Camcorder tapes to USB or DVD
As time moves on the life expectancy of old video technology shortens. Therefore, more and more people are coming to us for camcorder tapes to USB or DVD conversion. Like any other technology with moving parts, the camcorder tape mechanisms wear out over time if you continue to use them. Unfortunately, if you leave them in a cupboard unused for a length of time, the components start to break down and stop working too. You are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea!
The best solution is to get that camcorder tapes to USB or DVD. And to be honest, I would steer clear of DVD as that too is a moving-parts technology that is coming to the end of its life. Apple have been phasing out optical drives from their computers since 2008 and, whilst their prediction of the death of DVD was premature, we are well and truly into media-independent age of video recording, archiving, and viewing.
The Common Camcorder formats
So, what might you find in that draw where you keep those ancient videotapes? The chances are they are going to be one of (or a combination of) the three main videotape formats. According to our own workload these will be either VHS-C, 8mm Video (of which there are three variants – Video8, Hi8 or Digital8) or MiniDV. If you need help in recognising these, we have another blog that goes into formats in more detail here.
However, these were not the first consumer camcorder formats. The word ‘Camcorder’ has been around since the early 1980s and derives from the combination of the words ‘Camera’ and ‘Recorder’. Prior to this you had a camera that was umbilically connected to a separate video recorder. The first camcorder to reach the domestic market was based on Sony’s Betamax format – the Betamovie BMC-100P. This was followed shortly after by full-size VHS camcorders. We of course convert full-size VHS and Betamax tapes too.
These early camcorders were heavy and expensive, so it was not until the more compact and affordable tape formats were developed that owning a camcorder became commonplace. Since then, families have been documenting their lives on video on an epic scale.
Go camcorder tapes to USB!
Converting your camcorder tapes to USB is much more future proof. To be more precise, the process is converting the tapes into the MP4 container format which are then provided to the customer on a USB stick (also known as a Flash Drive). The USB stick itself is not a propriety video format but merely a solid-state data storage device.
The USBs can then be plugged into any compatible device and be copied, edited (with suitable software) and/or played. For instance, most modern TVs will have USB ports that will enable you to play the MP4 files directly off the USB stick.
Free Digital Downloads
Furthermore, we offer every customer who has their tapes converted to USB a Digital Download option too (see here for more details). This consists of each tape file (every tape is transferred to its own file) being uploaded to a shared folder on our DropBox account where the customer can then download to their own local drive or Cloud Storage facility.
We hope this article on converting a camcorder tape to USB has been helpful. If you would like further information, or you are ready to start preserving your precious family memories, please get in touch. Don’t forget, we offer great discounts on bulk orders!
Please call 020 3602 3356 or email info@Tapes2USB.co.uk