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  Movies-2-DVD, Naples, Florida

Movies-2-DVD: Frequently Asked Questions

You are welcome to call with questions regarding our service (U.S. Eastern Time Zone) Our Direct Dial number is: 1-239-206-3448.

Or, send an email to: INFO@movies-2-dvd.com
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

ORDER RELATED QUESTIONS:

GENERAL TECHNICAL SUPPORT QUESTIONS:

"MOVIE FILM & VIDEO TAPE" TECHNICAL SUPPORT QUESTIONS:

"SLIDE SHOW, FILM SCANNING, PowerPoint" TECHNICAL QUESTIONS:

What is "Vinegar Syndrome", and how should I store my film?

Here is what we know and have read: the smell of "vinegar" from film is not good. The "Vinegar smell" is the result of chemical reactions that occur between water (moisture), cellulose, and acetic acid. When acetate based film begins to break down, or comes in contact with water, acetic acid is formed, and this is what causes the smell (not vinegar). Depending on how long the process has been going on, the damage to the film may become visibly obvious, in addition to the smell. Even worse, the process accelerates over time. Film may shrink, become brittle, cupped, or warped due to Vinegar Syndrome. Since high temperature and moisture cause the problem, storing your film in a cool (cold storage is being used by some institutions), dry place is one of the best things you can do to preserve your movie film. Film exhibiting Vinegar Syndrome should not be stored in a sealed box or container with "good film" as the acid could induce or at least accelerate Vinegar Syndrome in the other film.

How Dry? The best recommended Relative Humidity is 20%, the highest RH recommended for film storage is 50%. RH at 15% or below can damage the film. Sustained RH higher than 50% is not recommended, and RH over 70% can induce the growth of mold.

How Cool / Cold? It really depends on how long you want to preserve the film. For color film, cold storage is the best method of preserving the film.  Room temperature storage of film is obviously better than an attic or damp basement. However, even at room temperature, vinegar syndrome and dye deterioration can and will occur - given enough time.

What is your recommendation for labeling DVD media?

Movies-2-DVD does not recommend applying paper labels to DVD media. Please note that our guarantee is void if you apply paper labels to our products. Due to the nature of DVD technology as opposed to CD, a misaligned label could adversely affect reading of DVD media, and we have seen this specific condition. There have also been implications of reduced DVD lifespan due to chemical reactions caused by the label adhesives.

Where are your prices?

You can review most of our prices on our Order Form, or feel free to call or send an email if you have specific questions. In the U.S., Canada, and parts of the Caribbean, our toll free number is: 1-888-824-7688, we are in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone. Our direct dial number is: 1-239-206-3448.
http://www.movies-2-dvd.com/dvd_conversion_pricing.html

How do I get the Order Form to calculate the price?

Our Order Form requires "JavaScript" to be enabled in your web browser. If you wish to use our calculator, please follow these instructions: (you can also email or call us with your inventory and we will gladly calculate your cost)

For Microsoft Internet Explorer and America Online:

  1. On your browser, select Internet Options under Tools on your top navigation menu.

  2. Select the Security tab.

  3. Select the Internet Icon on top if not already highlighted, then select the Custom Level button on bottom.

  4. Scroll down to the heading under Scripting, make sure all the 3 Enable radio buttons "Active scripting", "Allow paste operations via script", and "Scripting of Java applets" are selected.

  5. Select OK to exit current popup window, then OK again.

  6. Refresh or Reload your browser.

For Netscape Communicator:

  1. On your browser, select Preferences under Edit on your top navigation menu.

  2. Select the Advanced heading on the left navigation menu.

  3. Make sure the Enable JavaScript box on the right is checked.

  4. Select OK to exit.

  5. Refresh or Reload your browser.

How do I use my DVD remote control to navigate the DVD?

When you place the Movies-2-DVD produced DVD disk in the DVD Player, the "Menu" should appear on your television screen. You should then use your DVD Remote Control features to navigate the DVD's various menu and playback options. Each Movies-2-DVD menu has a background graphic with buttons (or hotspots). These buttons will normally allow you to:

  • Play a specific "Title or Chapter" of the DVD
    (using the 4 arrow buttons on your remote control (up / down / left / right) highlight the specific chapter picture you wish to play - and then press activate (this could be labeled enter or select)

  • Select additional menu pages
    (highlight picture next to: "Press for Chapter Menu", and press select)

  • Play the entire DVD from the start
    (Triangle or Arrow pointing to Right, highlight picture, press activate)

     

  • Next or Previous Menu
    (Triangle with Double Bars on left (backwards) or Double Bars on right (forwards), highlight picture, press activate)

     

  • Go to Menu Home
    (the first Menu page, highlight picture of a house, and press activate)

     

Other DVD Features that you may find useful (please use your DVD player's owners manual or remote control instructions):

  • Skipping Chapters

  • Searching (fast forward)

  • Step (freeze frame and frame advance)

  • Slow Motion playback

  • Menu

  • Repeat Play / Random Play

All DVD remote controls have 4 arrow keys to allow the viewer to select onscreen buttons, plus a select (or activate) key, numeric keys, a menu key and a return key. DVD Remote controls may include a variety of other functions, such as next, previous, search to part of title (chapter) and select audio track, and specific features related to your brand and model of DVD Player. The most simple type of DVD Video disk has a single movie (or title). Disk playback can be controlled using the usual transport controls found on the DVD Player’s remote control.

A DVD disk can be divided into individual chapters. You should be able to skip to a specific chapter on the DVD by using your DVD Players remote control feature for Chapter Selection.

What files and folders are on a DVD?

DVD specifications provide for DVD-Video and DVD-Audio files and folders. These specialized data files are normally stored in special folders.

DVD File types:

IFO (Information) Menus and other information about the video and audio
BUP Backup files
VOB (Video Object) MPEG program streams with navigation and search information.
AOB (for DVD-Audio) Similar to .VOB files, but for DVD Audio disks

DVD Folders:

VIDEO_TS folder This folder stores the IFO, VOB and BUP files (required for DVD Player compatibility)
AUDIO_TS folder DVD Audio folder which stores the AOB files
 

What is a "Picture Montage"?

A Picture Montage- is a series of slides, photographs, or negatives set to music. We also call this a slide show. As an example, a wedding "Picture Montage" could begin with the Bride's childhood pictures, then the Groom's. Finally the picture show could close with pictures of the couple. Music can be used for each group of pictures or for the full montage. If the montage is part of a longer video production, it will usually be shown first. The length of a slideshow is determined by the number of pictures, and the time each picture will be shown. The length of music can also be used to determine the amount of time for each picture. We recommend 6 or 7 seconds per picture.

How to determine if slides are "this side to screen"?

If your slides have been remounted, it may not be obvious which side is to screen. WHEN LOOKING THROUGH THE SLIDE FROM THE "THIS SIDE TO SCREEN" SIDE, YOU SHOULD SEE THE IMAGE IN REVERSE (LIKE LOOKING IN A MIRROR). Some slide mounts have "THIS SIDE TO SCREEN" imprinted in the plastic or written in text (see examples below). You may want to look for printing or text in a picture, (Look for text in the pictures, license plates on vehicles, rotary telephones, shirts with lettering, magazines, wedding rings, men's shirt pockets). All three of the slides shown below are "THIS SIDE TO SCREEN". Here are a few other methods to determine THIS SIDE TO SCREEN or the emulsion side. (A) text will appear backwards in photo. (B) while holding the slide at various angles to light, you may be able to see the texture of the emulsion verses the base side's glossy surface (this technique varies by the type of film - it works well for Kodachrome). (C) The logo of the processor will normally appear on the emulsion / THIS SIDE TO SCREEN side (see picture below for Kodak, but similar for Fuji or Agfa). (D) while holding the slide at various angles to light, a visible "inside curve" bow should be evident in the emulsion / THIS SIDE TO SCREEN side of the film, since slide film bows during processing due to emulsion shrinking as it dries. (E) for negative film, the frame numbers, text, and film type appear backwards along the sprocket edge of the film.


