Q. Hi Kim, I'm worried that my old videotapes are going to lose their quality over time. I have a bunch in my collection that I would love to keep and pass on to my kids. Is there a way to make sure the videos look as good in 20 years as they do today?
-Carley from Seattle, WA listens to the Kim Komando Show on 1380 AM KRKO Saturdays at 7 AM.
A. That is a fantastic idea and I have some great news for you. There are several ways for you to preserve your videotapes so you can save them for generations to come. Here are a few of your options:
Costco offers a digital transfer service through its Photo Center. You can transfer several types of videotapes to DVDs. VHS and S-VHS, Beta, VHS-C, Hi8, Digital 8, 8mm and MiniDV are all acceptable formats.
The package includes two personalized DVDs with intelligent chapters, personalized themes, custom music and highlight videos. Each transfer begins at $19.99 and each DVD can hold up to two hours of video. If the footage on your tape exceeds the two-hour limit, the content will be split onto two DVDs and you'll be charged as if you'd placed two separate orders.
You can place your order using Costco's website and drop off your tapes off at your local store. When your DVDs are ready, simply pick them up and take them back home to enjoy. Just make sure the footage you provide them is not copyrighted material.
Every transfer you make also comes with your own private online account at no extra cost. Through this account, you'll be able to view all of your transferred videos from any computer or device. You can even share them with friends and family through email or Facebook.
Costco's digital transfer service is not limited to videotapes. You can also transfer film reels, 35mm slides, photo prints and memory cards to DVDs.
Walgreens is another retail location that offers a digital transfer service. With Walgreens Photo you can transfer videotapes, movie films, HD videos and photographs onto DVDs.
There are two ways to process your order at Walgreens. You can customize your order online or transfer everything from your original media to DVD, Blu-ray Disc or a USB drive. If you customize online, your footage is transferred to the cloud where you can organize and edit it before it's put onto a digital disc or drive.
The pricing for Walgreen's service is a bit more complex. DVDs cost $24.99 per videotape, plus an additional $9.99 for the DVD itself. If you'd prefer to have the final footage in Blu-ray format, the cost is $20. Movie films cost $19.99 for 50 feet of film, plus $9.99 per DVD and are only accepted in 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm formats.
Walgreens also offers cloud storage for a monthly fee of $4.99. This service allows you to share or watch your films with anyone, anywhere at any time. If you're on the fence about whether or not the cloud is worth it, your first order includes a 1-month free trial.
Walmart also offers a DVD transfer service. Videotapes, movie film, photographs and slides, and digital media can all be transferred to DVD.
You can drop off your original media at your local Walmart's Photo department and pick up your DVDs when they are ready. Or, you can place your order online and have your media shipped to be transferred. Once it's been transferred it will be shipped back to your home.
Like Costco, Walmart places a two-hour limit per DVD. The cost is $24.96 to transfer one VHS tape, which makes it the more expensive option. However, transferring movie film is cheaper at Walmart than it is at Walgreens. The first 100 feet of film cost $24.96, and you'll be charged $.20 per foot thereafter. Additional DVDs cost under $9.96 and additional Blu-rays cost $13.96.
If you're still not ready to part with your old VHS tapes, Walmart also offers a special service to repair any that are damaged. This service costs $19.96.
Do it yourself devices
If handing over your private tapes makes you nervous, another option is to transfer them to DVD yourself. To do this, you'll need a DVD recorder and VCR combo. I have the perfect one for sale in my shop!
This device features 1080p up-conversion and 2-way dubbing. This way, you are able to transfer from VHS tapes to DVDs and vice versa. Another advantage to this method is that it can record up to six hours of footage. It's also equipped with an HDMI output. Click here to place your order and transform your VHS library now.
You can also convert music and videos into digital files with the right equipment. Transferring music, videos and memories instantly can be done easily with this Media Saver sold in our shop.
Just connect the handy converter to your TV, camcorder, VCR or other compatible device and transfer to your computer or burn them to a DVD or Blu-ray disc. It's that easy.