Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find a list of our most asked questions regarding video and audio transfers, please check through the list as the question you have may already be listed here. Should you also be looking for photograph scanning and restoration then please take a look at our sister web site My Old Photo.

  • Where are you based?
    We are in Rhostyllen, Wrexham. (North Wales, UK) We offer visits by appointment only and the best method of contact is through the Contact enquiry form on this website.
  • Can I call you on the phone?
    Yes you can the number is 01978 266 696 (SR Photography). However we may be out shooting photographs or filming, this is why the contact form is more reliable.
  • The tapes I want you to convert are irreplaceable to me, will you look after them?
    We treat all our customers tapes and other media as if it belonged to our own family with images on that cannot be replaced. The items of media are stored in an air conditioned, alarmed office and are always handled with respect! However, you need to also be aware we are using equipment that is 30+ years old to playback your footage and while the equipment is well maintained and cared for we cannot be held responsible for issues such a tape damage and other ‘acts of god’ that are unforeseen.
  • I would prefer to deliver the tapes to you?
    We would recommend this if you are local or visiting the area, just arrange a drop off appointment time before hand please.
  • I live quite a distance away so need to send you my tapes, is this okay?
    If you are going to send tapes through the post / carrier then please use a tracked service. You will not be able to insure the items for their ‘true value’ to you and the best cover you will be able to obtain may just cover the cost of buying a replacement blank cassette, if still available. Depending upon the cassette size the the number of cassettes you are sending a plastic storage tub can be a good way to help protect the cassettes using bubble wrap or similar to take up any extra space, preventing them rattling around inside the tub. The tub can then have a layer of bubble wrap applied to the outside and be placed in a cardboard box or shipping bag. Please bear in mind when using 40 meters of sticky tape, we will try to reuse most of this packaging for the return of your items so please pack well but do allow us to be able to open the item!
    Once the items have been transferred into a digital format then the return postal journey is less stressful, while we obviously want your original media returned in the same state you sent it, should the worst happen we can make another copy of the files and send to you again so even if the original has been lost the new files should be safe.
  • Some of the pricing says Starts From… Is this so you can charge me what you like?
    Although it may appear like that its not the case. Some tasks like removing mould and fungus from tapes can take anything from an hour to most of the day, sometimes its not even possible due to how fragile the tape medium is itself. For example it is not uncommon for a 8mm Video 8 tape to snap as the mould and fungus sticks the rolled layers of tape together. It can be very difficult to un-stick the tape from itself and sometimes not even possible!
  • How do I pay you?
    We take many forms of payments, full list can be found here.
  • How long do you keep a copy of my files?
    We may keep them for sometime, however we will defiantly keep the new digitised files for 14 days from when they were created.
  • Can you edit and add titles to my videos?
    The service we charge for is a straight 1 to 1 capture from cassettes to a DVD or digital MP4 file. We can edit footage and add titles however this will need to be quoted for on a ad hock basis depending upon your requirements.
  • I have seen devices on-line that just plug into a VCR or camera and capture video, are they worthwhile?
    Correct, all in one capture devices and cheap USB devices are available on-line, we were even curious so we tried some out. Take a look at our Do It Yourself Transfers page for more information.
  • Can you convert SP / LP / ELP recordings?
    LP Long Play and ELP Extra Long Play are recording modes typically found on home VHS machines in the 80’s. Both are far from ideal recording modes used to extend the running time of a tape by slowing down the firm transport to 1/2 speed and 1/3 speed. While we can read most of these recordings and convert them the quality will be lower than standard speed (SP Standard Play) recordings. Typically the slower the tape runs in a long play mode the porer the video and audio quality will become, also in long play modes the recording can sometimes suffer from audio and video dropouts, particually on an aging tape.
  • What is PAL / NTSC / SECAM?
    These are the three television standards used around the world. The differences require much more explanation than this FAQ page allows, however if you would like to know more please take a look at our Worldwide Video Standards page.
  • My cassette is damaged?
    Depending upon the format and spares available at the time we may be able to repair the cassette, or transfer the tape to another cassette shell, this repair service will be charged for on top of the transfer charges but will be agreed with the customer first. No damaged cassettes will be loaded into any of our machines!
  • My tape in the cassette is all white?
    If cassettes are not stored correctly they can suffer from mould / fungus growth, this can often be removed and no cassette with signs of this issue will be captured in our machines without first being cleaned. More information
  • I have my video footage from you and have 2 black bars on the left and right of the screen?
    This is due to you watching 4:3 format footage on a 16:9 wide screen TV, this is quite normal and how the original video was filmed.
  • Viewing the videos you converted the people look shorter and wider than they should?
    This is because you are viewing the 4:3 ratio footage on the 16:9 wide screen TV and you have selected a picture mode , probably labelled up as ‘stretch’ or ‘fill’. This will stretch the 4:3 footage to fill the screen and remove the black bars on each side however it has to stretch the video to do this, hence the appearance is effected. Visual example shown here.