Does PowerPoint Convert to DVD?

We are able to convert "some" PowerPoint presentations to DVD.
The first, and most important questions is: Do you really need PowerPoint?
Or, do you want a DVD slideshow that has the same sequence of slides, timing, audio, that are in your PowerPoint presentation?

There are several limitations for PowerPoint to DVD. First, we do not recommend using PowerPoint as the development / editing tool for television video. PowerPoint is designed for PC monitor and printed presentations, with some export capabilities for web. Television (and DVD video specifications) have significantly lower resolution than computer monitors, and therefore televisions do not make good computer monitors. Since DVD video is designed for current television resolution, it is not a good format for storing computer presentations. As an example, we use 25 - 48 point text for Television, while many PowerPoint presentations are 12 and 14 point text.

Further, televisions "crop" the picture, often by 10 to 15%.

The version of PowerPoint can impact the view and performance of the show.

We find the simplest, lowest cost, and often the best method to “convert” PowerPoint developed "slideshow" presentations is to capture each PowerPoint slide and transfer it to a DVD slide show.

Our DVD slideshows can contain still slides, slides with transitions, movie clips, and audio – however, any “PowerPoint” animation or slide transitions will not be captured – we will just be capturing the still PowerPoint slides.

Slides with a lot of text can be split into 2 or more slides with "text slides” having appropriately larger fonts. Audio capture is definitely possible, and we also have a selection of “royalty free music”. Our timing method for slide changes depends on whether we are using still pictures, or pictures with transitions. Still pictures are based on whole seconds, as counted by the DVD player. Pictures with transitions are actually encoded video movies, and as such are determined by the accuracy of the encoding software. Dissolve transitions take about 2 seconds.

If you would like us to review your presentation and give a recommendation we will gladly do so. If you can burn your PowerPoint to CD-R and send it to us, or put the Presentation on an FTP server, we will download it via the Internet.

Question: Do you "really" need PowerPoint on DVD?

A few suggestions for text and graphics:

1) Use thick lines to avoid "shimmer".
2) Keep graphics simple due to low TV resolution
3) Avoid saturated colors, like bright red.
4) Keep text away from the edges of the picture due to TV "cropping". Use a 5 to 10% "title safe" zone around your images.

How is movie film prepared for Telecine transfer?

Preparing movie film for telecine involves moving your smaller reels of regular 8, super 8, or 16mm movie film onto larger (7 inch) reels, and adding about 3 feet leader to the head and tail of the roll. A short section of leader is left between each reel to aid in the editing process. The reels are spliced in the sequence they will play on your finished DVD. Prepping for telecine cleans and conditions your film removing surface mildew and dust. In addition, new reels and containers are provided so your film is ready to be put back into storage.

What are common effects and causes of movie film problems?

You may not have viewed your movie film for many years, and when viewed on DVD and television some of the problems associated with taking and handling movie film will now be viewable on your converted video. This is a list of "effects and causes" published by movie film manufactures (including Kodak), along with a few comments of our own to help explain these effects. You must also include the age and quality of the film, film processing techniques, and the effects of time and other chemical processes that tend to gradually deteriorate the quality of film images, emulsions, and the film.

Effect: Red or Yellow Streaks along edges, sometimes with clear sections. 
Cause: Film light-struck when loading or unloading camera. (This is one of the most common problems with 8mm movie film. Since the film had to be "turned over" at the half way point, there was a good chance that you wouldn't be in a dark room to perform this operation. We tend to see this at the ends of reels, and mainly on the left hand side -- with light "flares" the most pronounced around the sprocket holes)

Effect: Unsteady picture
Cause: Camera was not held steady. Tripod shots are very nice. Take Panoramic very slowly. (digital stabilization was a very good invention).

Effect: Blurred Picture
Cause: Incorrect focus or distance too close with fixed focus camera. (we often see film shot with zoom cameras that did not maintain focus throughout the zoom range)

Effect: Green Appearance, sometimes with dark spots or mottled.
Cause: Film may have been subjected to excessive heat or humidity, or used after expiration date. Film must be processed promptly. (we often see this green mottled appearance on film that has visible mildew or fungus - our automatic white balancing does provide a limited amount of color correction).

Effect: Very dark pictures without shadow detail (may be back-lighted subject)
Cause: Underexposure - lens opening should have been larger. If pictures were indoors, age, type, or voltage rating of lamps may have been cause.

Effect: Flat or Misty Pictures
Cause: Oil, dust, or moisture on camera lens.

Effect: Uneven bottom or top of picture
Cause: Dirt or film emulsion collected in gate of camera. (Since we can see the entire frame during conversion, this specific problem appears to have been quite common. While some films have very straight and clean top and bottom frame, others will have very uneven frames - sometimes with a section that protrudes into the captured image.)

Effect: Light Pictures with wash-out appearance lacking detail in highlights
Cause: Overexposure - lens opening was too large.

Effect: Black lengths of film with little or no image
Cause: Film was not exposed or seriously underexposed. (we try to cut these completely dark sections out in editing - but our automatic exposure does a good job of pulling images off very dark film).

Effect: Jumpy or Vibrating pictures with vertical distortion
Cause: Incorrect threading and loop formation. (this effect may also be caused by damaged film sprocket holes. However, we do see some film that is misaligned in relation to the sprocket hole from frame to frame as we advance the film one frame at a time. This would appear to be a threading or camera related problem)

Effect: Excessive Blueness
Cause: Type A Film used in daylight without the required filter. Daylight film exposed in open shade or on cloudy overcast days may give bluish results.

Effect: Light circular spots or curved streaks
Cause: Sun or lights shining directly into camera or filter.

Effect: Pictures Green ,Red, or Yellow
Cause: Filter for black-and-white film may have been accidentally left on camera.

Effect: Excessive redness
Cause: If daylight pictures, film was exposed early or late in day. If indoors, Daylight film was used with flood lamp illumination.

Effect: Double Exposure / Half-Exposure
Cause: Film developers often received 8mm film with the end perforated "half-exposed" on the outside. The film would be processed because they could not determine whether it had been only half exposed, or whether it had been completely exposed and then the first half used again (resulting in double exposure). A take up spool marked "half-exposed" was even offered without charge to help alleviate this problem.

Storage of Film
Processed color film should be stored where it is dark, dry, and cool. Keep stored film away from heaters or other places where it may be subjected to high temperatures or moisture.

Is my Regular 8mm movie film 25 feet or 50 feet?

This question is often asked due to the "25 feet" markings on the side of some Kodak "Double 8mm film" boxes. The 3 inch diameter reels of processed Regular 8mm film are 50 feet in length.

8mm film was purchased as "Double 8" reels. Each of the reels was 25 feet of film with 8mm perforations, but 16mm wide (see picture of exposed film). Therefore, before processing, a roll of regular-8mm film is really a roll of 16mm film, with twice as many perforations due to the smaller frame size. The camera first records images along one side of the film, then after 25 feet have been shot, the roll is flipped, and the other side of the film is exposed. After processing the film, the lab splits the film into two 8mm strips, splices them together, and returns a 50 foot feel of 8mm film. Thus a 25-foot "Double 8mm" reel produces 50 feet of Regular 8mm film.

Can "Foreign Film" be Transferred?

We have successfully transferred customer's movie film originally purchased from Germany, Russia, China, Italy, Japan, South Africa, and other countries. Fuji's "Single 8" film was designed to be compatible with standard Super 8 projectors (even though it did take a special camera to shoot Single 8). Other films are normally compatible with our Regular 8 and 16mm projection systems.


