Surely you have more than one at home, which perhaps you haven’t seen for a long time, among other things because with the arrival of new technologies, the video, which was not missing in almost any home, went on to become a Rare avis. VHS tapes, beta or early 8mm tapes deteriorate over time and there will probably be some of great value to you. The wedding, an unforgettable vacation, your children as young … if you want to keep those images forever, you must convert them to digital format and to do so you have several alternatives.
How to turn your old tapes into digital files (whether you know it or not)
The first step is to make a small revision the status of your tapes. It is important, because if they show obvious deterioration (breakage, “knots”, discoloration, damage to the external casing …) it will be difficult for you to change the format yourself with a guarantee of success.
In these cases, it is always preferable that you go to a professional service. You have numerous photographic laboratories (physical stores) that are not only in charge of the digitization process, but also of the tape repair. In addition, the recordings will be transferred to the format of your choice (DVD, Mp4, AVI, Mpeg …) improving the image and audio quality, even adjusting the tracking so that the tape is as close as possible to its original state.
Also on the internet you can find numerous websites that will make this process of bringing your memories to a 21st century format. After contacting any of these companies on-line and receive the corresponding budget, you must send your tapes (many offer a pick-up service) and you won’t have to worry about anything else. The company will carry out the work and, when it is finished, will send you a link to your email, so that you can access your videos, already digitized, and record them in the format you want (in a pendrive, on a dvd …). If you prefer, most offer the option of sending you the pre-recorded DVDs and even your old tapes directly, if you want to keep them as a souvenir.
As to prices, the rates are variable (compare). Some companies prepare their budgets taking into account the number of tapes (the higher the quantity, the lower the price) and others work by number of hours of recording. To give you an idea, converting a single tape to digital format can cost you about 14-18 euros (10 tapes could cost you about 4-6 euros each).
If computing is your thing and you want to do it yourself, the process is not complicated, but you will need to buy a analog-digital converter. In addition, it will be essential that you have a working video player and that your computer has the software Specific to be able to capture the video signal and save it in digital format.