Converting your old VHS tapes into digital files may feel like it’s a tough thing to do, especially if you’ve got decades of memories recorded. However, with today’s digitizing companies that offer professional service at a reasonable price, the process is quite straightforward.
YesVideo and Costco are among the many popular services that digitize old media, so we researched both companies to compare them and see what they offer to their customers. We’ll also compare them to iMemories, the top-ranking digitizing service. We’ll talk more about the comparison further down in the article.
Include Shipping Kit (Box)
WHAT THEY DIGITIZE?
Betamax, VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Hi8, Digital 8, MiniDV, MicroMini
VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C, Betamax, Video8, Hi-8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC
VHS, S-VHS, Betamax, VHS-C, S-VHS-C, Hi-8, Digital8, Video8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC
Digital Media Conversion
Only DVDs that were previously digitized from YesVideos or their other retail partners.
8mm, 16mm, Super 8
8mm, 16mm, Super 8mm (from 3-inch up to 10-inch film reel)
8mm, Super 8, 16mm
Photos, Negatives, Slides
Photos from 2x2 up to 8x12
35mm, APS film, 110/220 film, 126 Instamatic films, large negatives. Each frame of the negative strip counts as an image
Photos from 2"x2" up to 8"x12"
Videotape Conversion Price
$14.99 per tape + free digital download
$14.50 for the first 2 hours of tape footage, $14.50 for each additional 2 hours
$19.99 for first tape, any length, $19.99 for each additional tape
Digital Media Conversion Price
$14.99 per DVD or MiniDVD + free digital download
$14.50 for first 90 minutes of media, $14.50 for each additional 90 minutes of media
Film Conversion Price
$14.99 per 50ft. + free digital download
$14.50 for the first 100 feet, $0.10 per foot after first 100 feet
$19.99 for the first 150 feet, $0.13 per foot after first 150
Photo Conversion Price
$0.49 per photo scan
$14.50 for the first 50 photos,
$19.99 for the first 62 photos, $0.32 per photo after first 62
Slide Conversion Price
$0.49 per slide scan
$14.50 for the first 50 slides,
$19.99 for the first 62 slides, $0.32 per slide after first 62
Negatives Conversion Price
$0.49 per frame scan
$14.50 for the first 50 negatives,
Audio Conversion Price
DIGITAL COPY PRICES
Download is FREE
iMemories Cloud $7.99 per month or $49.99 per year
DVD $5.99 per disc
2 DVDs $19.99
What are YesVideo and Costco?
YesVideo is one of the leading service providers in video and photo digitization and has served over 10 million families since 1999. Their services are available through major retailers, such as Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, CVS, and Bartell Drugs, and online through their YesVideo.com official website. For example, all digitizing orders made with Costco go to the YesVideo facility to get digitized.
The Costco Wholesale Corporation is a world-renowned company that has been around for over 40 years and sells products from major brands at low prices. They are also known for their photo and video digitizing service, Costco Photo Center.
Although we are basically talking about one company that does all the work, there are some differences in how they work and how much they charge you for the whole process.
Note: In 2021, Costco decided to close all their photo centers, but that shouldn’t impact their digitizing service because YesVideo does that for them.
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How Does YesVideo Service Work?
Making an order at YesVideo is a little different than with other services. The first step is gathering your media to determine how many items you wish to digitize. Then create your order, and while doing that, you’ll be able to personalize every media item. Making an order on the website might be confusing for some people. For each item you want to digitize, you need to make a separate order and add it to the cart, which can take a while.
Media That YesVideo Accepts:
- Videotapes: VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, MiniDV, Betamax
- Old films: 8mm, Super 8, 16mm
- Photos: From 2″ x 2″ up to 8″ x 12″. (They don’t accept sheets and albums)
- Slides: 35 mm, Super 35 mm, 110, 126, 127, 127 Superslide, 120/220 Medium Format (Cardboard and plastic mounts only)
- Negatives: 35mm, APS Film, 110 Film, 110/220 Film, 126 Instamatic film, large negatives
- Digital media: YesVideo DVDs, DVDs, MiniDVD, CDs, VCDs. Memory cards SD, SM, MMC, CF, xD, memory stick, USB.