What is Film Emulsion Deterioration, and why clean movie film?

Recommended reading: www.kodak.com

Emulsion deterioration results from fungus, mold, and mildew. Micro organisms are attracted to the organic part of the film emulsion. The higher the humidity, the more likely to have this type of problem (>60% - tropics, or storage in attics and basements are especially a problem). Fungus and mold are normally found on the film emulsion side. Left unattended, the fungus and mold continue to grow, and will eventually destroy the emulsion. Damage tends to be greater at the beginning of film rolls.

Damaged film must be thoroughly cleaned to remove fungi, some sections of the film may even need to be removed and respliced. Depending on the extent of damage, images may be only slightly mottled (we have often seen "snowflake" patterns on film), to excessive visual distraction and at times  absence of discernable images. We recognize that these images may be the only memory available, so we limit the editing, but will edit out major damage. Our editing is normally done in software, not by film splicing. Obviously, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, so it is  better to avoid the need to remove any footage by careful maintenance and storage.

Film can be damaged by poor splicing. A poor splice can cause the film to jump the projector sprockets and tear the perforations or break the film. Damaged, or missing film leader should also be replaced.

  • Use only high-quality film-cleaning solutions. Do not use alcohol.
  • On film with magnetic tracks, check a short section of film.
  • Use a soft, lint-free cloth. Do not use dyed cloths. 
  • Refold as necessary to keep a clean surface in contact with the film.
  • Wear protective gloves and have proper ventilation.
  • Let the cleaner evaporate before winding the film onto the reel.
  • Keep the cloth damp, but not soaking wet.

What does "AVI" mean, and can I edit my video files?

  • AVI stands for "Audio Video Interleave"
  • If your computer system has the appropriate hardware and software, then you can edit an AVI file. Our "frame by frame" movie film transfers are  captured in the AVI format. We then use the AVI files edit your movie and finally encode the DVD in MPEG2 format. The AVI capture files are the best file to use for archival purposes, and can also be used for editing. We write AVI files to "data" DVD discs as these files can be very large. We put no copy protection on the AVI files or on the DVDs we encode.

  • AVI is a common format for audio and video for computers. AVI 1.0 is defined by Microsoft as a VFW (Video For Windows) standard. (AVI 2.0 is not supported by Video for Windows). AVI can contain both video and audio information. The audio and video portions of the file are synchronized. It is a special case of the RIFF (Resource Interchange File Format). Different AVI files may be encoded with different "codecs" which vary in quality and performance (compressors and decompressors ; COders and DECoders). Thus, just having an AVI player does mean you can play all AVI files. (you'll need to separately install the codec for the AVI file). Multimedia, and Video files in particular, can become extremely large. These multi-gigabyte file sizes quickly reach the limits imposed by hardware, operating systems, and the video standards themselves.
    PLEASE NOTE SOME ADDITIONAL LIMITATIONS:
    (1) MOVIES-2-DVD does not provide technical support for configuring your computer, hardware, operating system, or video editing systems. We do not guarantee that our implementation of video standards (including AVI) will playback on your system. See our Terms & Conditions.
    (2) For all files, there is a limitation in Windows95/98 of 2 gigabytes (GB) with the FAT16 (File Allocation Tables) that limits files (regardless of file type) to 2 GB. On computers using the FAT32 file system, the maximum file size is 4 GB. For files larger than 4GB, load NTFS (NT File System) on your Windows NT / Windows 2000 / or Windows XP machine. The NTFS file limitation is 2 terabytes.
    (3) Video editing systems based upon OpenDML, a standard based on Direct Show technology, extend the AVI specification to address file size limitations. If your video software (editor and player) and drivers support OpenDML, the file size of AVI files should be limited only by your operating system, disk size, and the type of formatting the hard disk uses (FAT32 / or NTFS).

    (4) AVI file playback quality is highly dependent upon the computer processor, video card, codec, and bit rate.  

What is Movies-2-DVD's Privacy Policy?   

  • Our entire Privacy Policy is stated in our Terms & Conditions.
  • If you are purchasing something from Movies-2-DVD, we need to know your name, e-mail address, mailing address, credit card number and expiration date. This allows us to process and fulfill your order and to notify you of your order status. This information may also be used by us to notify you of related products and services. We will not reveal, rent, or otherwise make available any credit card, e-mail address, or other personal information to non-governmental third parties.

Do I have to fill out an order form to get a price?   

  • No, you do not. If you want to call us (we have a toll free number in the U.S.) or send us an email describing your project, we will gladly work with you to answer questions, and get the information necessary to determine the price. We will fill out the "quantities" part of the order form for you, save it as a PDF document, and then email or fax this to you. You can then review, and if you accept, you can then complete the shipping and billing information, sign the order, and send it with your media. If your request is so unique that our order form won't work, we will send a custom quote to you (either an email, or for detailed orders - an Excel Spreadsheet saved as a PDF document). We recommend that you print a copy of any emails and include them with your order in case there are special instructions included.  No matter how we send you a price, Movies-2-DVD's Terms & Conditions always apply.

How do I contact you?   

  • In the U.S., Canada, and parts of the Caribbean, our toll free number is:
    1-888-824-7688, we are in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone. Our direct dial number is: 1-239-206-3448. We are often available late, and on weekends. You are welcome to leave a voice mail message if we are not able to take your call. Please leave you name, number, detailed message, and email address.
  • You may send email to any of the following addresses: INFO@movies-2-dvd.com, or Movies2DVD@hotmail.com
  • Our Shipping address is: 6017 Pine Ridge Road # 304, Naples, FL  34119
  • For Commercial orders, we will gladly provide our Federal EIN.
  • Movies-2-DVD is owned by Big Guy Enterprises, Inc.

Why is DVD better than tape?   

  • First, DVD discs do not age, deteriorate, or wear out from use. The picture quality of DVD is consistent from the first to the thousandth play. DVD discs are unaffected by magnetic fields, which can literally erase a VHS cassette. Tapes both wear with use, and deteriorate over time. A DVD disc is not physically touched while it spins in the player, so there is no wear and tear or loss of fidelity. Video tapes do touch a playback mechanism and eventually degrade the quality of the picture.
  • Second, copies of DVD discs are exact duplicates, with picture quality identical to the original. Copies can be kept for safe keeping and future generations, or given to each member of your family so they can have their own copy of your family memories. Copies of analog video tapes are always poorer quality.
  • Third, the picture quality specifications of DVD are almost twice the resolution of VHS tape. DVD technology has the capability to produce near-studio-quality video and better-than-CD-quality audio. However, if we are converting from a VHS tape, the quality will be the same but the disc will not deteriorate over time. 
  • Fourth, you don't have to rewind a DVD.

What are the benefits of your Slide and Negative Scanning? 

How should I prepare my tapes or slides for shipment?   

