Video Interchange


 
Vintage Audio - Video Transfer Recording Rerecording Conversion Services
Recovery - Restoration - Remastering - Fire - Flood - Mold  - Antique & Obsolete Formats
Home Movie Film Transfers - 8mm Super8 16mm  Silent & Sound

BVH-3100 1 inch Type C

 

AVR-2 Quadruplex

 

 Vintage Audio - Gramophone

Sony PortaPack

 

Home Video

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8mm Video Recovery

Vintage, Rare, Old, Obsolete or Antique Reel to Reel Video Tape Format Transfer, Duplication and Recovery
Foreign World Standards Conversion - PAL  PAL-N  PAL-M  SECAM  SECAM-L  MESECAM  NTSC-M  NTSC 4.43
Damaged Video Recovery - Video Archiving - Audio Restoration - Vintage 78's - Vintage Audio

We Convert Vintage Video, Film and Audio to DVD - CD or most other formats

8mm 1/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1" and 2 inch Open Reel to Reel Helical Scan Videotape formats

Note: Many pages on this site are both graphic & information intensive. Thus many pages will take some time to load; especially if using a dial up connection. We feel that the vintage equipment images and content are much more important than the overall speed of the site, as much of the information cannot be found elsewhere....... This site could be considered both a reference on vintage audio/video technology as well as the services we offer. Of course the downside to all this, is that many pages will take some time to download......   This is a fairly large image intensive site with a lot of hidden "nooks and crannies".  

Undoubtedly a biased opinion, but we feel that the wait will be worth it !

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Site Map 

This is a fairly large comprehensive site with lots of information.  Navigation bars appear at the bottom of each page in a hierarchical form.
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Vintage Video Transfer to DVD or Tape

Video Formats supported & Operational Status

Open Reel Video Formats
1/4" Akai 1/4 inch            
1/2" EIAJ-1 monochrome EIAJ-2
Color
CV Skip Field Pilot Tone Shibaden Concord 12ips Craig
Sony Portapack Video Rover          
1" 1" Type C 1" Type A IVC 700 series IVC 800 Series IVC 900 Series Sony EV  
2" Quadruplex            
 
Cassette Based Formats
1/4"
8mm
8mm Regular 8 8mm PAL 8mm SECAM Digital8 Digital8 PAL Hi8 Hi8 PAL
Hi8 SECAM DVCAM DVCAM PAL MiniDv MiniDv HD MiniDv PAL Technicolor CVC Funai
1/2" BetaCam BetaCam SP BetaCam SP PAL BetaMax I BetaMax II Betamax III BetaMax PAL
D-VHS ED Beta M - MI - M1 MII - M2 SuperBeta VHS VHS PAL
VHS SECAM VHS MESECAM S-VHS S-VHS PAL      
1/2"
VHS
Timelapse ***
ADT
A-V168
GYYR
TLC
Mitsubishi
HS-5300
Panasonic
AG-6730
Sony
SVT-L300
Sanyo
SRV-960A
Sanyo
SLV-960A
3/4" D2 Umatic Umatic SP Umatic PAL Umatic SP PAL    
 
Cartridge Based Formats
1/2" Cartrivision Vcord I Vcord II Vcord 7100 VX  Cartridge * Great Time Machine * Quasar
VR-1000 *
 
Disc Based Formats
Blu Ray CD DVD CED Videodisc Laserdisc Sony Mavica VF Mavipak    

 

Green text indicates an open reel format. All others are cassette or cartridge

* Denotes Parts Located - To be back on line shortly

  * Denotes machines out of service awaiting parts

** The VX cartridge format is also known as the Quasar VR-1000 or Great Time Machine

***
Timelapse (Time Lapse) Security tapes are often unique to the VCR that recorded them. They will not play
properly on a standard VHS machine and for example; a Sony L300 recorded tape will not play on a Panasonic 6730. 
Some of the time modes on the Sanyo SRV will not play on the SLV series, even although the decks
appear to be virtually identical in every other respect.
 

We transfer almost any videotape format to another, including video to DVD transfer (known also as video archiving) as well as the newer digital formats.

