3 years ago I decided to convert my videos professionally with a service. Being a father of 4, I had converted them twice previously privately. In looking around I found that nobody offered a volume discount, local to my area, image stabilization, and used a professional imaging conversions of analog data. Being a software engineer for 30 years, I decided to create a business of converting these videos at a reasonable price because if we do not convert them they will never get converted and will be unreadable by our children after we are gone.
I only have been in business for 3 years because since the early 80s I've been a software engineer and wedding photographer solving other real-world problems. I made this a passion to solve these video problems because if they don't get converted, they will decay in the closet. The big boys charge a significant amount of money to convert videos with no volume discount and charge to return the videos on some sort of flash drive or DVD with no image stabilization.
So if anyone would like to correspond with me directly from an engineering level. You can contact me directly at Russ Croucher(email@example.com).
Years ago people would convert VHS type tapes to DVD for DVD players. Those players would only play special DVDs and not normal MP4 files like computers, Facebook, and YouTube requires. About 10 years ago the DVD vendors created DVD players that would play either type. So now a $29 DVD player from Walmart will play both DVD movies and MP4 files directly.
So here at Central Virginia Video we strive to put all of your videos that you have ever created on a single USB flash drive. In addition to that flash drive we put all those same videos on it one to many 25 GB Blu-ray MDisc. These are not intended to be viewed in today's world. They will work with the Blu-ray player from Walmart for $70 but are not intended for viewing since you have a flash drive that will also play on that same Walmart Blu-ray player. Those Blu-ray disks are a special MDisc technology (see below under quality section). These are designed to last 1000 years to be passed on through the generations.
So we provide the following:
1 16 GB sample USB flash drive of all videos in small resolutions(320x240) with half payment.
1 16 GB – 256 GB flash drive 3.1 fast technology in full resolution (640 or 720x480).
1 Blu-ray MDisc set of 1 to 10 MDisc (25 GB each) with final payment.
Return of all videotapes, films, and cassettes.
We strive for a reasonable price and not the lowest. Rather than use consumer grade USB converters, we chose to use only professional grade medical imaging capture computer cards from Germany when doing analog conversion. If you seen the difference in the examples it is obvious. Along with these highest grade conversions we chose to put each video on a permanent (estimated 1000 year) M-Disc DVD/Blu-ray disc. These discs are created for computers of today and 50 years in the future when these are pulled out of the closet. Here is what verbatim's quote about their M-Disc quality.
"Verbatim M DISC™ optical media is the new standard for digital archival storage. Unlike traditional optical media, which utilize dyes that can break down over time, data stored on an M DISC is engraved on a patented inorganic write layer – it will not fade or deteriorate. This unique engraving process renders these archival grade discs practically impervious to environmental exposure, including light, temperature and humidity."
Out of convenience, we provide a USB 3.1 Flash drive for use on current computers and players. Walmart sells a $68 DVD/Blu-ray/flash drive player that will play anything that we produce.
When shipping items back to a customer the tapes and DVDs discs are sent in a separate package from the flash drive. That way if something happens to either one of them another flash drive can be sent.
We are local to Central Virginia located in Lynchburg Virginia. Many people feel ill at ease using the shipping system to send their priceless memories. Once we receive the tapes that it does not matter because we have already made a digital copy.
So you have to ask yourself how much are your precious memories worth. I know somebody that had to get one of their tapes copied and they drove 2 hours one way to hand-deliver the product to be copied. They did not trust the shipping system with their precious memories.
I personally know two companies in the country that will copy the tapes nationwide but are not local to the normal community. They are also twice the price. Both of them send you an empty box for you to put your tapes in to send to them. However have you ever thought who pays for that? The answer is you do. And what happens if it does not get there. What kind a guaranteed do you have?
Care must be used when shipping items via USPS, UPS, or FedEx. About two years ago I bought something and had to return it back to California. The device was broken. So I wanted to get my money back. So I sent the item back with a tracking number via USPS. The tracking number showed the product made it to Atlanta and never left. So I took the tracking number over to USPS to get a little money for what was sent in the package and the person explained to me that it was not insured. Even though I had a tracking number that shows the product made it to Atlanta and never left I was out the product. Lucky for me the value of the item was only $20 plus the cost of my shipping. I did not even get my shipping money back.
There are 3 ways to send videos to us: UPS, FedEx, or USPS. In talking to colleague at FedEx, he highly recommends you not use FedEx ground. His logic is because FedEx ground hires 3rd party drivers to drive the shipments and they could get lost. He recommends a FedEx express because those are all legitimate FedEx employees. This probably is the same for UPS. I've had one USPS worker that came to me and said I want to locally bring you these tape because I do not trust my own shipping system. Remember these are government employees if they lose something is not their fault. Private employees seem to have a bigger issue. So I recommend any shipping done with the private shipping company.
Send to the following address:
CENTRAL VIRGINIA VIDEO
3641 Campbell Ave.
Lynchburg, VA 24501
Include your email address, return shipping address, and phone number
Now once I receive the tapes, it's not a big issue because we can always send out an additional flash drive if something is lost. Also, USPS has a media rate which takes longer but costs one third the price and if it's packed well you do not have a problem. Speaking of which if you pack items correctly you probably will not have a problem with the shipping. Packing seems to be the biggest issue. VHS tapes which are the largest I support costs approximately $1.38 for each tape media rate. However, it can only be tapes and DVDs.
Now UPS and FedEx only send their items insured for at least $100. My favorite camera store in New York sells an expensive camera item for $40,000. They will only send it insured by you the buyer and it costs $300 to send it from New York state via FedEx insured for $40,000. So you have to ask the question what are your memories worth? You could send them a little bit at a time so if they were to get lost only a small piece would be lost.
I have a friend that decided to send a small coin to Chicago insured for $300. He tracked it and the coin made it to Chicago and never left the post office. He did get his insurance money of $300 which was the value of the coin. However he did not get his shipping back. We determined that a post office employee pocketed the coin and walked away. So sometimes insurance actually draws attention to the product. So if that product was a tape he could just have been discarded in the trash. So it's almost better to send the item uninsured so it does not bring attention to the item..
USPS has a flat rate box that they will ship anything that you can put in it to a destination. I believe it is insured for $50. They have a 12" x 12" x 5.5" box that they will ship for $18.95. It will hold 18 and VHS tapes. Now if you do not care about the insurance you can take those same tapes and pack them in your own box of 12" x 12" x 6" and send them media rate for $8.45. In fact you can actually take the flat rate box and place it inside another box of your own style and send it media mail which will take about 4 days longer for $8.45.