  • PACK YOUR MATERIAL WELL: Boxes can be dropped and X-Rayed in shipment. You may wish to use "bubble wrap" to cushion and secure your slides in a box. We recommend marking the outside of the container "FRAGILE", "PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL",  and "MAGNETIC VIDEO TAPE - DO NOT X-RAY". We have included a preaddressed shipping label at the bottom of this form that you may wish to cut out and use. Also, include your return address on the inside of the package. Mail and shipping boutiques provide specialty packaging material and services designed for Video Tape and CD/ DVD materials.
  • SHIPPING AND HANDLING: We ship and receive primarily FEDEX, UPS, and US Mail. FEDEX and UPS provides a Tracking Number, so it is much easier to verify the status, delivery, and location of your order. Unless instructed otherwise, your materials will be returned via FEDEX "Express Saver" service with a tracking number. Please allow 5 -7 days for delivery. RUSH order shipping charges will be adjusted accordingly and will result in an additional charges.  When you ship, email us at:  INFO@movies-2-dvd.com your tracking number so we can watch for your package.
  • SLIDE AND PRINT SERVICES: Physically number and initial each 35mm positive slide or positive print (Black & White, or Color, up to 8" X 10") in order of position in slideshow. Put an ARROW indicating "UP or TOP" on each slide or print (sticky pads work well for prints). For slides, physically write "THIS SIDE TO SCREEN or TSTS" on each slide, indicating correct viewing. REMEMBER, WHEN LOOKING THROUGH THE SLIDE FROM THE "THIS SIDE TO SCREEN" SIDE, YOU SHOULD SEE THE IMAGE IN REVERSE. Some newer slide mounts have "This Side To Screen" imprinted in the plastic. This may help to give a sanity check. If your slides are stored in carousel reels or other storage containers, and you prefer to not to remove and repack, we can work from that. Spend some time reviewing and sorting the sequence of your pictures. Each slide, negative, or print must be numbered according to where you want it in the slide show (even if you just want us to scan, we will use a file naming method that incorporates your slide number). Rubber bands can be used around the slides to maintain the correct sorting order.

How does a scanner work?   
A scanner is a device that translates a picture into an array of dots. The size of each dot is controlled by the scanning resolution; it can be modified from a very large dot to a very small dot to capture the desired amount of detail from the image. When you increase the resolution of the scan, you create an image of the same dimensions containing many more dots of color information. This information is then stored in a computer file.

What is "Twain"?   
TWAIN is an interface that directly acquires image data from an external source (scanner) within an application that is already running. This interface is designed to act as an industry standard to make it possible for software companies to develop one version of their software to be used with other TWAIN-compliant applications. This new technology allows a computer operating system (Windows) to store a smaller set of drivers that can be accessed by all TWAIN-compliant applications.

What materials should I not send?   

  • Do not send any commercially copyrighted material. Our services are for customers who own the media, video, audio, and images that we are requested to process. Obviously, you own the copyright on your own home movies. Also, do not send any objectionable or pornographic material. If the general public would label your material as degrading, offensive, illegal, "For Mature Audiences", "R", or "X" rated, do not request our services.

Can I order on Line?   
While our "Order Form" is available on line, no personal financial information entered on the Order Form is sent across the Internet.
We recommend that you complete the Order Form while being viewed in your browser, print Two Copies, Verify that the billing and shipping information is complete, Sign One Copy and send it with your Order. Using your browser to fill out the Order Form allows enables the use of the built in pricing calculator, printing a second copy for your records, and the assistance with filling out some of the information. You are welcome to print out a blank Order Form, do the math yourself, hand write in the information, sign it, and send a copy with your media. We do not presently offer any products that you could use an Internet "Shopping Cart" to place on line orders with a credit card. We offer processing services for media that you will need to send us. We do not charge a sale to your Credit Card until we are ready to ship your order. If we have provided a custom quote, we still need you to complete the billing and shipping portions of the on-line form, sign it, and include a copy the custom quote with your order.

What types of payment does Movies-2-DVD accept?   
We accept check, money order, or credit card payment of Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express, or PayPal. You may also contact us regarding "check by fax". All prices are in U.S. Dollars, single quantity (each). Prices subject to change. Final price will be based upon Movies-2-DVD review of your order for completeness, and / or our providing a firm quotation for services requested. Shipping and Handling charges are extra (unless there is a specific discount; such as total amount of order). Florida residents (shipping addresses) must add sales tax. Check or Money order should be sent only after receiving a firm quote, or if you are ordering a special package with all costs included. Payment arrangements must be made at the time of order. If payment is made via check or money order, we will hold shipment of your order until funds clear. Sorry, no C.O.D. orders accepted. Make checks payable to: Movies-2-DVD

For Credit Card Orders, the billing name on your Credit Card Statement will be: Big Guy Enterprises, Inc. -- which owns and operates Movies-2-DVD.

       

When and How will my order be shipped?   
Depending on the season, normal processing turn around is about 1 to 2 weeks. Contact us via email or call for current delivery times. For most U.S. destinations, we ship with FEDEX Ground, or USPS Priority Mail. You also have the option of  Next Day, 2nd Day, or 3 day Express Saver. We can ship your order on your FEDEX or UPS account if preferred (email or call us with your account #). We can also ship United States Postal Service, or UPS, if necessary.

What is the Card Code for Credit Card Orders?   
Card Code (also called CVV2 or CVC2): a 3 or 4-digit number usually found on the back (Amex on front) of the credit card (see examples below). For Visa, MasterCard, and Discover, the Card Code is on the same line as the customer’s signature, following the last four digits of the credit card number. American Express has a 4-digit card code on the front of the card. Card code provides an added measure of security. Credit Card companies are implementing this as an added security measure to protect both merchants and consumers.


What are your "Terms and Conditions"? 
We have a dedicated webpage for our Terms & Conditions. (Please click to follow the hyperlink). You may download our Terms & Conditions as a PDF file from this page. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of our Terms & Conditions. Please r
ead and agree to our Terms and Conditions before placing an order. All orders and pricing are subject to our  Terms and Conditions.

How do I evaluate your service and quality?   
We have an Evaluation Package that will allow you to validate that your systems (DVD players and Computers) will support our DVD-R and DVD media and formats. The recommended method of evaluation is to send a smaller order for processing. This will let you see and judge the quality of our services for yourself, using your media. You should expect good quality from first generation (original) VHS, Standard 8, or Hi 8 Camcorder tapes and even better quality from Digital-8 or Mini-DV video tape. If you are considering purchasing a DVD player, you should confirm that the new system will support advanced features such as our DVD-R media. 

What happens if my DVD player won't play your media?   
 While VCD, SVCD, DVD, MPEG1, MPEG2, DVD-R, and CD-R are widely accepted worldwide standards, we do not guarantee that our media will playback on your specific systems. You are responsible for resolving any compatibility issues between your DVD player and our CD or DVD-R media and audio / video formats. Please refer to your owner's manual, other third-party compatibility lists, or your equipment manufacturer. All sales are final and orders may not be returned or cancelled after processing for incompatibility. Compatible DVD systems are very low cost. DVD-R is a write once format and is compatible with many existing DVD-ROM drives and many DVD-Video players. Not all DVD players support the MPEG audio compression format, which could result in normal video playback, but lack of audio. From a compatibility perspective, DVD-R is supported by about 85% of all DVD players ever produced through 2001, but nearly 100% of players manufactured since 2002.

What kind of warranty does Movies-2-DVD have?   
For 90 days after shipment, MOVIES-2-DVD will evaluate any faulty disc or claim that any VCD, SVCD, or DVD conversion was performed improperly. At our discretion, we may replace the disc or perform the conversion again. Both original source material and faulty VCD, SVCD, DVD, CD-R, or DVD-R media must be retur
ned to MOVIES-2-DVD for analysis, evaluation, and possible conversion.  This Warranty shall not apply to any damage or loss by misuse, accident, mishandling, or any treatment under improper conditions. Movies-2-DVD does not warrant that our DVD or CD recordable media, or encoded audio or video formats will playback properly on your specific systems. We recommend that you securely store, and routinely test, backup copies of your encoded DVD movies to prevent irreplaceable loss. While DVD media manufactures may provide limited lifetime warranties (such as claims of 100 year life expectancy for DVD and CD media), their warranties only provide for the replacement of the media (a new blank disc). Movies-2-DVD (and to our knowledge, all of our various media, hardware, and software suppliers) expressly exclude incidental and consequential damages caused by use of, or inability to use, their respective products. The full text of our warranty statement is found in our Terms and Conditions.  Please read and accept our  Terms and Conditions before placing an order.

