Should I Digitize By Mail?
Updated: Feb 28
So you've decided its time to digitize some old media. Video tapes are taking up space, the old photo albums are falling apart and you're more and more curious about those vintage 8mm films from Grandma's closet. Whats the first thing you might do when considering going digital? Google it, of course.
When you search for a VHS or film conversion service online, you'll find a ton of options. There are many, many places on the internet where you can send your memories. There may even be local options as well. Here are five tips to help you navigate the video and image conversion process.
Make Sure The Digitizing Service is Reputable. Check all the online reviews and investigate the company's website. You might want to reach out via email or online contact form. Timely responses are always a good sign.
Ask If All Work is Performed In House. Why mail or drop off your precious items only to have them sent to a third party? Large photo labs like CVS and Walmart often sub-contract video and photo projects to other companies. You want someone you can communicate with directly to keep you updated on the progress of your digital conversion.
Look For Hidden Fees. When you see that ridiculously low rate on the internet, make sure you read all the details and know of the charges involved. There could be longer turnarounds, high shipping rates, or lower rate/lower quality transfers.
Make Sure The Digitizing Company Can Handle Your Format. There are so many different types of video tapes, film and images. Some require specialized equipment for digital media conversion. Before you drop everything in a box and send it away, make sure the digitizing company can do it. Examples of this include: older non carousel slides, various sized negatives, super8 Sound film, foreign format video tapes, mini DV-HD tapes and more.
Call A Local Company. If there is someone generally local who can digitize your memories, it might be worth a phone call or email. You can normally talk to someone face to face, call or email with questions, and have them look at your items prior to transfer. And, by handing your valuable moments on film to someone directly, you shouldn't have to worry about mail loss issues or not knowing who to reach directly with questions.
As the owner of Revolve Video in Richmond, VA and Newport News, VA, I've seen first hand how much it means for folks to have a trusted place to digitize their memories. An online service may likely do an adequate job, but it cannot replace the positive experience of working directly with a local company.
We do have many customers that choose to mail their items to Revolve. If that's easier for you, or you're out of our physical location area - we still provide the same local support and service that you'd get by walking in. We can let you know when your items arrive and confirm pricing and payment over the phone.
If you do your research and ask the right questions, you're on the right path on the road to going digital!