Summary

We offer video digitization services to convert VHS video tapes to DVD or video files for your computer. Billing is calculated at our normal hourly rate for the hands-on time involved. [View Rates] Estimates and options are offered below.

Video Project Cost Estimate

For a personalized video project cost estimate, contact us and provide the following information for each tape to be converted.

  1. Tape Title — What is the title of the original recording if known.
  2. Tape Length — The total capacity of the tape in hours and minutes.
  3. Recording Speed — SP (2-hour), LP (4-hour), ELP (6-hour) 
  4. Length of Video — The total length of the desired video clip in hours and minutes.
  5. Recording Date — The date is used in naming the output file.
  6. Video Description — This description helps with editing and transfer monitoring.
  7. Video Segments — Number of video segments on the tape. Provide each segment number and length with titles and descriptions. This helps if separate video files are requested.
  8. Segments Desired — Please indicate which segments are desired.
  9. Output Files Desired — The number of output files desired. Either the entire tape to one output file, or if there are separate videos on the tape, those segments can be saved separately.

Basic VHS Tape Transfer Cost

To convert a 1-hour VHS video tape to a digital file would be $60 with the digital file being saved to a cloud folder for the customer to download. This is a discounted economy price reduced to make small projects affordable.

The $60 fee covers the following time and expenses:

  • Reserving an appointment time-slot for the drop-off and subsequent pickup of the media. These times are reserved just like a typical consultation session.
  • Communications in person, by phone, email, or text regarding the project needs.
  • Setup of a dedicated VCR and the digitizing equipment to be connected to a computer dedicated to the task.
  • Cleaning of VCR playheads at regular intervals.
  • Running the tape fully forward and then rewinding again to ensure it is in good condition and to equalize spool tension if the tape is older.
  • Play the tape at normal speed on the VCR while recording the output to the computer.
  • Adjust tracking if the automatic tracking adjustment isn’t working.
  • Copying the digital file from the computer to the USB drive.
  • Periodically purchasing replacement VCR systems when older units fail.

You will be notified if it seems like a project will exceed the expected timeframe and cost. Additional 1-hour VHS tapes would be $40 each if included in the same conversion project.

Additional Video Conversion Costs

Calculate your additional costs based on the pricing options below.

  • Additional Video Hours ($20). The $60 estimate above for one hour of video can be extended for additional time at a rate of $20 per hour of additional video. The rates below are estimates for longer tapes. These rates presume the digital version of the video will be store on USB or in the cloud. These additional costs cover additional time required to monitor transfer progress, and the additional time required for the export and upload of video.
    • 1-Hour Tape ($60)
    • 2-Hour Tape ($80)
    • 3-Hour Tape ($100)
    • 4-Hour Tape ($120)
    • 6-Hour Tape ($140)
  • DVD Duplication Fees ($5 Each). Additional copies of DVDs are provided at a cost of $5 per DVD.
  • DVD Media ($40). For videos placed on DVD, there is a $30 cost per video.
  • Editing ($100 per hour). Some video tapes may contain several separate recordings that need to be saved individually. This would require extra time that is billed at $100 per hour.
  • Enhanced DVD Authoring. Fancy DVD menus with multiple videos per DVD are a minimum of $60 per DVD.
  • Quality Enhancements – Basic ($40). If a single adjustment can be made to increase the volume of a video or increase brightness that can be provided. The $40 fee covers the time required to assess the change needed and whether it can be applied across the entire video. If the quality enhancements are more complicated, then they will be billed at the normal hourly rate.
  • Tape Repair ($30)
  • USB Flash Drive – 32GB ($10). For projects requested to be saved to a USB flash drive, there is a fee for the drive cost.

Save Money — DIY

If you have several tapes to convert, and have your own VCR, it’s possible to purchase a converter device for about $100 that can save the video to your computer. [View Device] Cheaper devices may be available, but the conversion quality or software may not be as good.

Save Money with National Services

Because of the diminishing need for VHS services, there are currently few providers of video conversion services. Those who provide such services locally will probably use a typical home VCR and a low-cost analog to digital converter device. National service centers are able to provide video transfer services at lower prices because they have low-paid employees handling the repetitive menial tasks involved in digital conversion. A higher paid employee might handle equipment repair, tape repair, and video editing. In this way, the overall cost of bulk duplication and digitization can be lower.

An example of a national video service center would be ScanCafe. Their website offers a video conversion calculator to determine the cost of the service. [View Pricing

A set of 5 VHS tapes transferred to a DVD set of 5 DVDs would be about $170 with ScanCafe. 

As of 2019, ScanCafe has been based in Indianapolis, IN.

The same conversion services from a local video center might cost about $300.