YesVideo does not offer a safe ship kit like iMemories, which is a crush-proof box that provides safe shipping to the company. Instead, you will need to gather and pack your media in your own box. At this step, make sure to pack your media in a sturdy box and, if possible, fill it with air cushions to get the best protection possible.
When you complete the order, you will receive a UPS prepaid shipping label via email, which you need to print and stick to your shipping box. Then, take your package to the nearest UPS location so they can ship it directly to the Yesvideo facility, or you can use your preferred shipping carrier.
You will be notified when your order arrives at the YesVideo processing facility and when it is sent back to you. You can also track status via the Order Status page. For any additional questions, YesVideo recommends contacting their customer service. They have a chat button in the bottom left corner of their site, but only a robot will talk with you. Every time I try to get in touch with a real person, it just says, “Our agents are currently unavailable.”
With YesVideo, you can get your digital copy in three different ways:
- Downloadable file from YesVideo MemoryCloud
With each order made, you are getting a digital download by default. If you instead want a USB or DVD copy, you need to add it to your order additionally.
At YesVideo, your media is available at MemoryCloud for 60 days until it gets deleted. You have to download everything to your computer before those 60 days pass, or you can order a digital copy on DVD or USB.
The turnaround time of YesVideo service is 3 to 4 weeks from the time they receive your order.
How Does Costco Transfer Service Work?
As we said earlier, Costco Transfer Service is part of YesVideo service, and because of that, the whole order and digitizing process is the same as with YesVideo service. However, we noticed a couple of differences with Costco. First, you get more time to access the digital copy, which is 90 days, whereas YesVideo only gives you 60 days. Also, the YesVideo service can transfer digital media, whereas Costco doesn’t offer this service. As for the price, Costco charges $1 more for the total price per media compared to YesVideo.
Media That Costco Accepts:
- Videotapes: VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, MiniDV, Betamax, DV, DVCAM
- Old films: 8mm, Super 8, 16mm
- Photos: From 2″ x 2″ up to 8″ x 12″
- Slides: 35 mm (Cardboard and plastic mounts only)
Note: Costco’s home video and photo transfer service don’t offer negative and digital media services.
What About A Third Option That’s Even Better Than Yesvideo And Costco
iMemories is probably the most popular choice for digitizing old media, offering quality, affordable prices, and the highest customer reviews we have seen so far from services. The company was founded in 2006, and they have already preserved 1 million families’ most loved moments.
How Does iMemories Service Work Compared With YesVideo and Costco?
Unlike YesVideo and Costco services, iMemories has a few things that differ. For a start, it is a straightforward process. First, you need to order your SafeShip Kit from iMemories. It’s a crush-proof box containing all protective materials and a prepaid shipping label that ensures media is shipped to the service safely and correctly. If you don’t want to order an iMemories SafeShip Kit, you can send media using your own box.
Media That iMemories Accepts:
- Old movie films: 8mm, 16mm, Super 8
- Videotapes: Betamax, VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Hi8, Digital 8, MiniDV, MicroMini
- Photos, Negatives, and Slides
- Digital Media: DVDs, MiniDVD
Note: iMemories won’t process any media containing copyrighted materials such as TV shows or Hollywood movies. For example, if your videotape contains a blend of home movies and copyrighted footage, the footage of your home movies will be preserved, but they will remove the TV or movie parts.
Unfortunately, YesVideo and Costco don’t offer safe shipping kits, and you need to ship media in your box and pack it securely.
You don’t need to make an order for every single item you want, as with YesVideo. With iMemories, you can send as many as you wish, and they will digitize all of it. If it can’t fit inside a safeship kit, it’s better to ship it in your bigger box.
