- Online Professional Transfer Services
- Local Transfer Services
- Comparison Table
- How Long Does it Take
- Things to Consider
- Final Words
If you have a collection of VHS tapes that are sitting in storage, it’s important to note that they won’t last forever. If you are reading this, you probably ask yourself where and how to convert your old tapes to digital format without the risk of damaging and losing the footage forever. To preserve your precious memories for years, digitizing them as soon as possible is essential. Luckily, there is an easy and safe way to do this. There are many reputable companies that specialize in VHS to DVD conversion and offer affordable rates.
Safe and Easy: Online Professional Transfer Services
They provide their customers with a free quote, free image enhancements, professional splices of broken films and videotapes without losing footage, and free UPS shipping.
If you don’t have the time, equipment and knowledge to convert your VHS tapes to digital format yourself, professional transfer services are available to do it for you. Two popular options, iMemories and Legacybox, offer online services with digitizing box kits. These services can transfer VHS tapes for as little as $15 (depending on service) and can also digitize old film reels, photographs, slides, Betamax, 8MM, and other tape formats.
Some key benefits of using online VHS transfer services are:
- Hassle-free and convenient transfer of VHS tapes to digital format
- Safe and secure handling of the original tapes to prevent damage or loss of footage during the transfer process
- High-quality transfer using professional equipment and technology
- Capability to convert a variety of formats, including old film reels, photographs, slides, Betamax, and 8MM tapes etc.
- Include free specific repairs and enhancements of media, so they look even better. (depending on service)
- Multiple digital formats options to choose from, such as DVD, USB, digital download, cloud storage, external hard drive etc.
- Reasonable pricing, usually around $15 per tape, with the option of discounts for bulk transfers (depending on service)
- Easy online ordering process, regular progress updates, and customer support available for any questions or concerns
- All your original tapes are returned to you with the completion of the order.
Local Transfer Services
If you prefer a more hands-off approach to VHS to digital conversion, you may be able to find local shops in your area that provide the service. You can search on platforms such as Yelp or ask for recommendations from friends and family. While this method can be more expensive depending on the number of tapes and the format, it requires little to no work from your end, and the job can be done quickly and professionally. If your goal is to have your VHS tapes converted and preserved for future viewing, then the cost may be well worth the investment.
Downsides of Local VHS Transferring Service
Local VHS conversion services can carry certain risks:
- The quality of equipment and knowledge of staff can vary significantly between providers, which can result in poor quality transfers, damage or even loss of your tape footage.
- Local services may have limited digital format options, which can be problematic if you require a specific format for storage or playback.
These risks can be prevented by carefully researching and vetting local service providers and checking their overall customer ratings and satisfaction.
Comparison of Popular VHS Online Transfer Services
Shipping kit (box)
Free repairs (splicing)
Average turnaround time
Expedited turnaround time
Reviews Across Multiple Websites
Trustpilot: 4.6 out of 5
Sitejabber: 4.7 out of 5
Yelp: 3.5 out of 5
Trustpilot: 3.0 out of 5
Sitejabber: 3.6 out of 5
Sitejabber: 2.3 out of 5
Yelp: 3.5 out of 5
Yelp: 4.5 out of 5
WHAT FORMATS THEY CONVERT
Betamax, VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Hi8, Digital 8, MiniDV, MicroMini, DVDs, MiniDVDs
VHS, VHS-C, Mini-DV, Hi8, Digital 8, MicroMV, Betamax, 8mm Video Cassette
VHS, mini VHS, VHS-C, Hi8 NTSC format tapes
VHS, VHS-C, Betamax, Hi8, Digital 8, 8mm, MiniDV, MicroMV
8mm, 16mm, Super 8
16mm, 8mm, Super 8, Regular 8
8mm, 16mm, Super8
Photos, Negatives, Slides
Prints, 35mm Negatives, 35mm/126 slides
Photos, slides, negatives
Photos, negatives, slides
Reel to Reel, Audio Cassette, Micro-Cassette
Video Conversion Price
$14.99 per tape
$59.99 for 2 tapes
$279.99 for 10 tapes
$559.99 for 20 tapes
$1099.99 for 40 tapes
$19.95 per tape
Starts at $20 per tape but gets cheaper the more you add
Film Conversion Price
$14.99 per 50ft.
$59.99 for 2 films
$279.99 for 10 films
$559.99 for 20 films
$1099.99 for 40 films
Starting at 19¢ per foot for 8mm, and 25¢ for 16mm
$0.29 per foot
Photo Conversion Price
$0.49 per photo
$59.99 for 2 sets of 25 pictures
$279.99 for 10 sets of 25 pictures
$559.99 for 20 sets of 25 pictures
$1099.99 for 40 sets of 25 pictures
Starting at 13¢ per scan ($25 minimum)
Starts at $0.38 per photo but gets cheaper the more you add
Audio Conversion Price
$59.99 for 2 audio items
$279.99 for 10 audio items
$559.99 for 20 audio items
$1099.99 for 40 audio items
How Long Does it Take to Convert VHS With Professional Service?