 

Vintage Audio Transfer to CD - Audio Formats Supported

 
Cylinders  Dictaphone Cylinder Blue Amberols
2 & 4 min
Ediphone Edison Phonograph      
Records Gramophone 12 inch singles 16 to 130 rpm variable 16 - 17 inch transcriptions 33 1/3 LP Records 45 rpm Records 78.26 rpm Records Metal Masters
Acoustic Columbia Acoustic Victrola Audiodisc Record Audograph Berliner Record Echo Disc Record Edison Diamond Disc
Gay & Wilcox Records Gramophone Kodisk Record Little Wonder Memovox Metal Discs Pathe' Vertical
RCA Radiola Recordio Records Remsen Repeat-A-Voice Record Soundscriber Record Speak-O-Phone Metal Stearns Brothers
U & I Voice Records Victor Voicewriter Almost Any !      
Wire Recordings Wire Recordings Webster  Wire Recordings Minifon Wire Recordings Lear        
Belts Dictabelt IBM Executary 3" Belts IBM 4" Magnabelts Sonaband Walkie Recordall Tefifon    
Open Reel Tape Fostex 1/4" 8 Track  Discrete Grundig Stenorette LS Reel to Reel 1/4" Mono Reel to Reel 1/4" 4 Track Stereo Reel to Reel 1/4"
Half Track
Reel to Reel 1/4" 4 Track Discrete Reel to Reel 1/2"
8 Track Discrete
  Magnetoband            
Cassettes
&
  Cartridges
4 Track
Cartridge
8 Track Cartridge 8 Track Cartridge
4 Track Discrete
Alesis ADAT Compact Cassette Stereo Compact Cassette
4 Track Discrete
Cart Machine
Cart Tape  NAB Cousino Cartridge DAT Tape Dictaphone Cassettes Digital Compact
Cassette DCC
Elcaset Tape Micro Cassette
Midgetape Mini Cassette Mini-Pak
Cartridge
Norelco Dictation Cassettes Orrtronic Auto-Mate Cartridge PCM-F1
PCMF1 Sony
Playtape
RCA Sound Tape Cartridge Sanyo Micro-Pack 35 Smith Corona Mail Call Letterpack TASCAM  DA-88 VersaCorder    
Discs Mini Disc Sonifex
Discart
         
Misc Pro Tools
Mastering
           

   * Denotes machines out of service - awaiting parts  

* Denotes Parts Located - To be back on line shortly

 

 
Film Formats - Home Movies
8mm - Standard8 Super8 16mm Silent 16mm Optical Sound 16mm Magnetic Sound Polavision

Target formats: DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-DL, BluRay HD, MiniDv, MiniDv-HD, Digital8, BetaCam, BetaCam-SP, DVCAM or .Avi on Hard Drive
Frame by Frame

 

 

Vintage Video - Antique Video - Obsolete Video - Old Videotape - Open Reel to Reel TransferVintage Video Test Pattern

With over 30 years experience in the broadcast industry, we specialize in the transfer, duplication and archiving of vintage, obsolete, old or rare antique video formats such as Two Inch Video - also known as 2 inch quadruplex,  1/2" EIAJ Open Reel to Reel Helical Scan Video - V-30, V-30H, V-31, V-32, V-38, V-71, V-72, Ampex 164, Memorex Chroma 80, Irish Tape, Sony Portapack, Skip Field, Pilot Tone A, Shibaden, Apeco, Concord 12 ips,  1 inch Type C, 3/4" U-matic, Betamax, Superbeta, ED Beta, M Format, MII (M-II), VX Cartridge (Quasar VR-1000 - VC60, VC120), Vcord VT-20, Technicolor CVC V30 V60 - Funai and many other video formats, whether they be on cassettes, cartridges or reels.

Also covered are Vintage Video Quality expectations and considerations.  Almost any consumer grade video camera of today far surpasses the quality of the most expensive broadcast camera of the 60's. !  Read More...

Damaged Video Recovery - Tape Baking - Video Restoration - Video Tape Repair - Pixelization - Pixelation - Mosaic Video

Recovery & restoration of damaged MiniDV, DVCAM or DVCPRO  tapes exhibiting pixelization - artifacting  or a mosaic appearance is often possible.

Do you have an broken or unplayable video tape ?   We employ a variety of video restoration techniques including tape baking, Skip Field Recovery and re-shelling to recover and transfer video from damaged or old video tapes.

