VHS to DVD Conversion

One of the most popular services O.K. Video offers is conversion of videotapes to DVD format. An important consideration in approaching this topic is the difference between how we handle “personal” and “copyrighted” material.

Personal videos (home movies, personally-recorded performances or sports events in which a family member participated, etc.) can be converted at a rate of $29.95 for up to 2 hours of video on a single DVD.

Copyrighted material is slightly more complicated. Commercial VHS tapes (professionally-produced tapes, whether currently or previously sold) that have a DVD equivalent already available or known to be in the works cannot be copied, as this would constitute a clear copyright law violation. Moreover, the official DVD equivalent can usually be found on sites like Amazon for less than $29.95, and in many cases significantly cheaper. For example, if you brought us your old Lady and the Tramp VHS tape to copy – not that we could, due to copyright violation – it would cost $29.95. For around $23, you can currently buy the Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Lady and the Tramp Diamond Edition through Amazon.

VHS tapes that have no DVD equivalent available now or planned for the foreseeable future CAN be copied. We will make 1 DVD copy for personal use; we will not convert these VHS tapes to DVD for the purpose of commercial sale. Additionally, we are willing to convert DVDs region-encoded outside of the United States to the US format (NTSC) provided there is not already a commercially-available US-equivalent.

What videotape formats does O.K. Video accept?

What videotape formats does O.K. Video accept?

O.K. Video accepts many different videotape formats, listed below. Included are facts about each format and a picture for reference

VHS – Common home video format popular from the late 1970s to early 2000s. VHS tapes typically held 2 hours in Standard Play (SP) mode and up to 6 hours in Long Play (LP).
VHS-C – Smaller version of the VHS format made to be used in camcorders and played in a regular VCR using an adapter. VHS-C tapes held 30 minutes in SP and up to 90 minutes in LP.
SVHS – “Super” VHS is a higher resolution version of VHS.
Betamax – Less common home video format popular during the late 1970s to early 1980s. Betamax tapes held 60 minutes in Normal mode and 2 hours in Half mode.
Video8 video – Video8, Hi8 and Digital8 tapes are all physically similar. Video8 was the first incarnation, improved upon by the later versions. Tapes with up to 2 hours of recording time were possible.
Hi8 video – Higher quality version of Video8. Tapes with up to 2 hours of recording time were available.
Digital8 video – Digital version of the previous 2 formats. Tapes held 60 minutes in SP and 90 minutes in LP.
3/4″ or U-Matic – Broadcast/Industrial quality videotape used from the 1970s until the early 2000s.
1″ or 1 inch type B – Broadcast/industrial videotape spooled onto reels as opposed to contained in a cassette.
Betacam – Sony broadcast-quality videotape used from the early-mid 1980s. Replaced by Betacam SP.
Betacam SP – Higher resolution version of Betacam introduced in the mid-1980s and still in use today.
Mini-DV (PAL & NTSC) – Digital videotape available to consumers and professionals from the late 1990s and still in use today. 63-83 minutes of record time in SP and <90 minutes in LP.
Full-Sized DV (PAL & NTSC) – Larger version of MiniDV, these tapes fit into full-size broadcast-quality cameras and held up to 3 hours of full-resolution recordings.
DVCPRO – Panasonic digital tape format used mostly in TV broadcasting.
DVCAM – Sony digital tape format used mostly by professionals. Though DVCAM can be recorded onto standard MiniDV tapes, the tape is transported faster and only about 43 minutes of record time is available.
HDV – Hi-Definition digital tape format. Like DVCAM, the tape size is similar to a standard MiniDV tape, but recording time is reduced.

Can O.K. Video transfer my Vinyl records, Audio Cassette tapes or Reel-to-Reel audio to CD or Mp3 files?

Yes! We can transfer Vinyl (33 rpm, 45 rpm & 78 rpm), Reel-to-Reel, and Audio and Micro cassette tapes to CD or MP3 so you can continue to enjoy them for many years to come. The cost is $35 per 80 minutes, the amount that will fit on one CD, or $45 if you need the audio broken out into tracks by song.

Many commercially-produced vinyl albums are now available in CD or downloadable Mp3 formats. If available, we recommend purchasing CDs or downloads from a retailer versus having them transferred. The cost is much less and these discs are often “digitally remastered,” resulting in a cleaner, higher quality sound. If you have one-of-a-kind or unavailable recordings, we’d be more than happy to transfer them for you.

Does O.K. Video do any pop/scratch removal, noise reduction, sound enhancement, or equalizing?

No. We do not do any “cleaning up” of the sound, other than some volume boosting if your recordings are very quiet. If you need such work we can recommend some fantastic audio professionals who specialize in audio restoration and enhancement.

What is a “paper edit” and how can it save me money on a video editing project?

What is a “paper edit” and how can it save me money on a video editing project?

Providing a “paper edit” is an easy step you can take to reduce the studio time required to edit your project. By explaining exactly what you want included in your final video, you eliminate guesswork time and save money.

Get the project you expect by following these simple steps. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. For example, you have 3 DVDs of home movies that you want to pull clips from and rearrange onto a single disc for family members.
  2. Put each DVD into a standard DVD player or computer and write down the times you want on each clip from start to end in hours, minutes, and seconds. You may need to use the “Display” button on your remote if your DVD player does not have a physical clock-counter.
  3. Once you have all the clips written down you can organize them into the order you’d like.
  4. You can also use the paper edit to specify any photos, titles or graphics you might want incorporated.
  5. Including notes about each clip’s content helps the editors know that they are capturing and editing the correct footage.
  6. Bring the 3 DVDs and photos to O.K. Video along with your paper edit and we’ll put it together for you.

Paper edits are especially useful for:

  • Sports Recruitment videos
  • Dance/Performance highlight videos
  • Home Movie & Memory videos
  • Corporate/Organization videos recorded by others for O.K. Video tol edit

Paper edits can be made with most types of images:

  • Photographs of all sizes (number the photos –gently – on the back)
  • VHS tapes (make sure to rewind the tape fully, eject it, and put it back in your player before starting)
  • DVDs (if your DVD has multiple tracks, be sure to note the track number and chapter in addition to the clip times)
  • Hi-8/Digi-8 tapes (same instructions as VHS)
  • Computer files like MPG, MP4, MOV, WMV (most computer players display timecode which can be used for paper edits)

Example Paper Edit:

Clips To Capture:
DVD 1
Mary’s first birthday – 15:23 – 18:55
Christmas 1987 – 1:03:10 – 1:17:43

DVD 2
John playing soccer – 20:15 – 22:98
Easter 1988 – 1:25:05 – 1:31:27

DVD 3
Christmas 1990 – 33:05 – 41:40
John and Mary on playground – 52:28 – 56:33
Aunt Susan comes to visit – 1:12:55 – 1:14:04

Final Paper Edit:
Title “Family Gatherings”
1.) DVD 1 1:03:10 – 1:17:43 (Christmas 1987)
2.) DVD 2 1:25:05 – 1:31:27 (Easter 1988)
3.) DVD 3 33:05 – 41:40 (Christmas 1990)
4.) DVD 3 1:12:55 – 1:14:04 (Aunt Susan comes to visit)

Title “John and Mary – The Early Years”
6.) Photo of toddler John holding baby Mary
7.) DVD 1  15:23 – 18:55 (Mary’s first birthday)
8.) DVD 2  20:15 – 22:98 (John playing soccer)
9.) DVD 3  52:28 – 56:33 (John and Mary on playground)

Doing this legwork will eliminate the need for you to decide in studio the amount and order of the clips you want edited together, and ultimately save you some significant money.