Can I get technical help?   
We recommend that you read this Frequently Asked Questions section completely. Obviously we
want happy, repeat customers who will recommend our service to their friends. Most of our customer questions fall into two categories: (1) DVD player compatibility. This normally involves DVD-R support or audio support issues such as support for MPEG audio. The second category of questions (2) is advanced file formats for additional editing by customers. We can provide MPEG2 and / or AVI data files on DVD for your use. If you have additional questions, don't see what your looking for, or would like to discuss custom services, please call us or send an email to: INFO@movies-2-dvd.com and include a day and evening phone number. If your question is a common one, we may include it on this page.  We can make no commitment to solve problems other than the Frequently Asked Questions available on our website.

Should I send "original" tapes... film.... slides... or negatives, and will they be sent back to me?   
Yes, the original media (tapes, film, slides, or negatives) will provide much better quality. You will receive your original media packaged with your DVD.
 

Why do you have two DVD quality standards for Movie Transfers?   
We want to provide you with the best quality results. Our charge for either our High-Quality or our Standard-Quality is basically the same, except for encoding and burning additional DVD discs. Our High Quality encoding improves picture quality by increasing the average video data rate over of our Standard 2 hour encoding. This additional data can fill the DVD disc twice as fast. Therefore, we can only fit one hour of High Quality video on a DVD, while a Standard Quality  encoded DVD can hold two hours.
Quality depends on many factors. Both our Hi-Q and Std-Q encoding use MPEG-2 format - we prefer to use Variable Bit Rate (VBR) encoding versus Constant Bit Rate (CBR) encoding, as VBR will provide better overall average video quality. Our Hi-Q average video data rates are kept near 6 Mbps (Mega Bits Per Second). Our Standard Quality average video data rates are kept between 3 and 4 Mbps. At an average bit rate of 4.5Mbs, a single sided DVD disc has the playback capability of about 120 minutes of quality audio and video images. Using MPEG audio instead of PCM audio provides additional space on the DVD for video. However, a poor or noisy analog video signal can consume significant encoding bandwidth in the digital encoding process. At average video data rates of 3.5 to 5 Mbps (million bits/second), compression artifacts may be occasionally noticeable. Higher data rates can result in higher quality, with almost no perceptible difference from the master at rates above 6 Mbps. 

What if my tapes won't fit on the DVD?   
You have two choices. Split the video across multiple DVD discs, or use lower encoding quality. Our Hi-Quality encoding fills a DVD with 60 minutes of video, our Std-Q encoding to put up to 2 hours of video on each DVD disc.

What Are "DVD Menus"?   
When your DVD first starts, the Menu page will appear. You will be able to pick from the selection of scenes and go directly to that point of the DVD. The first menu will normally play a DVD movie straight through from the beginning. An example DVD Slide Show menu is shown below. In this example, there are 6 menu items (can be up to 99), each menu can have a short text label below (not required), the numbers 1-6 at the top left indicate which corresponding buttons on the DVD remote control will play that slide show (not required to be displayed). The image shown on menu for each slide show is the first picture of that slide show. Since there are more that 6 slide shows on this DVD, there are page numbers and page forward / page backward controls. The background picture was chosen from one of the slide shows, or we can use a background from a template.

 

What Media Types are Accepted?   
We accept S-VHS, VHS, VHS-C, BetaMax, Digital-8, Mini-DV, standard 8 (8mm tape), Hi-8 tape, 8mm film, Super 8 film, and 16mm film formats, 35mm slides, 35mm color and black and white negatives, print media, and audio cassette tapes for DVD conversion services. We can also convert to Video Compact Disc (VCD), Super Video Compact Disc (SVCD), Digital Versatile Disc (DVD), WEB, or Audio CD digital formats. Please label, number, and title (name) each tape or movie reel. Physically number in the sequence you wish your slides to appear in the slide show, and initial each  35mm slide, negative, or positive print (Black & White, or Color, up to 8" X 10") in order of position in slideshow. Put arrow indicating "UP" on each slide or print. For slides, physically write "THIS SIDE TO SCREEN or TSTS" on each slide. If your slides are stored in carousel reels or other storage containers, and you prefer to not to remove and repack, we can work from that.

What is a "Video Artifact"?    
Anything that was not present in the original picture.
Digital compression and encoding leave artifacts in the produced image. At times these artifacts become noticeable as color banding, blurriness, blockiness, fuzzy dots, shimmering, or missing detail. When encoding from poor quality tape, artifacts are increased due to tracking problems, streaking, sparkle effects, popping noises, signal noise, blurring, or rapid movements in the original material. The quality of the converted VCD, SVCD, or DVD is therefore dependent on the current condition of the supplied tape, the quality of the original images, and the speed or resolution at which the material was recorded. MOVIES-2-DVD offers a HI-Q (HI-Quality) encoding format that reduces, but does not eliminate, digital artifacts. Due to higher bit rates and the type of compression, DVD will have fewer artifacts that SVCD or VCD. Artifacts can also be caused by a poorly adjusted TV, bad cables, electrical interference, film grain, player faults, disc read errors, etc. Most commercially produced motion picture DVDs exhibit few visible MPEG compression artifacts on a properly configured system.

What does "CD or CD-R" mean, and does my DVD player support it?    
Compact Disc. Compact Disc - Recordable. Older DVD players were not built to read CD-R. The problem is that CD and DVD discs use different laser wavelengths.
Newer DVD players solve the problem by using two lasers at different wavelengths: one for reading DVDs and the other for reading CDs.

We use CD-R media. This is the industry emblem associated with CD-R (Compact Disc Recordable), look for it in your DVD player owner's manual.
We can also produce on CD-RW (Compact Disc ReWritable) media as custom work. This is the industry emblem associated with CD-RW, look for it in your DVD player owner's manual.

What does "DVD or DVD-R" mean, and does my DVD player support it?    
Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc. Digital Versatile Disc - Recordable. DVD is a high density optical disc capable of recording high quality pictures and sound.  ** Your player must support DVD-R to play our DVDs.

There are differences between the DVD-R media we use and the DVD Videos used for commercial movies. A DVD-R disc is a one-time recordable DVD disc.  The DVD-R is the only reasonable disc media to use when creating individual or one-off DVD products.  A mass produced DVD Video is created using a replication process where a "glass master" is used to produce other masters, or molds, which are used to mass produce DVDs using a press or mold-injection process.  The glass mastering and creation of molds is very expensive. Therefore, the mold-injection process is not economical for less than 1000 discs.  That's why a recordable DVD, or DVD-R, is used for low production runs. 

To see a list of stand alone and computer-based players that support the DVD, VCD, SVCD and miniDVD formats, please check the List of DVD Players at www.dvdr.com. NOTE : This information is only provided as a reference. Movies-2-DVD does not take responsibility for information on http://www.dvdrhelp.com. If a player is not listed, it does not necessarily mean that it is not compatible.  

