Most Betamax video tapes haven't been watched in decades. After the VHS / Beta war was over, Betamax VCRs became much harder to find. The good news is once your family memories have been converted from video to DVD or digital files they will no longer suffer from picture decay. The bad news is the longer you wait to convert them, the worse the image quality will get. We handle every video transfer and conversion personally, from the moment we take possession of your video tapes until you pick them up, and your videos are NEVER sent to a mass-transfer factory for processing. We know how irreplaceable your home videos are so we treat them like our very own.
Betamax video tape
In the late 1970s, the Betamax VCR arrived in the United States. Having hit the market before the VHS format gave Sony a head start at penetrating the home video recording market. Before long VHS would arrive and start what became know as the "video tape format wars" between Betamax and VHS. While providing a similar video resolution (240 lines), Betamax tapes initially could only record up to 1 hour of video. Later Sony release Betamax VCRs with a slower record speed that increased the recording time to 2 hours. Eventually they came out with longer tapes, but were never able to match the Extended Play (EP) recording ability of the VHS machine that could fit up to 6 hours on a single tape. This was only 1 of several of the events that led to the demise of the Betamax format.
Betamax video tape near the end of its life-cycle
Betamax tapes should be stored vertically, out of direct sunlight, in a dry, cool, dust-free environment. As with any magnetic tape media, they will eventually deteriorate and lose their recorded contents over time, resulting in a buildup of image noise and dropouts. Tapes more than 8 years old may start to show signs of degradation. Some of the videos we’ve transferred have faded to a point where the colors were dull or the image looks washed out.
Amongst other problems, they can become sticky, jamming playback units, or become brittle and snap. Such problems will normally require professional attention. We've had a few tapes brought in to us where the tape was sticking to itself so much that it would shred itself as we attempted to unravel it from the hub. While we can repair tapes, there's not a lot that can be done in these extreme cases. Unfortunately, in most situations like this the information on the tape will be lost. We give our best effort to convert all of your video tapes.
The reasons for that video tape recordings break down over time can be varied from the quality of the tape used to how the tapes were stored over the years. For example, video tapes that were placed on or near a stereo speaker or close to a magnetic source could have fallen victim to accidental erasure as the magnetic field can rearrange the metal particles on the tape, disrupting the information that was recorded. In fact, the use of magnetic fields is precisely how the information was recorded onto the videotapes in the first place. While DVDs are not infallible, they are not subject to the same types of deterioration described above. And Gold Archival DVDs will last even longer.
the lifespan of Betamax video tapes being so short, we can't stress enough the
importance of transferring your videos to DVD as soon as possible
while the tapes are still transferable. Right now is the best your tapes
will look for as long as you have them.
Why is it so important to transfer your video tapes now and not wait any longer?
Not only are Betamax video tapes near the end of their lifespan, but the VCRs that play them are rather hard to come by. Most of the VCRs are more than 20 years so it's hard to find one that still works.
Saving your video with Digital Masters and Gold Archival DVDs
Most video transfer companies offer conversion from video to DVD only. That's great but what if your disc happens to get scratched or damaged? Look at the surface of some of your discs now; how do they look? We offer 3 ways to save the memories from your home videos that just are not available from most places.
Gold 100-year Archival DVDs
Only the true Gold Archival DVDs are manufactured to last at least 100 years. Read more about the Gold Archival DVDs here.
Digitizing to flash & external hard drives
We can digitize your videos to AVI, MOV or MP4 files and put them on a flash or hard drive for you. They'll be ready to edit when you are.
2nd DVD copy FREE!
All orders with over 10 hours of video qualify for a FREE 2nd DVD copy.
How much video will a DVD hold?
A DVD can hold up to 2 hours of video.
Additional Standard DVD copy - $ 8/disc 3 copies of same disc - $18 5 copies of same disc - $25
Additional Gold DVD copies - $15/disc 3 Gold Copies of same disc - $40 5 Gold copies of same disc - $65
(each gold DVD comes with a standard DVD copy FREE)
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