The recovery & restoration of flood damaged audio & video tapes is another specialty, whereby special techniques and equipment is employed to properly clean and dry the tapes. In cases where magnetic audio or video tape has been exposed to water, recovery procedures should be started as soon as possible. If left to improperly dry without appropriate treatment, recovery is unlikely. BBC Test Card F

Video Color Correction

You say you have a video where everything has a sickening color hue ? 

The proper color balance can often be restored by means of a color corrector.  To read more,  Click Here......

Vintage Audio Transfer

We handle many of the obsolete audio formats !  Anything from Wire Recordings, Soundscriber, Dictabelts & Wax Cylinders to many of the rare and unusual obsolete formats.

There are also pages on Vintage Audio Format History to explore.
Ever wonder why some audio open reel to reel recorders have small reel spindles while others have much larger ones ? ....... The large spindles have what are known as NAB Hubs....   Read about NAB Hubs

8 Track Cartridges, Wire Recordings, Early RCA Cartridges, Ediphone, Dictabelt, Elcaset, Playtape, Vintage 78's and more...

Film Transfer - Home Movies - 8mm Super 8 and 16mm

We transfer vintage home movie film to DVD, BluRay, Tape or Hard Drives and specialize in the recovery of damaged films..

Audio Restoration

We restore to the quality of the original recording as close as is technically possible by utilizing the latest in audio restoration software, techniques and equipment. Vintage wire recordings or 78's can be transferred to either a CD, MD, DVD, DVD-RAM, DAT or audio tape.

In the case of vintage 78's, most clicks, pops and hisses can be completely eliminated. We can also improve on the original by adding warm harmonics or heterodyning midrange frequencies up  (sometimes called an audio exciter) to enhance the high end or just employ the minimum amount of filtering if that is your desire.

Groove Re-Cutting

For severe record groove damage, we offer groove re-cutting to tame even the most serious skips.

Wire Recording - Wire Recorder Transfers

 

We support a wide range of formats (view them all) including wire recordings popular from the late 1940's to early 1950's. All of our Wire Recording Transfers are done via direct line level connection on well maintained equipment. 

The wire recorder was the first recording technology to show up in the home. (read more on the Wire Recorder and Wire Recordings).

The wire broke on your wire recorder and you need to splice it ?   Here's how you do it !  Read More on wire recorder wire splicing....

Wire Recording Audio Clip - MP3

Like to hear what a historical wire recording from April, 1952 sounds like ?       Read about it and and give a listen !

 

Wax Cylinders - Blue Amberols - Ediphone - Original Dictaphone Cylinders - Dictabelt.......  Transfer to CD

The very first audio format to record sound !

Vintage 78's - Vintage 78 RPM Records - Vintage 78 MP3 Audio Clips - Vintage 78 History and Pictures - Vintage 78 Turntables and Equipment Selection

If you believe that playing old vintage 78 records is merely tossing it on a turntable that has a "78" speed setting and dropping the old needle, then you're in for an awakening !

There are sections on turntable, cartridge and stylus selection for playback of vintage 78's and other helpful information such as Lateral & Vertical Groove Cuts, Truncated Stylus, how to pack records for shipping, record cleaning and much more.....
Curious to hear what a Vintage 78 rpm record sounds like before and after restoration?
  Click here.....

Early Home Made Records

Original Vintage Gramophone Model 103 circa 1925Before the advent of magnetic tape and even before wire recorders, home audio recording onto blank discs was quite the rage. To satisfy the demand, Wilcox-Gay had cutters strategically placed in department stores, the local "Five and Ten" etc ,  where for a mere 25, you and your friends could make a short  1 minute 78 recording. Many of those forgotten recordings still survive in Grandma's attic. 
To read more....
 Click Here

16 inch Transcription Discs & Recordings

Transcription records were mostly used by early radio stations to record programs for delayed broadcast. (Magnetic audio tape didn't start appearing on the scene until the late 50's).  A wealth of historical as well as typical programming of the period is found on these recordings. To read more....  Click Here.....

Vintage 78 Record Transfer

We transfer almost any old vintage 78 record recording....  Little Wonders - Recordio - Voice-O-Graph - Pathe' - Transcription discs - Meissner - Presto - Rek-O-Kut - Tru-Kut - Audio Disc - Electrics - Gay and Wilcox, Diamond Discs, Columbia Acoustics, Early LP's - Electrics or almost anything recorded from 14 to over 100 rpm.   

