Your memories are in the right hands
Transferring analog video and audio tape, such as VHS, to digital formats is a lot different to working with modern digital files. When it comes to digital files, almost anyone with a laptop and a little knowledge can quickly master the process. To achieve high quality results from analog tapes, however, requires the use of studio-quality VCRs, professional capture equipment, and a lot of expertise! Capturing high quality video requires a highly stable video signal, achieved with a device called a Time Base Corrector, and a high quality video capture system. To achieve the best possible picture quality, our video captures are then processed to DVD-spec MPEG2 files with Cinemacraft SP3, and authored as DVD video discs using Scenarist, both of which are the “Gold Standard” (and, indeed, the Hollywood Standard!) in DVD Authoring.
Some of our most popular services include the following. If you don’t see what you’re looking for please contact us to discuss. Chances are we can handle it, it might just not be something that comes up very often.
VHS AND S-VHS to DVD TRANSFER
Video-8, Hi-8, DIGITAL-8, MINI-DV TO DVD TRANSFER
VIDEO-TAPE AND AUDIO-TAPE TO DIGITAL FILES
NTSC AND PAL TRANSFERS AND CONVERSIONS
Why we’re different than the rest…
This business was originally founded with one specific task in mind: to provide professional DVD authoring services on behalf of Sony DADC, after the closure of Sony’s New York City DVD/Blu-Ray department in 2012. So, from the ground up, professional-quality equipment and professional video engineering skills have been the foundation of DigitizeNY / Digitize Media Services NY, LLC. The equipment we use is beyond the budget of the typical “DVD transfer service” companies that you might find with a Google search, or on sites such as Yelp. Generally they use consumer-grade VCRs, consumer-grade capture devices, or VHS-DVD Combo decks, which they typically load-up with your VHS tape and a blank DVD, press one button, and an hour or two later say “job done!” That’s not the way we work!
How do we compare on price?
Very favorably! We don’t aim to be the absolute cheapest service available, we aim to be THE BEST, while remaining extremely affordable. Only the high-end professional studios can compare when it comes to quality, yet we aim to provide these services at prices that rival those of the “semi-pro” facilities dotted around New York City. Every client has such vastly different requirements that it’s virtually impossible to publish a price list for the services we offer, but give us a call to discuss your needs and we’ll give you a no-obligation quote right away. We’re always happy to answer any technical questions you may have, either by email or by phone. We’ll always try to match any genuine quote from our “competitors”, too! (While beating them on quality, every time!)
IT’S “ONLY VHS”, WILL A HIGH-END TRANSFER REALLY MAKE ANY NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE?
In a word, ABSOLUTELY! Especially when viewing the results on a large flat-screen TV! VHS is capable of quite respectable results, if you use top-quality equipment. Our SONY SV0-5800 and SVO-5800P VCRs feature built-in video noise reduction, both Hi-Fi Stereo and Linear Stereo audio (with Dolby Noise Reduction), time-base correction, head-switching noise masking, and a wealth of other features to get every last drop of sound and picture quality from your tapes. Unlike consumer VCRs, there are no drive belts, idlers or pulleys to wear out (which causes even the higher-end consumer VCRs to “eat” tapes from time to time!). The pro-grade mechanism with direct-drive motors and electronically-controlled tape tension is extremely gentle on your irreplaceable tapes.
VHS was designed for use with “interlaced displays” (old-fashioned CRT televisions, in other words). If you’re looking to upload your videos to the internet, the ‘interlacing” of the video signal must be removed, converting the video to a “progressive” format. The low resolution of VHS also means that the results will look quite poor on a large LCD tv, unless a high-end video scaler is used. We can help with that too, naturally! While converting from “standard definition” (especially low-end standard-definition, such as VHS) will never be true “HD quality”, we can up-convert to 720p or 1080p with very good results (the best results available, at any price!)
“SHOULD I CONVERT TO DVD, TO BLU-RAY, OR TO MP4?”
It really depends on what you intend to do with the final result. Many clients these days opt for a combination of DVDs for convenience and up-converted “HD” MP4 files to upload to sites such as YouTube. We charge only a small additional fee for providing you with digital files alongside physical media such as DVD or Blu-Ray. Some of our clients want to edit their movies themselves, after we’ve captured them. Depending on their exact needs, we would recommend the most suitable format available. Many clients like to have us handle everything! By the time we’re finished, we hand over a DVD/Blu-Ray copy of each tape, a hard drive/thumb drive containing all the videos in MP4 format (or QuickTime, or whichever other format you prefer) and a custom-made YouTube account, with everything uploaded for you! People these days are busy, we understand that, so we take care of the entire process of archiving your priceless family movies.
Since we don’t just press record and hope for the best, like so many transfer facilities do, every minute of your videos gets our full attention. We make sure that all video and audio levels are correct, and in the case of deteriorating tapes, make adjustments to tape tension, tracking etc. Also, since we don’t just rely on our machines to do the work in an automated fashion, we can edit-out any parts of the recording that you’d rather not keep, add titles, edit and compile multiple tapes onto a single disc, and other such requirements.
We’re flexible, in so many ways! Our clients’ needs are often quite particular, and we bend over backwards to fulfill those needs! Most people don’t have time during normal business hours to devote to getting their tapes converted, so it becomes one of those tasks on their to-do list which never seems to get done! Most video transfer companies will have you drop off your tapes and return after a few days to pick up the discs. We, on the other hand, encourage our clients to sit down in comfort, go through each tape to figure out which parts they want to keep, discuss the finer details and options. In order to make this all possible we’re happy to arrange an appointment weekday evenings and any time during the weekend, in addition to our normal business hours.
PRO-QUALITY, ALL THE WAY
It might seem like overkill to author “home movies” with Hollywood-grade equipment, but there’s a very good reason for it! Scenarist, our authoring system, creates DVDs which follow the DVD specifications to the letter. In the simplest terms, this is the closest you can get to a cast-iron guarantee that your DVDs will play in just about any DVD player. The same cannot be said for the consumer-grade or semi-pro authoring systems, which have all kinds of compatibility issues! Scenarist is both expensive and complex to use, which keeps it almost exclusively in the professional market. We’re one of very few companies making this level of technology available to individuals and big businesses alike. We also use the highest quality blank DVD-R media available, from JVC’s professional media division, with a choice of high-gloss photo-quality print surface or matt-finish Archival Grade professional media. Full-color printing on the disc surface is included as part of the service. It’s these little touches that all add up to set us far above the competition!
“THIS ALL SOUNDS GREAT, BUT IT STILL SOUNDS QUITE EXPENSIVE!”
Not at all! Once in a while you might get an Uber driver with a brand new luxury BMW, and the ride costs the same as it would in a worn-out Toyota Camry! This is much the same! Working for Sony and other high-end studios required that we invest in the best equipment money can buy, and we make use of this top-tier equipment for all our clients, regardless of budget. No scary price tags! Whether it’s your wedding video, home movies of your children growing up, vacation videos, Christenings, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, your treasured memories will receive all the care and attention they deserve, preserved for future generations to enjoy!