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A selection of information to help you understand the video to DVD transfer process...
What is Video to DVD Transfer? - Video to DVD transfer is the process of having us import your analog tapes (VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Hi8, Digital8 or MiniDV) and make them digital, then burning the new digital files on a movie quality DVD. You will have a main menu and chapters just like a commercially produced movie DVD. For smartphones and direct to disc camcorders, you send us the video files and we format them for DVD.
Can I play your DVDs on my DVD player? - Yes, the vast majority of DVD home players and computer drives will play our DVDs. There are still a few older DVD players out there that may have difficulty with DVD-Rs, but we have had only a single customer that could not enjoy our work on their DVD player.
What are the Benefits of your DVD service? - High quality - VHS videotapes are analog storage while DVDs are made up of ones and zeros so the digital information delivered is exactly the same information that was recorded. There is no generation loss when the transfer is made, and new copies can be made from your original DVD that are exact copies. The resolution of DVD video is almost twice the resolution of standard VHS videotape.
What types of projects should I have put on DVD? - If you have wedding tapes, family vacations, family reunions, business meetings, PowerPoint presentations, photos, or any other precious memory, you should have a video to DVD transfer performed. You will love the quality and the price.
Aren't my videotapes good enough? - They might be good enough for now, but not have a video to DVD transfer done will mean that in the coming years, your tape may break or the quality will continue to decrease. You will want to have a video to DVD transfer done to preserve these memories for the next generations of your family. Because the video to DVD transfer is digital, it can be imported into any other digital application in the future.
What is Video Editing? - If you order a video editing project, we import the exact analog footage from your tape first. Next, we go through the tape and remove dead areas, bad spots, really long footage that is repeated. Next, we add smooth transitions between scenes to make your new video to DVD transfer much more enjoyable to watch. Finally, we can add the music of your choice to the background and can even make the music low in volume so that people talking in your footage will still be able to be heard. Our most popular video editing projects are family footage and wedding footage, but any video footage can be edited to your specifications.
How we complete your video to DVD transfer project - Once we receive your tapes for your video to DVD transfer project, we import the video from each of your VHS, VHS-C, Hi8, 8mm, Digital8 and MiniDV tapes. It takes the same amount of time to import each tape as it did for you to record the tape. For example, if Tape 1 of your video to DVD transfer project is 58 minutes, it will take 58 minutes to import that footage. Once the video has been imported for your video to DVD transfer project, a DVD menu is selected. In most cases, we use a DVD motion menu which is animated, but if your tapes are really long in time length a DVD still menu may be used. If you have requested more than one tape be placed on the same DVD for your video to DVD transfer project, from the DVD main menu you will see one icon for each of the tapes on that DVD. You simply use your DVD remote to click on the tape you would like to watch at that time. After the DVD menu has been selected and the imported video footage has been placed on the menu, DVD chapters are inserted every few minutes. While you are watching your video to DVD transfer project, simply click the next chapter button on your DVD remote control to skip forward in your new DVD. Once your video to DVD transfer project is ready, it is then burned on to a DVD-R blank DVD disc. Depending on the quality of your VHS-C, Hi8, 8mm, Digital8 and MiniDV tapes footage, it takes about 90 minutes for your original project to be burned to DVD. If you have requested additional copies of your video to DVD transfer project, copies take about ten minutes to burn to DVD.
Converting videotapes to DVD before the audio and video deteriorates - Most families with precious memories saved on analog media (especially VHS and VHS-C) realize that these analog tapes (as well as 8mm, Hi8, Digital8, and MiniDV tapes) slowly degrade over time and the picture quality and color fades. Fortunately, there are video to DVD transfer services that easily convert these analog and digital videos to DVDs that include motion menus and chapter points that allow the user to access key scenes from your precious family memories. The video to DVD conversion service will use an analog deck for your VHS and VHS-C analog tapes to send the video to a capture device on a computer which captures the video footage in real time. In the DVD authoring programs your new DVD can have DVD titles and custom DVD menus, many of which include icons or "buttons" that loop the beginning of your video footage right on the DVD menu and DVD chapter menu buttons or icons. What distinguishes a good quality video to DVD transfer service from a poor one is the ability to convert tapes to DVD in a multiple steps so that your video footage can be correctly imported to preserve the quality of your video footage. Many services set a few parameters, play the videotapes, walk away, and return to a finished DVD. They do not pay attention to detail and really rely on an automated process which may result in poor quality transfers. Quality services will manually import your video footage, manually set up the DVD menu and DVD chapter menus, and make sure everything works well before actually burning the video footage to a DVD.