For those interested in getting started in this as a most interesting hobby, this is one entire section you'll want to read over and over. It's a crash course for the novice in how to get started. There are topics on making the correct equipment choices, getting the most out of your vintage recordings, understanding the various types of groove cuts, selecting the proper stylus based on groove cut and wear pattern, archiving, noise reduction and much more...
To get started...  Click Here.....

 

Nipper - The RCA Dog Logo - His Master's VoiceNipper - RCA Dog  - His Master's Voice - 1895

Ever wonder how the most adored corporate trademark and logo ever came to be ?

Nipper (his actual name) - the RCA Dog and "His Master's Voice" was not a fictitious characterization dreamt up by a professional ad agency. No over-priced, high power ad agency could ever have been that wildly successful ! On the contrary, "Nipper" was very real.  This is the true story of how it all came to be.....

Read more about Nipper - the history of the RCA dog ...

 

 

Video to DVD - Video Archiving - DVD Transfer, Conversion and Duplication - DVD Advantages

Convert your old vintage video reels, cassettes or cartridges into a long lasting DVD

Stop further tape degradation dead in it's tracks

Video Tapes including your home video movies are transferred to DVD for long time archival as well as playback in most newer home DVD Players.  We support almost any format including vintage, obsolete, old or rare formats for all of our Video to DVD transfers.  The process is also referred to as video archiving.

Also covered are technical articles on How a DVD-R Works - Design Considerations - DVD pre-grooves - Proper Storage and Handling and more...

DVD-R Player Compatibility List

This will take you to our links page...  Find out which DVD players will support DVD-R. 

Video to DV, DVCAM, DLT, S-DLT, 3480, 3490, 3490E, 3590, 3590B, 3590E, 3590H or DVDRAM

Broadcast quality digital. Though the video to DVD movie may be edited at a later date, transfer to digital format tape offers a certain advantage. Unlike all DVD's, the data is not compressed and thus lends itself better to editing in the future. Although stored on a magnetic tape, the video is encoded and recorded as a digital stream, the quality which will not fade or degrade over the life of the tape as opposed to the non-digital formats (i.e. analog and component formats).  The digital tapes may be refreshed without any loss in quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

This page runs the gamut in questions we're frequently asked. Here's but a few !

Identifying Vintage 1/2" inch reel to reel video       What does a Time Base Corrector Do ?       Erased Video - Can it be recovered ?
What is the difference between a DVD, VCD, SVCD, XVCD, XSVCD, CVD and Divx ?
Legal Issues - Copyright law and infringements    Read this first before playing back any vintage tape

Large Format Printing1967 VW Beetle Tips

Large Format Prints from your Digital Camera, slides, prints or negatives up to 54" Wide. There are topics on digital cameras, software, file formats, examples, techniques and lots more.......

Photograph Scanning - Slide or Negative to CD,  DVD, DVD-RAM or DLT

High Resolution HP flatbed scanner for prints. Film scanner for negatives & slides. We support any format from 35mm up to 9x9" aerial mapping formats. Photo retouching with full Adobe Photoshop & "Digital ICE"

Tips on Purchasing a Flatbed Scanner   (interpreting the specs - Dynamic Range & more)

Cut through the maze of media hype, overly optimistic & downright misleading advertising claims !  

DVD Duplication - CD Duplication - Tape Duplication

Audio Video duplication of almost any quantity including labeling and distribution.

PAL SECAM Conversions - Foreign Video World StandardsYou are here.... Conversion

PAL Conversion

Convert PAL, PAL-N or PAL-M to NTSC
PAL PAL-N PAL-M to SECAM MESECAM

NTSC Conversion

Convert NTSC to PAL, PAL-N, or PAL-M
NTSC to SECAM MESECAM


SECAM Conversion

Convert SECAM  SECAM-L MESECAM to NTSC 
SECAM SECAM-L MESECAM to PAL, PAL-N or PAL-M


Support NTSC 3.58 and NTSC 4.43   -  We also support SECAM-L (French SECAM)

Pal Conversion Quality Considerations - How PAL Standards Converters WorkAlchemist Ph.C Converter

All world standards conversions are not of equal quality. Depending on the standards converter employed, output quality ranges from almost un-watchable to virtually transparent. The link above covers this issue in greater detail. Also covered is a simple explanation of the television standards conversion process and how it is technically accomplished. Though by no means an in depth article, you might find it quite interesting.  Click the link above to learn more...