After you send your media, you will be notified when it arrives at the iMemories facility. Then your media will be inspected by professional technicians, and you will get a free no-obligation quote before you decide to buy. Turnaround time for iMemories is 2-3 weeks.
iMemories includes free repairs and scene edits of your media. Also, iMemories says they enhance home videos and photos to look better than the originals.
With YesVideo and Costco, you will get splicing and enhanced colors only with old film transfer. In addition, you will get only physical tape repair and possible case replacement for videotapes.
YesVideo and Costco will only notify you when your media arrives at the digitizing facility and when they send it back to you. So you won’t know which steps your media is going through. Sure, you can always contact customer support for questions, but it would be better to have real-time notifications via email like iMemories. Also, their turnaround time is 3-4 weeks which is a week longer than iMemories.
It is important to mention that YesVideo, Costco, and iMemories return your original media with the completion of the order.
A variety of digital copy options is also something iMemories is better at. iMemories offers five digital copy options (DVD, Blu-ray, Portable Hard Drive, Flash Drive, iMemories Cloud), whereas YesVideo and Costco offer only three (MemoryCloud, DVD, Flash Drive).
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As of writing this comparison guide, YesVideo is the most expensive service on this list. The starting price point for all media types at YesVideo is $28.99, which includes a digital copy of your media for download. If you want a digital copy on USB or DVD, you must add it to your order.
Here is the full pricing:
- Video transfer costs $28.99 for the first 2 hours of tape footage and $28.99 for each additional 2 hours.
- Film transfer costs $28.99 for the first 100 feet and $0.20 per foot for each additional 100 feet.
- Photos, Slides, and Negatives transfer costs $28.99 for the first 50 photos and $0.48 per photo after the first 50.
- Digital media transfer costs $28.99 for the first 90 min of media and $28.99 for each additional 90 minutes.
YesVideo Digital Copy Prices:
- DVD $5.99 per disc
- USB $11.99 per USB copy
Here is the full pricing:
- Video transfer costs $19.99 per tape, including two DVDs for a digital copy.
- Film transfer costs $19.99 for the first 150 feet and $0.13 for each additional foot and includes two DVDs for a digital copy.
- Photo and Slide transfer costs $19.99 for the first 62 pieces and $0.32 for each additional piece. Also, two DVDs are included in the price.
Costco Digital Copy Prices:
- 2 DVDs $19.99 per disc
- USB $24.99
- 2 DVDs + 1 USB $29.99
iMemories Transfer Prices
Here is the full pricing:
- Videotape transfer costs $14.99 per tape with a free digital copy download.
- Old films cost $14.99 per 50ft. with a free digital copy download.
- Photo, Slide, and Negative transfer costs $0.49 per piece, with a free digital copy download.
iMemories Digital Copy Prices:
- DVD: $19.99
- Blu-ray: $19.99
- USB Flash Drive: price ranges from $39.99 up to 99.99 depending on storage capacity
- iMemories Cloud: $7.99 per month or $49.99 per year
- Portable Hard Drive: $199.99 for 1TB
Customer Reviews and Ratings for YesVideo, Costco and iMemories
We were surprised by the results of our research. YesVideo and Costco Transfer had the lowest customer scores and reviews, which we did not expect. However, by searching the web and comparing customers’ reviews of all three services, we can undoubtedly say that iMemories is the clear winner.
iMemories has the highest ratings on all review sites and positive reviews and recommendations from customers. For a more detailed look, check out our customer rating table below.
iMemories Customer Ratings
YesVideo Customer Ratings
CostcoDVD Customer Ratings
After conducting our research and comparison, it is clear that iMemories provides the best customer experience compared to YesVideo and Costco. Most online reviews are positive, and customers recommend iMemories for its high-quality videos, excellent customer service, and fast turnaround time. Also, iMemories offers reasonable service prices and many digital copy options compared to most company services. So, if you’re looking for a video and photo conversion service, consider going with iMemories.