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Video Tape Transfer

With over 30 years’ experience transferring outdated media to modern formats, we know just how precious your memories are. With this in mind, we take the utmost care. We can handle VHS, VHSC, S-VHS, Betamax, Betacam, Video 8, Hi8, Digital 8 and Mini DV. Each tape is checked for damage and cleaned. Then we calculate the total amount of footage recorded on the tape before we transfer the tape to DVD, using professional equipment to maximise the input video signal, with top of the line video compression. During the transfer, we constantly check for quality issues and do all we can to boost the final quality of the footage. We do everything in our power to ensure the highest quality transfer, by testing and playing your tapes in various transfer systems. We use top of the line video correctors until we find the best results. There are vast differences and idiosyncrasies between each make of tape, so we only use the best equipment for the specific job. It is not always possible to improve the quality of every tape, but we guarantee to maintain your tape’s highest possible quality on DVD.

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VHS to DVD

The Video Home System (VHS) was a popular analogue video recording device using tape that was originally developed by Victor Company of Japan (JVC). From the 1970s this method was used to record video for commercial and domestic use and most homes had a VHS player to play films and home movies. In 1997, the DVD was introduced and by 2008 it was the preferred format for watching and recording movies. The DVD is better quality and can hold larger file types, and has had its own advancements thanks to HD and Blu-ray.

Many households may still have home videos recorded on VHS and so we can transfer these memories to a more modern format. Tapes degrade each time they are played and so it is advisable to transfer your movies so that they can last well into the future. You always get your original item back, so you can keep the original format as well as the updated one.

SVHS to DVD

Super-VHS is an advanced version of VHS in which more picture detail is recorded for a better resolution. S-VHS could record and output up to 400-420 lines of resolution, whereas standard VHS offer around 240-250 lines of resolution. S-VHS tapes can only be played on standard VHS VCR players that have a feature known as Quasi-S-VHS Playback.

Should you have any S-VHS tapes Happy Ireland will check your tape and transfer your recording to DVD so that you can continue to enjoy the footage it contains. We can also repair your tape if required.

VHS-C to DVD

VHS-C is the compacted version of the VHS format and was introduced in 1982 to be used primarily for portable camcorders. The format is based on the same video tape as is used in VHS and could be played back in a standard VHS VCR with an adapter that the VHS-C fitted into. Again, now that we have moved into a digital age for recording video on memory cards rather than tapes, the VHS-C has become virtually obsolete.

If you have home movies recorded onto VHS-C we will transfer them to DVD so that you can relive your family memories again. Whether it is a wedding video, school play, or family outing, we will take the tape and carefully move it to a DVD format. We can remove any blank scenes and repair the tape as needed.

8mm to DVD

The 8mm video format was originally developed by the Eastman Kodak company and was released to the public in 1932. It exists in two main versions of the original standard 8mm film and Super 8. The consumer base was largely home movie users and was a cheaper alternative to the 16mm film. Super 8 is a motion picture film format released in 1965 by Eastman Kodak as an improvement over the 8mm home movie format. The dimensions of the super8 rectangular perforations along one edge are smaller than the 8mm, which allowed for a greater exposed area.

By cleaning and converting your old 8mm or super8 film we provide a restored, easy to view digital video on DVD that you can watch for years to come.

Hi 8 to DVD

To offset the introduction of the Super-VHS format, Sony introduced Video Hi8. Like S-VHS, Hi8 was used to increase the recorded bandwidth of the luminance signal to 400 lines. Hi8 cassettes were popular throughout the 90s because of their compact size and quality that could fit into a camcorder for home video recording.

Unfortunately, Hi8 players are not in the mainstream anymore and so it is increasingly difficult to watch movies in this format. With tape degrading over time, the best way to preserve the memories they hold is to convert the videos to DVD.

Digital 8 to DVD

Digital8 or D8 is a consumer digital video tape design developed in 1999 by Sony. It is a combination of the older Hi8 tape with the DV codec. Digital8 equipment uses the same video cassettes as analog Hi8 equipment, but they differ regarding the fact that the audio/video signal for Digital8 is encoded digitally, using the industry standard DV codec.

As the digital8 format uses the DV codec this means they have identical audio and video specifications. As a result, Digital8 to DVD transfers are produced with excellent quality.

Mini DV to DVD

MiniDV is a digital video tape format which uses the same compression as DV and was very popular for recording home movies. Most small camcorders sold from around the year 2000 and onwards would have used the MiniDV digital video tape format.  MiniDV cassettes were 65 x 48 x 12 mm and the record time was 60 minutes (13gb standard play) or 90 minutes (extended/long play). 80/120 minute tapes were also available.

Again, the degrading quality of film means there is no better time to transfer your MiniDV to DVD. Varying temperatures and dust all play a factor in the degrading your video’s quality, so save your memories and transfer them to DVD.

Beta Max to DVD

Betamax is a video cassette recording technology that uses magnetic tape 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) in width. It was originally developed by Sony in Japan. The Betamax cassette was physically smaller than a VHS cassette and had less recording time than VHS cassettes. The format is now virtually obsolete, though an updated variant of the format called Betacam, is still used by the television industry.

Greater wear occurs on a Betamax tape compared with VHS which shortens the life of the cassette. It is, therefore, important to transfer the Betamax tapes to a more stable format such as DVD. As with all tapes, we will carefully convert and transfer the old format so that you can continue to watch the footage in the future.

U-Matic to DVD

U-Matic was first released to the general public in 1971 and was one of the first video formats to contain the videotape inside a cassette compared to the open reel style of the other systems. U-Matic tapes are also commonly called 3/4 tapes due to their width. Unlike most other tape formats, the supply and take-up reels in the cassette turn in opposite directions during playback, fast-forward, and rewind as one reel would run clockwise while the other would run anti-clockwise.

The U-Matic tapes are another system that is no longer used in everyday recording and had to give way to the digital age. Happy Ireland Productions will take your old U-Matic tapes and transfer them to DVD so that you can enjoy them again. Our trained staff transfer all formats in-house to ensure the highest of standards.

HDV to DVD

HDV is a format for recording of high-definition video on DV cassette tape originally developed by JVC and supported by Sony, Canon, and Sharp. Created as an affordable high-definition format for digital camcorders, HDV quickly caught on with many amateur and professional videographers due to its low cost, portability, and image quality acceptable for many professional productions. HDV was a step up from mini DV and used a 16:9 widescreen format, with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. This is a substantial improvement over Mini DV, which recorded video in a 4:3 format, with a maximum resolution of 500 horizontal lines.

With these older formats becoming increasingly obsolete, now is the time to convert your videos into a system that you can watch easily.

Helical Scan to DVD

Helical Scan was a method of recording information onto magnetic tape and was used to record TV programs in the 1960s, and by several storage sellers in high-end tape backup products. It is the same technology used in digital audio tapes and began in the VCR arena. It uses a spinning read/write head and diagonal tracks. Unfortunately, the recording and playback heads touch the tape, and an IBM scientist concluded in the mid-1990s that helical-scan cartridges can start to deteriorate after being used from 50 to 250 times.

If you are worried about the longevity of any of your film formats, then bring them to Happy Ireland so that we can transfer them to DVD. We will also restore and repair the film where possible while cutting out any blank scenes. Contact us today.