If there are specific sections of recorded video you do not want on your DVD, you must provide specific instructions. Keep in mind that many customers find value in imperfect footage, especially if it's the only video you have of a long-lost relative.

Also, please know that if we receive a tape for conversion, we will convert it. We do not make judgement calls as to whether a tape is "poor" or "bad" quality. Determining whether a tape is worth transferring to DVD is the client's responsibility.

Can I make a dub of my tape, and send the dub to be transferred instead of the original?
No, we discourage this. It is better to transfer the most original, "master" copy of a video. A dubbed tape always has poorer quality – and that's not really the version you want to preserve, is it? As long as you pack your tape well and send it via a trackable carrier, the odds of anything bad happening are very low. If you are really worried, you could dub your tape and keep the dub, and send the original for transfer.

I have specific needs for my menu and chapters. Can you accommodate me?
Yes! Unlike large video transfer companies, Timeless DVD CAN accept requests for menu design and specific chapter points.

I can't watch my tape. How do I know where to put custom chapter stops?
Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to this question. For custom chapter stops, we need to know the timecode and content. This is for one simple reason: We don't know the content of your video or the people and events on it, so it is impossible for us to accurately set your chapters.

The only option is for us to create an initial, basic DVD of your video. You can then use this DVD to select the times for your chapters. Then we can create a second "final" DVD with the correct chapters in place. This process will incur an additional fee above our transfer price.

If you can't watch your tape prior to placing your transfer tapes to DVD order, and you don't want to pay the additional cost of a DVD revision, then we recommend you forego custom chapter stops.

Can I add title screens to my video?
Yes. Just follow the directions on the order form.

Can my tape be transferred to another videotape instead of DVD?
Yes. We can transfer your tape to a Mini DV (or similar format), for the same transfer cost.

Can you convert a PAL videotape to DVD?
No. At this time, we do not handle PAL or SECAM videotapes.

Do you transfer copyrighted material?
Yes, but you must sign our Copyright Waiver Form and include it with your order. If you own a videotape that you purchased, you are entitled to make one backup copy for your own personal and private use. We are simply providing a service that allows you to accomplish this. Please note that we are limited to making only one copy of your DVD.

Do you transfer adult material?
No. Timeless DVD reserves the right to refuse any tape that includes questionable content. If your tape is found to contain nudity, adult content, or pornography, it will be returned to you without transfer, and you will be charged for our return shipping costs. This is clearly stated in the customer agreement that every customer signs on his or her order form, so knowing this is the customer's responsibility.

Video duplication - quality and editing

Will the quality of my video be improved or enhanced when it is transferred to DVD?
Yes. We utilize time-base correction, noise-reduction filters, and processing hardware to enhance your video as much as possible. However, the DVD will be an accurate representation of the video on the tape as well.

How are both of these things possible? Because tapes have more quality than a consumer VCR or video camera is able to read. Therefore, a videotape transferred from one of our professional decks may indeed make your video look better than what you are used to seeing. A cheap consumer VCR does a terrible job pulling information off of the tape, while a broadcast-grade deck can make it a whole new experience. When you factor in the improvements our time-base correctors, proc amps, and details can add, the DVD can be a noticeable improvement over your tape.

Keep in mind, however, videotape is a flawed medium, and while we always do the best work possible, no transfer or tape is perfect. Tapes suffer from individual conditions caused by age, format, recording speed, and overall wear. But in most situations, the video on the DVD will appear slightly better than the original.

Do you watch my video as it's being transferred to DVD?
We monitor your tape's video and audio during the conversion process, which enables us to correct any problems such as tracking, contrast, or color. We can only verify that your videotape is being transferred correctly if we keep an eye on it. This does not mean we "watch" every second. Your private moments stay private, but at the best possible quality.

It baffles us that some transfer services freely advertise that their transfer process is entirely automated! This means that NO ONE is taking an interest in the quality of your transfer or fixing any tape problems as the transfer moves along. Companies automate transfers so they can churn out hundreds of tapes and make as much money as possible. We would rather "do the job right."

For example, one prominent online transfer company states that they cannot control if the tracking goes out of adjustment during a transfer. Actually, they write: "There's nothing we can do to fix this condition." This is bullcrap. All they're saying is that they do not pay attention to the tape as it transfers, but "set it and forget it." The bottom line is, they don't want to take the time to monitor your transfer.

If you want your transfer to be high quality and done correctly, make sure you are using a transfer to DVD service that is not automated.

My tape has tracking problems and dropouts. Will transferring it fix these problems?
It depends. While we can't clear up every problem, we can reduce many errors because we use excellent decks and broadcast hardware. For instance, our time-base corrector can fix tracking errors, our digital noise reduction can reduce flickering, and our processing amplifier can boost color in faded pictures. Plus, we work with clean decks, which is often enough to clear up some problems you might be seeing on your VCR or camcorder.

However: we cannot salvage a picture that isn't there anymore. (Dropouts are portions of tape where the oxide holding the audio and video has completely disintigrated.) If your video is in a questionable state, then it's absolutely time to transfer it to DVD before all of it is gone forever.