We use DVD-R media. This is the industry emblem associated with DVD-R, look for it in your DVD player owner's manual.
We can also produce on DVD-RW media as custom work. This is the industry emblem associated with DVD-RW, look for it in your DVD player owner's manual.
At present, we DO NOT support DVD+R, or DVD+RW media. Please let us know if there is a specific need for DVD+R, or DVD+RW.
What audio capabilities does DVD have?    
PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) is the same format of uncompressed digital audio as used on Audio CDs. Having from one to eight channels, it can be sampled at 48 or 96 kHz with 16, 20, or 24 bits per sample. Audio CD is limited to 44.1 kHz at 16 bits, with a maximum bit rate of 6.144 Mbps. DVD players support these variations of PCM, but some may subsample 96 kHz down to 48 kHz, and some may not use all 20 or 24 bits.
MPEG audio is multi-channel digital audio, using compression with sample rate of 48 kHz at 16 bits. Both MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 formats are supported. The variable bit rate is 32 kbps to 912 kbps, with 384 being the average. MPEG-1 is limited to 384 kbps. MPEG-2 surround channels are in an extension stream matrixed onto the MPEG-1 stereo channels, which makes MPEG-2 audio compatible with MPEG-1. Dolby Digital is multi-channel digital audio, with a sample rate of 48 kHz at up to 24 bits. The bit rate is 64 kbps to 448 kbps, with 384 kbps the normal rate for 5.1 channels and 192 kbps being the normal rate for stereo. NTSC discs have PCM or Dolby Digital on at least one track, with the other tracks in any format. For stereo output, players have a 2-channel Dolby Digital decoder. This decoder mixes 5.1 channels down to Dolby Surround stereo. Both Dolby Digital and MPEG-2 support 2-channel Dolby Surround. Dolby Digital, known also as "AC-3",  is a digitally compressed audio format characterized by its ability to offer as many as six separate digital audio channels.

What does "JPEG" mean?    
Joint Photographic Experts Group. A standard algorithm for the compression of digital images. The compression quality can be varied, from low = 30, medium = 50, high =70, maximum = 100 (we set JPEG compression quality to 100). The majority of the images and graphics shown on our Web site are JPEG images, a few are GI
F (Graphic Interchange Format. Another common image file format often used for basic images and graphic elements with only a few colors.)

What does "MPEG" mean?     
Motion Pictures Expert Group,
a joint committee of the International Standards Organization and the International Electrochemical Commission.

We offer MPEG2 data files for your computer editing. There is one MPEG2 file for each “video DVD” that we encode. We can also provide the raw AVI file (see discussion regarding AVI) or MPEG2 file to data UDF DVD-R discs. The AVI files are raw, the file has not been speed adjusted (for movie film), chapter points are not included, and all of the movie film leader will be visible since this is the RAW captured file. (Adobe Premiere and other video editing tools can do the speed adjustment) The MPEG2 files have been speed adjusted and edited, include our chapter points, and any audio that has been included. Please note that we do not provide technical support for customer hardware / software / systems configuration. 

MPEG is a set of standards for the compression of digital video and audio data. MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 are the two standards we commonly use in our services. By storing only the changes between video "frames," an MPEG "encoder" is able to compress video data. The MPEG-2 standard is widely used for digital satellite, digital cable, and DVD video. VCD movies use MPEG-1 while DVD and SVCD movies use MPEG-2. MPEG-2 video has a resolution of 720 or 704 x 480 in 24-bit (16.8 million) colors at 30 frames per second (fps) for NTSC. For video bit rates below 1.5 Mbps, MPEG-1 is typically used. MPEG-1 video reduces the resolution of the video by 50% horizontally and vertically. MPEG-1 has a resolution of 352 x 240 in 24-bit (16.8 million) colors at 30 fps for NTSC.

What does "NTSC" mean, and are my tapes in this format?    
National Television Standards Committee. The signal type of your VHS or Camcorder tapes should be NTSC to play our media. The European standards is PAL. Contact us if you are interested in PAL to NTSC conversion. All of our systems are configured for NTSC input and output. We have limited testing capabilities for supporting PAL. ** Your player must support NTSC signal type to play our media. 

Background: The National Television Systems Committee (NTSC) defined the standards for commercial television broadcasting in the United States, Canada, Japan, and parts of Central and South America. The standard chosen was 525 lines, at thirty frames per second. In Europe, Australia, and parts of Central and South America, however, the Phase Alteration Line (PAL) standard, using 625 lines at 25 frames per second, was chosen. NTSC and PAL are not compatible. Therefore, DVD has the same NTSC vs. PAL problem as videotape. The MPEG video that is on DVD discs is stored in one of these digital formats. There are three primary differences: picture size and aspect ratio, display frame rate, and surround audio. Video from film is usually stored at 24 frames per second, but when transferred to DVD, it is usually preformatted for either NTSC or PAL. Movies formatted for PAL display are usually sped up by 4%, so the audio must be adjusted accordingly before being encoded. Some DVD players play NTSC, some play PAL, and some will play both. Because of the space available on DVD discs, many commercial movie producers include all formats.

What is Adobe® Acrobat® Reader and why do I need it?   
 Adobe® Acrobat® Reader is free software that enables you to view and print Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader if you want to download and print our Terms & Conditions. Also, we often send custom quotations as Adobe PDF files, which require Acrobat Reader to view and print. If you do not have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software, click on the button below to download and install it.

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What Browser should be used view this site?   
This site is tested with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. This site is best viewed using Microsoft Internet Explorer, with Java and Flash plugins installed. Without the plugins, all text should be viewable, but not some animated graphics.
http://java.sun.com/getjava/
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http://www.flash.com/   

What does "SVCD" mean, and does my DVD player support it?    
Super
Video CD. Our SVCD can be played back on most newer DVD players or computers that support SVCD and CD-R.  Most older (and some newer) DVD players do not support the SVCD format. SVCD has better resolution than VCD, but with only 35 minutes video record time per CD-R disc. MPEG-2 encoding, NTSC signal, 480X480 frame size, 2.4Mb/sec data rate at 30 frames per second. Contact us if you are interested in SVCD video. Your player would need to support SVCD and our CD-R media.  

Background: Super VCD (SVCD) standard is set by the China National Committee of Standards & Philips, Sony, Matsushita and JVC. It is based on MPEG-2 technology with variable bit rate (VBR) support. SVCD can deliver up to 2 times sharper video images than VCD.

 

SVCD Vs VCD

Item

SVCD

VCD 2.0

Video
bit rate (mbps)
resolution NTSC (HxV)

Mpeg-2
variable to 2.6
480x480

Mpeg-1
1.15
352 x 240

Still Picture
resolution NTSC (HxV)

Mpeg-2
480 x 480,704 x 480

Mpeg-1
352 x 240, 704 x 480

Audio
bit rate
audio channels
surround sound

MPEG-1, layer II
from 32 to 384 kbps
up to 2 stereo or 4 mono
MPEG-2 (5+1) extension

MPEG-1, layer II
fixed to 224 kbps
1 stereo or 2 mono
stereo with Dolby pro-logic

What is "TAPE DEGRADATION", and how critical is it?   
 

Videotape has an effective life of about 15 years under ideal conditions. Many home videos are now approaching this age and are in danger of irreversible damage. If your irreplaceable family memories are on tape, they're vanishing. We offer a reliable and affordable way of saving these moments for your children and for your family's future generations. The most secure storage for your memories is the CD / DVD digital format. Images on CD and DVD retain their video and audio without deterioration over thousands of playbacks. A digital conversion of your tape now will stop any further loss of video and audio quality. Damage to the tape by age and the elements is continuous, unstoppable, and irreversible. Once video streaking, sparkle effects, popping noises, are noticeable, the deterioration accelerates.

Background / Reference Material:

According to the AMIA (The Association of Moving Image Archivists - a non-profit professional association established to advance the field of moving image archiving... http://www.amianet.org).

The storage of videotape is complicated by the continuing debate about whether to save the artifact as long as possible or only long enough so that it can be migrated to another format to ward off obsolescence.... The chemical breakdown of videotape binders or coatings due to hydrolysis has been well documented. The binders absorb atmospheric moisture and release acids and alcohols that act as catalysts hastening deterioration... Hydrolysis weakens the binder causing particle shedding, dropouts, and eventual loss of the tape through severe degradation. High humidity increases the rate of moisture absorption; it increases tape pack stresses, distortion, tightness, and dropouts form debris and exudations; and, it results in clogging, sticky shed syndrome or "stiction", scoring, and head wear. High temperatures can also cause damage such as increased tape tightness, pressure, distortion, dropouts from wound in debris, layer to layer adhesion, changes in dimensions, all of which promote tracking errors.