Also covered are technical articles to answer some of the other questions you might have. One question always seems to lead to but yet another. Also discussed is how the NTSC subcarrier frequency of 3.57954545 MHz was arrived at and why the frame rate for NTSC color is 29.97 fps instead of a nice round 30 !    Click the links below to learn more....

Why is the NTSC subcarrier frequency 3.579545 MHz     What is NTSC 4.43 (What is a color subcarrier frequency)     What is MESECAM     

Why is PAL Color Stable (Why is PAL better)     How Does a PAL SECAM Standards Converter work

Home Video to DVD Transfer, Conversion & Restoration

We also offer our professional services in the transfer, duplication or archiving of your home videos to DVD from almost any video format. The most popular format transfer is VHS to DVD. Unlike most others, we are not an assembly line operation but have the technical skills to often recover precious video even off severely damaged videotapes - the tapes that very few others will even attempt. True....  we cost more (ever note how quality always does ?)...  but as the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for"..... 

Video History

An interesting and informative historical reference with many images from the very first reel to reel VTR.  Answers to questions such as What is Interlaced Video and
Betamax verses VHS - The Format Wars are addressed.

Video Tech Tips

Read this first before attempting to play any old tape that's been in storage for years. Click Here...
How to store video tapes - Videotape Storage

Our First Computer - DEC PDP-9  circa 1972

Links to Vintage Audio & Video Resources

Links to other sites of interest.

Want to find the best place to have a lens repaired ? 
Need a vintage radio restored ?
What's the best thumbnail viewer software ?
Where do I find information on Victrola's and Gramophones ?
You came across a vintage video recorder and you wonder what it is ?
Links to the best vintage audio/video sites on the web and more....

PDP-7 & PDP-9 Systems Group at Digital Equipment Corp  Maynard, Ma   DEC

A web page dedicated to the personnel who designed and built & maintained Digital's line of 18 bit processors.

WebCam

High resolution Webcam images of Sampson Cove, including current Weather & Tides

Weather

Weather Station info - climatology - historical data

Coal Stoves

Coal stoves - wood stoves - tips - barometric dampers

Energy Losses

Infiltration - Exfiltration - radiant

Synchronicity

Maybe there is a plan ?

Working Company Cats - Cat Locator Reviews

Cat Gallery - KittyCam - Puddycam and more...

 

 

Video Technology Observations & things to consider

 

Oxide shedding - literally came off in pieces (Not recoverable)


Since the 1970s, the electronics industry has been trying to persuade everyone to throw out their old cumbersome movie film cameras and buy "state of the art" camcorders to preserve family histories. Compared to film, videotape is cheap, relatively easy to edit, and with no projector bulbs to burn out......  no problem to set up and watch. The industry claimed that the new video technology would allow them to share with their descendants, priceless documentary footage of births, bar mitzvahs, marriages, and other memories, say 30 or 40 years down the road. Many salesmen of the era often claimed they'd last indefinitely !  

Here it is coming up on 35 years later, and if you're taking that advice, you'll be better advised instead to start keeping a written diary instead of a video record. Few people outside the industry know that the life expectancy of videotapes is much shorter than originally predicted -- perhaps as short as ten years. Recent technical reports by Sony , Ampex , and Agfa corporations and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers   suggest that their lives are but a fleeting thing. Any video over 10 years old is simply surviving on borrowed time.

The main problem with videotape is simply bad chemistry. It's not a manufacturing defect per se, but rather the way in which a magnetic tape is constructed. The binder layer (the layer that contains the magnetic particles) is fragile. High temperatures and humidity can play havoc with it, causing the urethane particles in the coating to react with water infiltration (a process known as hydrolysis), break free, and migrate to the surface of the tape. The next time the tape is played, the oxide particles, no longer encumbered by their binder, peel off - -  taking with them all evidence of baby's first steps, Dave's graduation, Laura's wedding, a priceless historical 60's broadcast or that zany  spur of the moment trip to Puerto Princesa. The only hope was to make a copy before the tape self destructed.

Video Recovery - Flood damaged Tapes - all these tapes were recoverable !

 

If time, bad chemistry or poor storage conditions fail to "get them".....

Then there are what I call the "Land Mines".....    Those typically fall into the unforeseen disasters category...