How do I know you're using good equipment?
Unless you are familiar with well-regarded video transfer equipment and have visited a company's studio in person, you don't know this about any DVD transfer company. However, we take pains to describe our process on our Tapes to DVD page. We also maintain a blog in which we discuss various technology- and video-related issues. Remember, one of Timeless DVD's hallmarks is providing great video quality. We couldn't do that without great equipment!

Timeless DVD uses "VBR encoding" for video transfers. What is that?
VBR is an acronym for Variable Bit Rate. VBR encoding varies the bit rate as a video is digitized, giving higher rates to detailed, fast-motion video (such as sports video) and lower rates to fairly still images (such as video of a lecturer). In this way, each scene of the video is uniquely optimized for the type of video it contains, and the video has the best possible quality on the DVD.

Timeless DVD uses "Dolby Digital" for the audio in transfers. What is that?
Dolby Digital is the standard in DVD audio. It provides excellent audio quality in a very small, optimized file. Using Dolby Digital compression to shrink the audio file size enables the video on the disc to take advantage of most of the disc space.

Will my DVD be in stereo?
If your original tape has stereo sound, your DVD will too.

Will my DVD be widescreen?
Your video picture will have the same aspect ratio as your original tape. For the vast majority of home video tapes, that is full screen (4:3).

Will it hurt my tape to transfer video to DVD?
No. Our video tape conversion to DVD process is very safe. We are extremely careful with all tapes we receive, and we keep our equipment in top condition to avoid any problems.

However, we cannot guarantee your tape's physical condition. Some tapes are brittle from age, being improperly stored in humid attics or basements, or being damaged in other VCRs. When our decks accept videotapes that have experienced these conditions, there is a remote possibility that the tape may break or get caught.

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this or guarantee that it won't happen. It depends on the unique conditions each tape has experienced. If you believe your videotape may be at risk for these problems, please advise us in advance if possible.

My VCR or camcorder still works. Why should I transfer my video tapes to DVD?
Over time, the magnetic particles that comprise the picture and sound on your video tape begin to lose their bond to the plastic tape. In most cases, this is a normal process caused merely by temperatures and humidity. But it can also be exacerbated by playing the tape frequently. Transferring video to DVD ensures your video will be viewable for many years to come, and DVDs also make video a lot easier to watch, share and enjoy. (No more rewinding!) See our Why Tapes Deteriorate page for extensive information on this subject.

There are many companies offering DVD transfers. Why should I use Timeless DVD?
We have a list of specific reasons on our Why us? page. In short, Timeless DVD offers an exceptionally high-quality video transfer process with more customization and packaging options than most other companies.

Our goal is to make the transfer experience convenient and easy for people who don't have much technical expertise, equipment or time, but who want a beautiful, professional Hollywood-style DVD that's a "cut above" what's offered by those huge drugstore-type companies. We understand that our customers send us their most treasured video memories, and we handle each order with very special care.

Why can't I transfer my videotape myself?
You can. However, using a company that works with professional transfer equipment, good software, and possesses skill and experience has important benefits. (Not to mention the time it takes to undertake a project like this.) Trust your home video tape transfer project to Timeless DVD, get it done right the first time, and have fun without wasting any time. Visit our Home Video to DVD page for more information on the drawbacks of DIY.

Can I add more video or make changes to my DVD later?
Yes (if the capacity exists on the disc). However, we charge a $20 reauthor fee for any changes to a DVD that were not included in the original order, plus the cost of any additional work needed.

Can I edit video from my DVD on my computer?
Technically, yes. Anything is possible if you have the right software and know-how. However, DVD is designed to be watched, not edited. DVD video is highly compressed. For that reason, the video extracted from a DVD can only be edited in limited ways. In addition, this type of video, called MPEG-2, can only be understood by very few specialized video programs.

To edit MPEG-2 video in mainstream video editing programs, the video must be transcoded to a format such as AVI. Once edited, the AVI must be re-transcoded back to MPEG-2 format so it can be re-burned to a DVD. This almost always results in the video quality degrading to a point where it becomes unwatchable.

If you are interested in editing your video, we recommend ordering our Convert Video service instead. This will provide you with AVI or MOV video files that can be edited in virtually any video program. Then you can create your own DVD from your footage that will be perfectly quality.

What equipment and software do you use for video transfers to DVD?
We use a wide variety of video equipment, DVD burners, graphics software, and DVD authoring software. We simply cannot list every piece of equipment and software we use, and it varies from project to project depending on what will work the best for an individual DVD.

But the truth is that this answer is not important. Anyone can purchase a DVD recorder or software. But not everyone has the expertise and experience to transfer video to DVD that has true professional quality. Timeless DVD has invested thousands of hours of education and research into what we do. While the quality of equipment does vary, the expertise of a DVD company is the most important factor in video transfers– not the exact tools.

it's amusing though that some companies act as if this is a "secret formula." There's no secret to using good video equipment and software! Beware of a company that won't give basic details on its equipment. They could be using cheap VCRs and methods and don't want you to know!

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