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Video Tape to DVD

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Hi Phil,
I just want to take a moment to thank you for all the care and time you put into transfering our family memories onto dvd. My dad is absolutely going to love the dvd! I watched it yesterday with my kids and enjoyed seeing bits and pieces of the past come alive again.

Thank you so much,
Sheryl Coats

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A short intro video from our owner, Phil Thomas. Blue Transfers and Got Memories use the latest equipment to transfer all of you VHS, Beta, VHS-C, Digital 8, Hi-8, Video 8, and Mini DV to DVD and other digital sources. We will also meet or beat all reputable competitors prices. Get a free no-obligation quote today.

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Get the answers to most of your questions about video tape and converting it to a digital format from the video and text below.

How do I get my tapes transferred?

What format do you transfer? How long does video tape last? Can I edit completed videos? Can I make copies of my videos? All of these questions and more are answered in this single video.

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Home Video Tape History


The first consumer videocassette recorders were launched in 1971 (based around U-matic technology), but it was not until Sony's Betamax (1975) and JVC's VHS (1976) were launched that videotape moved into the mass market, resulting in what came to be known as the "videotape format war", which VHS has ultimately won.

Videocassettes finally made it possible for consumers to buy or rent a complete film and watch it at home whenever they wished, rather than simply catching it at a movie theatre or having to wait until it was telecast. It also made it possible for a VCR owner to record films and other television programs "off-the air". This caused an enormous change in viewing practices, as one no longer had to wait for a repeat of a program that had been missed.

VHS has become the leading consumer VCR format since then, though its follow-ups S-VHS, W-VHS and D-VHS never caught up in popularity.

In the prerecorded video market, VHS has been all but displaced with DVD, but until recently consumers could not make home recordings onto DVD disks. This last barrier to DVD domination has been broken with the recent advent of inexpensive DVD recorders and digital video recorders (DVR).


Early consumer camcorders used full-size VHS or Betamax cassettes. Later models switched to more compact formats, designed explicitly for camcorder use, like VHS-C and Video8.

VHS-C was a downsized version of VHS, using the same recording method and the same tape, but in a smaller cassette. It was possible to play VHS-C tapes in a regular VHS tape recorder by using an adaptor. After Super VHS had appeared, a corresponding compact version, Super VHS-C, was released as well.

Video8 was an indirect descendant of Betamax, using narrower tape and smaller cassette. Because of intricate U-shaped tape loading and narrower tape it was not possible to develop an adapter from Video8 to Betamax. Video8 was later replaced with Hi8, which provided better resolution and high quality sound recording, and was similar to Super VHS-C.

The first consumer digital video recording format, introduced in 1995, utilized a smaller Digital Video Cassette (DVC).[11] The format was later renamed into MiniDV to reflect the DV encoding scheme, but the tapes still carry "DVC" mark. Some later formats like DVC Pro from Panasonic reflect the original name. The DVC/MiniDV format provided near-broadcast quality video and sophisticated nonlinear editing capability on consumer equipment.

In 1999 Sony backported DV recording scheme to 8-mm systems, creating Digital8. By using the same cassettes as Hi8, many Digital8 camcorders were able to play analog Video8/Hi8 recordings, preserving compatibility with already recorded analog tapes. As of 2008 Digital8 camcorders have been removed from the equipment offered by Sony.

Sony introduced another camcorder cassette format called MicroMV, but consumer interest was low due to the proprietary nature of the format and limited support for anything but low-end Windows video editors, and Sony shipped the last MicroMV unit in 2005.

Presently, MiniDV and its high definition cousin, HDV, are the two most popular consumer tape-based formats. The formats use different encoding methods, but the same cassette type.

Since 2001, when MicroMV was presented, no new tape form factors have been introduced.

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