Fire damage
Flood damage
Landslides
Salt Water damage - either by Hurricane or by a boat sinking
Driven over by a truck (yes: it happens)
Dog "Chowed" the cassette (More common than one would imagine)
Video tape left in shirt pocket & went through the washing machine.....  (at least we didn't have to "clean" it much)
VCR "ate" the tape
A 3 year old fully armed; "locked & Loaded" with a Jelly Sandwich  (Yes: a creative 3 year old CAN fit half a jelly sandwich into a VHS Cassette !)

Up until recently with the advent of DVD, the archival of video was merely transferring it to a new higher format videotape. Yet all videotapes regardless of their bandwidth or recording technology have a short lifespan by their very nature and thus, this was only a temporary solution to the problem of true long term archival storage.

The most serious problem of transfer to another tape format every few years, was compounded by the inevitable analog losses incurred for each successive generation or copy made (A copy of a copy of a copy syndrome). With the advent of digital technology, future image copies are just that - perfectly cloned copies of the digital data. Add to that the extremely long lifespan of a DVD, permanent archival is now possible at a reasonable cost that is well within the price range of even the typical home user.

Digital technology does have a "downside" that no one seems to address however.  Though the media in the case of a DVD should last 80 years or more based on manufacturer estimates if properly stored, and the digital data may be perfectly copied & transferred, the real problem is hardware obsolescence. Consider that only 20 years or so ago, the Bernoulli 10 meg removable computer disk drives were quite popular. Now very few in working condition still survive. The digital computer world is littered with dead formats. The once popular 8 inch floppy drive - the Burroughs 1 meg fixed head drive - the SyQuest 200 tape drive etc etc etc.  - know anyone who still has one ?.......  Somewhere around here are stacks of old IBM punch cards.  The cards & the data they contain are in perfect condition, but I know of no one that has an IBM punch card reader in working condition.  What few remain are relegated to the computer museums. The media survives, but the hardware on which to read it has long since vanished.  The popular CD's and DVD's of today will sometime in the not too distant future, become relics. The media will sometimes long survive any equipment designed to play it, if history is any lesson. Video formats have followed an identical scenario and the new digital formats of today are highly susceptible to early obsolescence as new technology emerges.

Luckily, the digital data on the DVD will be easily and perfectly copied to whatever new recording technology becomes available in the next century and beyond. Never before was this possible - at any price, as the technology up until now simply didn't exist.  What is truly astounding is the relatively low cost for which it can be done. Also mind boggling is that future generations even 500 years or much longer will be able to view any video transfer made to DVD today by simply having it losslessly transferred to a new medium, say every 20 to 30 years or so..

The technology couldn't have come at a better time, as videotapes - especially those reel to reel formats recorded in the 60's thru present are aging and degrading each and every day. The next few years are critical to the preservation of those images. The realization of a video shot today, 20 or even 30 years ago in some cases, surviving indefinitely is now finally possible !

The same is true for the corporate community. Much corporate history is sitting on piles of videotapes, scattered across a wide range of various and often times, obsolete formats.  Once those tapes degrade beyond any hope of capture, that video history is irretrievably lost forever.

Our experience in recovering severely damaged vintage tapes is our specialty.  We're not always successful as some are simply "too far gone" or have suffered serious physical tape damage. You can rest assured that if we can't recover it, then there's simply nothing much left to recover !

There may be no finer gift you could hand down to your future generations...

What Vintage Video Transfer Entails

Almost anyone can transfer a relatively new tape in good condition (yes, we do that as well), but it requires special techniques (as well as perhaps being a glutton for punishment) to recover, convert and transfer the older and often times damaged video tapes that are exceedingly old or have been improperly stored over the years. We routinely recover tapes that others have given up on and are one of the few houses in the country that have experience in vintage video Tape Baking and Tape Lubrication to overcome "sticky" tapes.  If we can't recover a precious tape, then there's nothing left to recover ! Most importantly, we support many of the old, rare, obsolete, vintage and antique video formats such as reel to reel  Two Inch Quadruplex, 1/2 inch EIAJ, Pilot Tone, Skip Field and many other vintage formats.