ANSI Recommended Standards for the Extended Storage of Videotape

Maximum Temperature RH Range
20°C/68°F
15°C/59°F
10°C/50°F
20%-30%
20%-40%
20%-50%

According to The Commission on Preservation and Access in a report entitled "Magnetic Tape Storage and Handling - A Guide for Libraries and Archives" by Dr. John W. C. Van Bogart, National Media Laboratory, June 1995, "Magnetic tape degrades by known chemical processes... The binder systems used in today's audio and videotapes are generally based on polyester polyurethanes. These polymers degrade by a process known as hydrolysis - where the polyester linkage is broken by a reaction with water. One of the by-products of this degradation is organic acids. These organic acids accelerate the rate of hydrolytic decomposition. Furthermore, the acids can attack and degrade the magnetic particles... Humidity is more important in determining the lifetime of the VHS tape than the storage temperature. At 20° C (68° F) and 50% RH, an estimated LE value of ~30 years is indicated. If the storage temperature is raised to 25° C (76° F) at 50% RH, the LE is reduced to ~10 years. However, if the humidity is raised to 80% at 20° C (68° F), the LE is reduced to ~5 years... Tapes can fail for several reasons, however. Tapes can become too sticky to play.... They can fail due to a loss in the magnetic signal... They can fail because the magnetic coating has failed to adhere to the tape backing. They can fail due to irreversible shrinkage of the tape substrate.

Unfortunately, the chemical and physical deterioration that is affecting all tapes is an ongoing process. By converting now you're able to capture the video and audio before further deterioration occurs and the digital format of DVD retains the video without further loss of quality.

What does "VCD" mean, and does my DVD player support it?    
Video CD, or Video Compact Disc. There are versions (1.1, 2.0, 3.0). Our VCD slideshows can be played back on most newer DVD players or computers that support VCD and CD-R. Most older DVD players do not support the VCD and / or CD-R format.
VCD format also incorporates high resolution slideshow capabilities. For custom order processing, VCD is capable of storing up to 60 minutes of movie video and audio on a CD-R disc. This format can also be played on a PC using Microsoft's Windows Media Player. MPEG-1 encoding, NTSC signal, 352X240 frame size, 1.5 Mb/sec data rate at 30 frames per second.

Background: The "White Book" specification for Video CD, which was announced by JVC, Philips, SONY and Matsushita in July 1993, is a special implementation of CD-ROM designed to store MPEG-1 video.  The White Book specification defines a disc that can contain up to 74 minutes of VHS-quality, full-screen, full-motion video. Video CD can normally be played on a personal computer with a CD-ROM drive, and many DVD players. One second of uncompressed VHS-quality video would require five megabytes of storage space. Without compression, a 680MB compact disc would thus only hold about two minutes of video. MPEG-1 uses various techniques to compress video data by a factor as high as 200:1. The White Book, version 1.1, has been supplemented over the years by Video CD 2.0 (1995), VCD-ROM (1997), VCD-Internet (1997) and Super VCD (1998). Video CD 2.0 is for interactive PAL and NTSC video, including hi-resolution stills and fast forward / rewind capabilities. 

What does "VHS" mean?    
Video Home System or Vertical Helix Scan (video cassette format / technology). The video cassette format used in most home Video Cassette Recorders. Helical Scan (also known as slant track) recording format wraps the tape around the video scanner in a helix pattern. Current helical scan VCRs use an omega wrap. This configuration wraps the tape around the drum in a horseshoe or U pattern, allowing easy threading or removal of the tape.

What does "VCR" mean?    
Video Cassette Recorder.
An electro-mechanical device used to record and reproduce video and audio signals in a helical scan fashion. The videotape is enclosed within a plastic cartridge or cassette. A threading system in the tape transport mechanism withdraws the tape from the cassette and wraps the tape around numerous guides, the erase head, scanner drum, audio head, and drive capstan. When the eject button is pressed, the threading mechanism unwraps the tape from the transport and winds it back into the cassette.

What is "DV or Mini DV" Tape and recording?    
DV (digital video) is the highest quality of consumer camcorders. These record at 500+ lines of resolution and can be used with compact DV-Mini tapes. With the information stored in digital format, copying between two systems can be done with no loss in quality. Mini DV tapes are available in 30, 60, and 80 minute lengths.  You can have Mini DV Tapes transferred to DVD so you can watch them on a normal DVD player.

What is "DIGITAL8" Tape and recording?    
DIGITAL8 was introduced by Sony, and is superior to HI-8 or 8MM. Digital8 camcorders and VCR's will also play 8MM and HI-8 tapes. A "better quality" 8MM or HI-8 tape will record up to 60 minutes of digital video and audio. A 2 hour HI-8 or 8MM tape will record 60 minutes when done in the Digital8 mode and records up to 500 lines of resolution. 8mm / Hi-8 / Digital-8 camcorders tend to be less expensive than DV camcorders. You can have 8mm / Hi-8 / Digital-8 Tapes transferred to DVD so you can watch them on a normal DVD player. 

What is "HI-8" Tape and recording?    
HI-8 camcorders record their signal at about 400 lines of resolution, less than Mini DV, but higher than 8mm or regular VHS formats. Some quality is lost when copying or editing from HI-8. Tapes from HI-8 camcorders generally must be played using the camera as the source, which means connecting cables to your television or VCR.  You can have Hi-8 Tapes transferred to DVD so you can watch them on a normal DVD player.  

What is "8mm or Standard 8" Tape and recording?    
8mm --- Eight millimeter. Nearly 1/4-inch wide tape used in popular lightweight home camcorders. This is also the width of home movie film which is also called 8mm. 8mm or Standard 8 camcorders often have the same features found in HI-8 units, including image stabilization, strong optical and digital zooms and innovative special effects. Regular 8mm tapes are the exact size and shape as their HI-8 counterparts, but record video at a lower resolution level, and therefore, are less expensive than camcorders which product better image quality. 8mm can record for up to 2 hours and has a resolution of 270 lines.
HI-8 and regular 8mm tapes cannot be played in a standard VHS video recorder, the tapes must be transferred to VHS tape or DVD, or be played in their original camcorder to be viewed on TV.  You can have 8mm Tapes transferred to DVD so you can watch them on a normal DVD player.

What is the difference between "VHS-C and VHS" Tape and recording?    
VHS/VHS-C - VHS-C and full size VHS record at a slightly lower resolution than 8mm. A standard T-120 VHS tape has a recording time of 2 hrs, and the resolution is 250 lines. VHS-C camcorders remain popular, offering many of the features as 8mm camcorders, at an affordable price. These camcorders record directly onto a VHS tape, which you can take out of your camcorder and put directly into your VCR. VHS-C is a compact form of VHS. Smaller in cassette size, the VHS-C format is more convenient since you can use an adapter to play a VHS-C tape in your VCR, since VHS-C is regular VHS videotape wound into a smaller cartridge. Since the cartridge is smaller, the length of VHS/C tape is limited to a maximum of 45 minutes. VHS-C and VHS camcorders are currently the lowest price & quality. 
 You can have VHS or VHS-C Tapes transferred to DVD so you can watch them on a normal DVD player.

What is "Super VHS or S-VHS" Tape and recording?    
Super VHS is a full-size format with resolution similar to that of HI-8. The S stands for super, as the resolution jumps from the VHS standard of 250 lines to around 400 lines. S-VHS is decreasing in popularity for camcorders, even though the Super VHS format holds more lines of resolution and thus better image quality. However, an S-VHS tape will not play in a normal VHS VCR. You need an S-VHS VCR to play an S-VHS tape.
 You can have S-VHS Tapes transferred to DVD so you can watch them on a normal DVD player.