The basic approaches that video to DVD transfer services use to convert your tapes to DVD include using a video capture card and a computer, capturing directly to MPEG-2 and converting to DVD. They can also capture to DV format, then edit your video footage before burning it to DVD. Some video to DVD transfer services use standalone devices that can convert analog video directly to DVD without a computer, but the results can be less than spectacular. You also want to make sure that your video to DVD transfer service tests each of your DVDs before shipping them back to you with your original tapes. Both of these options require an analog deck to play your original videotapes. Video to DVD transfer services that use S-Video will get better results because S-Video cables capture superior detail and color. Some video to DVD transfer services offer transfer of your Super VHS videos which were much higher quality tapes and recordings, but this requires that the video to DVD transfer service uses a Super VHS deck--and they are getting harder and harder to find each year.
Most video to DVD transfer services make the transfer of your video footage into an MPEG-2 afterwards, making it compatible with whatever software package they are using to create your custom DVDs. It is important that the video to DVD transfer service is NOT converting your video footage to MPEG-2 and burning the DVD at the same time because software packages use algorithms that optimize for speed rather than quality. There is a huge difference if the service captures your footage to an MPEG-2, and THEN brings this file into the software in order to burn your new DVDs. If they do the capturing and burning on the fly, meaning the MPEG-2 is burned directly to the DVD, the quality will be MUCH lower and the resulting DVD not as clear and crisp. Most DVD transfer services capture in DV format--a better quality than MPEG-2 and is easier for most computers to process. You should note, however, that the quality of your video footage will not improve over the way it looks right now unless video editing is requested. When your analog or digital tape footage plays on your TV with your camera and a cable, that's exactly how the DVD will look when playing. DVDs do not make the footage automatically better. If your tape is garbage, your DVD will be garbage.
Video encoding is very computer processor demanding so fast computers will shorten the video to DVD creation process. MPEG-2 format uses about 3.6GB per hour of video captured; DV video uses about 13GB per hour for the original DV video. If the service uses the DVD video capture process, then the software used to make your DVDs will re-encode the DV video to MPEG-2 in order to fit your analog and digital video footage on to a DVD-R disc (which holds about 4.7GB of information). Single-layer DVDs such as DVD-R work with such a high percentage of consumer DVD players that most video to DVD services choose this DVD format. Some will choose the dual-format (+R/RW and –R/RW) dual-layer recording. These dual-layer discs are much more expensive than single-layer DVD media, but they are less likely to be compatible with your consumer DVD player than single-layer media. Be wary of video services that use automatic scene detection of your videotapes because when converting from videotapes, their software will detect scene changes based upon the content change in your video. What results is that services that use this option end up sending you a DVD with automatic chapter points based on this automatic scene detection. Because the automatic scene detection relies on changes in dark and light, your wedding reception footage where a strobe light was used by the DJ will cause the automatic scene detection to change scenes up to 120 times PER MINUTE and you're stuck with a DVD with so many chapter points that they are useless. Make sure your video to DVD transfer service places your chapters manually or even edits them to your exact specifications. You can help yourself by organizing your tapes chronologically before you send them so that if more than one tape is burned on a DVD, your video footage will still be in chronological order. When multiple tapes are combined onto a single disc, each will appear as a different button on the DVD menu.
Your Memories Remembered
48281 Picketts Harbor Court
Lexington Park, Maryland 20653