The process of converting VHS tapes to digital format with a professional service can take varying amounts of time depending on the provider and the number of tapes being transferred.
While most services offer an estimated turnaround time on their website, it’s important to note that the actual time can range from several weeks to a couple of months.
For instance, iMemories has one of the faster turnaround times, with 2-3 weeks. Therefore, it’s always recommended to check the estimated turnaround times before choosing a service, especially if you have a specific deadline in mind.
Other Important Things to Consider
In addition to the time it takes for professional services to convert VHS to DVD, there are a few other things to consider when choosing a service.
Quality of Conversion
The quality of your converted VHS tapes might be better or worse than you imagined. In terms of quality, there a
several factors can impact the quality of VHS transfer which, including the:
- Condition of the original tapes
- The quality of the equipment and technology used to digitize them
- Experience and expertise of the professionals performing the transfer
Other factors that may take place are:
- Level of cleaning and preparation of the tapes prior to transfer
- Do service offer repairs and enhancements of converted footage
- The resolution and format of the digital files produced
- Quality of the final output, such as the DVD or USB drive.
Customers Reviews Ratings
One of the best ways to gauge the quality of a VHS transfer service is by checking customer reviews and ratings. Trustpilot and Sitejabber are two verified sites where you can find honest feedback from other customers who have used the service. By reading these reviews, you can get a sense of the overall satisfaction level and see if there are any recurring issues or concerns. Additionally, our recommended VHS transfer services include customer ratings to help you make an informed decision and ensure your precious memories are in safe hands.
Does Service Offer Their Digitizing Box Kit
Many people have concerns about sending their valuable family memories through the mail for VHS transfer services. After all, we are talking about their priceless family memories. To address this, services such as iMemories and Legacybox and many others services provide digitizing box kits that are crushproof and come with all necessary protection packaging, such as waterproof bags, shock-resistant cushions, etc. The shipping kit is also tracked, ensuring that your tapes are safe and secure during transit.
If you prefer, you can also choose to send your media via your own shipping box. However, this can be risky, and you are responsible for the safety of your tapes during shipping. Some services may only offer this mailing option, so it’s important to check the mailing options before making a final decision.
Consider the Tape Repairs and Media Enhancements
Some services offer the ability to repair, enhance or edit your old footage and even include it free of charge.
For example, with iMemories, if you are not sure if some of the tapes don’t contain footage, you can label them “Check for Blank Tape “. Keep in mind that It’s important to note that some other transfer services may have different policies regarding blank tapes, so be sure to check their policies before sending in your media because you can be charged a fee for blank tapes.
Additionally, it’s important to consider tape repair when choosing a transfer service. While some services don’t offer any kind of tape repair, others do so on different levels. For example, a service may be able to replace the tape housing in case of mechanical problems or professionally repair or “splice” broken videotape film without losing any footage. So, it’s a good idea to check a service’s policy on tape repair before sending in your media.
It’s important to note that the quality of the digital footage will ultimately depend on the quality of the original tape. To improve the overall quality, some services may offer or include footage enhancements and edits. This can help make the footage look even better than the original. When choosing a service, make sure to check what kinds of tape repairs and enhancements they offer, and if any additional fees apply.
Return of Original Tapes
Once you send your original tapes to an online VHS transfer service, you can expect to receive them back along with the digitized copies of the footage you requested. However, it’s important to note that some services may charge overpriced shipping fees or disposal fees if you choose not to have your original tapes returned to you. Make sure to check the service’s policies regarding the return of original tapes before making your final decision. While there may be exceptions, most online VHS transfer services prioritize the safe and secure return of your original tapes.
Digital Copies or Storage Options
If you are interested in converting VHS to digital format, it’s important to consider your preferred storage options beyond just DVDs. Different services may offer different options such as cloud storage, digital download, or external hard drive. For example, iMemories offers four base options for a digital copy including free digital file download, customized DVD, USB, and iMemories cloud, with additional options like Blu-ray or a portable hard drive with 1TB storage available as add-ons. However, not all services may offer the same range of options, so be sure to check what options are available before making a final decision.
In conclusion, digitizing your VHS tapes is a great way to preserve your memories for years to come. Whether you choose to use professional online services or local shops and services, it’s essential to evaluate factors such as cost, turnaround time, quality, and safety measures before making a decision.
If you choose to use professional online services, make sure to research service providers and check customer ratings to ensure a safe and high-quality transfer process. On the other hand, if you choose to use local services, be prepared to pay more and carefully evaluate the quality of equipment and expertise of the professionals.
Overall, the most important thing is to find a service provider that meets your specific needs and budget while also ensuring that your memories are preserved in the best possible way.