What is "Betamax" Tape and recording?    
Betamax tapes were introduced by Sony. VHS beat out Betamax.
 You can have Betamax Tapes transferred to DVD so you can watch them on a normal DVD player.

What is "UMatic" Tape and recording?    
UMatic is also known as 3/4" videotape and has been used for a long time. The newer digital formats provide significant advantages. The format is slowly being replaced with digital equipment such as DV and Mini DV.

What is "BetaCam SP or DVCAM" Tape and recording?    
 
BetaCam was introduced in 1982, BetaCam SP in 1986. BetaCam SP uses a metal tape and is an improvement over BetaCam. BetaCam systems provide excellent video.  These are the highest formats and are considered television broadcast quality. Generally, these are the formats used by television stations. Camcorders of these formats cost over $10,000 (and up) The superiority of BetaCam comes from both the tape format and the generally more expensive and superior optics. Ninety-minute cassettes measure 5.5 by 10 inches. 30 minute cassettes are 4 by 6 inches. BetaCam SP is the de facto standard for professional broadcast videotaping.

What is "MII" Tape and recording?    
MII is Panasonic's answer to BetaCam SP. All MII tape is metal. The 90-minute cassette at 4 by 8 inches is smaller than the BetaCam SP cassette. However the decks take only a small 20-minute cassette (3.6 by 5 inches).
Technically, MII is superior to BetaCam SP, however few have MII.

What are some of the differences between "PAL, NTSC, & SECAM" tapes?    
These are the three major broadcasting and video system used in the world.
PAL:- Is used in Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. PAL stands for Phase Alternation Lines and has various sub-systems for VHF and UHF bands for each country.
SECAM:- Is mainly used in Eastern Europe and France (SECAM-L) SECAM stands for System Electronique Couleur Avec Memoire.
NTSC:- Is mainly used in North America, Mexico, Canada and Japan. NTSC stands for the National Television Systems Committee who developed the system and public broadcasting of NTSC began in the United States in 1954. 

In addition to the differences in the equipment to play, record, and view these standards, taping these various standards also has implications. One difference is the time these tapes run. Just because a tape is marked (T-120) does not mean it will run for 2 hours. The speed in which it was recorded and the country where the tape was manufactured makes a difference as to how long it will run. The system used in the United States (NTSC) moves the tape faster (6.6 feet/minute) than European (PAL) or French (SECAM) (4.69 feet/minute) systems.

 Video tapes are labeled with "expected playing time" instead of physical tape length. Therefore, a PAL/SECAM VHS E120 ( 570 feet) tape will only give 1 hour and 26 minutes of recording time when used on an NTSC recorder.  A NTSC VHS T120 (812 feet) tape will give 2 hours play time on an NTSC VCR recorded at the SP speed. This same tape used on a PAL VCR will give 2 hours & 49 minutes of playing time.

What are VHS SP, LP, and EP tape speeds?    
Standard Play (SP) is the most common recording speed used for VHS tapes, including rental tapes. You get the best quality audio and video when using the SP tape speed. Video conversions will be best from SP VHS tapes. Long Play (LP) is a seldom used format, and has been removed from many VCRs. Extended Play (EP) or sometimes (XP) is the longest VHS recording speed.  You can get up to 360 minutes of recording time on a T-120 video cassette. This saves money but reduces quality.

What does 8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit, and 42-bit color mean?    
Reference is to the computer graphic system. Color depth is sometimes called color resolution. The number of computer bits used for color graphics. Each of the three primary colors (Red-Green-Blue) is represented, and whether it is on or off. Higher quality color resolution requires more memory and larger file sizes. The "-bit" color reference is the number of bits in each pixel ("picture element"). Closely related is color depth as it is the maximum number of colors that can be represented and is based on the bit depth. Of course the display method (monitor, printer, scanner), operating system, and application software are also limiting factors.

An 8-bit image can have up to 256 colors (8 bits/pixel x 2 states/bit = 256 possible color combinations).
8 bits                    256 colors 
16 bits                  65,536 colors
24 bits                  16,777,215 colors

With 24-bit color, each picture can have 256 levels of red, 256 levels of green, and 256 levels of blue simultaneously, allowing each picture to have over 16+ million colors (256x256x256). 24-bit color uses three 8-bit bytes, one byte for each RGB colors (Red, Green, and Blue), to describe the color of each pixel. 30-bit color uses 10 bits and 42-bit color uses 14 bits. Every additional "bit" means a lot, since each additional bit doubles the size of the stored numbers.

What is Dynamic Range in Reference to Scanning?    
A larger dynamic range is very important when scanning positive film (slides) and negatives. Dynamic range is a logarithmic measurement of image brightness or density that ranges from 0 to 4, where 0 is pure white and 4 is very black. To calculate a scanner's measured performance of dynamic range, you would subtract the measured maximum brightness (say 0.4) from the minimum (say 3.4) it can capture, and it would have a dynamic range of 3.0. Greater dynamic range is required for greater image detail, especially in shadows and highlighted areas.  The problem with the dynamic range specifications shown in advertising for scanners is that it is a theoretical number based upon the number of bits in the A/D (Analog to Digital) converter, seldom on any measurement indicating the actual performance of the entire scanner. There really are differences between $50 - $500 - $5,000 scanners, even if they all have 36- or 42-bit A/D converters.

Theoretical Dynamic Range Often Shown In Scanner Specifications:

24 bit scanners = dynamic range 2.4
30 bit scanners = dynamic range 3.0
36 bit scanners = dynamic range 3.6
42 bit scanners = dynamic range 4.2

 A color print normally has a dynamic range less than 2.0. Film negatives are better, with dynamic ranges approaching 3.0. Slides are better still, near 3.4.  Compared to negatives, slide film has more contrast, a steeper gamma curve, and the density can be greater. Film negatives, and especially slides, need a scanner with greater dynamic range. The true dynamic range of a scanner is a result of the quality of the electronics and performance of the optics, in addition to the commonly advertised number of "bits" it takes to store the captured image.

Which is better, scanning slides, negatives, or prints?    
Just as your photo developer will give you a better reproduction from your negatives that a print, scanning slides or negatives gives better results than scanning prints. This is especially true if you want to do an "enlargement". The slide or negative film is the "original" image instead of a copy. Film contains much greater detail  and has greater dynamic range than prints. That's why you get the negatives with your prints. We can scan prints with very good results. However, scanning the original negative would produce even better results.

What is Film Shrinkage?    
According to the AMIA (The Association of Moving Image Archivists - a non-profit professional association established to advance the field of moving image archiving... http://www.amianet.org).

    "In acetate film, permanent shrinkage is caused by the loss of residual solvents, and even the gradual elimination of strains introduced during manufacture." (The Book of Film Care; Kodak Publication No. H-23, 1st edition, 1983, page 20; 2nd edition, 1992, page 15.)

    "Film shrinkage cannot be fully recovered. That fact is troublesome, because perforations are carefully placed along the length of the film and any change in their spacing can become a problem." (The Book of Film Care; Kodak Publication No.H-23, 1st edition, page 72; 2nd edition, page 55.)

Note that though the reference to shrinkage is limited to acetate based film (and is valid for both diacetate as well as triacetate base), nitrate film is also prone to shrinkage. The only film base where shrinkage is not considered to be a critical factor is polyester base film because it is less susceptible to moisture loss and contains no residual solvents. In nitrate or acetate film, some dimensional change can be the result of moisture (humidity) in the storage environment and may be partially correctable. Solvent loss, however, is permanent.  

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