Even with new tapes, the transfer process is more involved than just plugging in all the "out" cables from the source deck into the respective "in" connectors on the destination & hoping for the best !  The real trick is getting some of the older tapes to even play at all. We employ a number of techniques to accomplish this goal.  Vintage tapes are first cleaned, re-packed, re-tensioned and then  baked and Re-lubricated if warranted. As some of the vintage tapes we receive are in poor condition, they must then be run first thru a tape cleaner/conditioner.  Most of the reel to reel tapes from the 60's and 70's will also require Tape Baking to remove the moisture and subsequent "stickiness". Some tapes will additionally require re-lubrication. All video is processed through a broadcast Time Base Corrector that synchronizes the video to a stable reference (called house sync) that effectively strips off the unstable sync and lays down new stable broadcast quality sync onto the output video, including a stable reference color burst with proper "front porch" and "back porch" timing. At the same time the now stabilized video is routed to a Process Amplifier (proc. amp) where video level, chroma gain, chroma phase, and setup levels are monitored on a waveform monitor/vectorscope and reset to proper levels. From there it goes (if warranted) thru a broadcast quality video noise reducer

The destination or "target", can be any format we support including DVD, DVD-RAM, VCD, SVCD or even standard computer files. Digital video transfer may also be made to DLT tape, S-DLT,  3480, 3490, 3490E, 3590,  3590B, 3590E, or 3590H  computer tapes (both pc and mainframe platforms) or to DVDRAM.

We also convert between NTSC (US Canada & Japan), PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N (Europe) SECAM or French SECAM   (Secam is prevalent in France and parts of Russia).

The video may be simply encoded to digital and transferred to a new format (the copy is an exact duplicate) or be digitally edited to remove breaks, unwanted scenes and damaged areas encountered. By editing, a wide range of special effects and scene transitions can be created for a truly professional result.

The edited video may then be transferred to any of the numerous formats we support.  Optionally, we will create chapters or even create a fully interactive DVD from the edited program... a process known as authoring.

Video tape degrades over time and it's life expectancy typically varies from 5 to 35 years depending on a number of variable factors - after which, the video will not be capable of being played, and all that it contains will be simply lost forever. A DVD by comparison, lasts an estimated 80 to 100 years by all manufacturers' estimates if handled and stored properly !  Being digital, the 1,000th time you view the DVD will be just as clear and clean as the day the DVD was created ! If you desire a truly timeless  archive of your videotape lasting well beyond 80 years, then DVD is still the answer... for as new technologies emerge in the coming century and beyond, the transfer of digital data from the DVD will be able to be losslessly copied to the new medium, resulting in a virtually timeless archive. It is now possible to preserve video for many future generations or to serve as a corporate history into the next millennium. There may be no finer gift you could hand down to your future generations and should be a most valuable part of your family tree....

Every year, serviceable parts and video heads for the vintage machines become harder to locate. In some cases, it's taken us purchasing 9 machines before we found one with a good set of video heads or locating parts for even far older vintage audio equipment.  That translates into rising costs for properly maintaining equipment that has been out of production for 30 to 100 years or more.  The other issue is than in the case of some formats, critical high wear parts can no longer be located.  Though we have a lathe and milling equipment and can often machine many of the mechanical parts we need, we cannot make video or audio heads, castings etc.   At some point when key parts are no longer available, it spells the end of the format.    Over the span of the next 10 years, I expect at least several more vintage formats to go virtually extinct for lack of parts and thus any equipment to play them on. Anyways, two more things to consider if you delay having your media transferred for too long...

 

We invite you to explore this site thoroughly, as we've created a wealth of information that will help you better understand the principals of video recording, it's history, and the numerous formats that have come and gone. The Tech Tips page should be reviewed before attempting to play back any old tape that has been in storage for years.

There are informative topics on video vintage formats, reel to reel video, video restoration, audio restoration, vintage 78 records, wire recordings, turntables, cartridge & stylus selection, how to ship a record, digital cameras, software, file formats, examples, techniques and lots more....... We invite you to explore them all.

 

I'm hopeful this site will be informative as well as serve as an interesting reference on vintage and even current audio and video technology.

 

Bob Pooler

 

Last Modified: May 17, 2012

Vintage - Rare - Obsolete - Consumer - Digital  & Broadacast Formats

Since 1978 - Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Video Interchange

Made in Maine

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Video Interchange
92 George Luce Rd
Waldoboro, Maine  (ME)  04572

207-832-5064

Northeast Region - New England

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