Popular Tags:

Different Type of Video Tape Formats

July 6, 2018 at 7:26 pm

As technology keeps on progressing, we’re constantly switching out the old for the new. There have been so many different tape formats and shifts of technology over the years, it’s not easy for anyone to keep track of the model names or equipment needed to play their old videotapes. Hopefully, I have kept track of videotape formats that will help you figure out exactly what kind of tapes we have or had.

First of all what is a videotape?

Videotape is magnetic tape devices which are used for storing video and mostly sound in addition. Information can be stored in the form of either an analog signal or digital signal. Videotape is used in both video tape recorders (VTRs) or, more commonly, videocassette recorders (VCRs) and camcorders. Videotapes can also be used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram.

Now let’s talk what types fall under videotapes:

Learn about different types of videotapes formats as follows from which some of the formats disappeared into history.

These cassettes were Introduced by Olympus in 1969. These were smaller than a standard audio cassette. These cassettes were used for voice recordings and home answering machines. Microcassettes were broadly utilized for dictation and messages in a pocket-sized gadget. They were additionally used to record messages in some telephone answering machines.

Audio Cassette
These cassettes were developed by Phillips and released in 1963-1964. These were the most popular audio recording medium for consumers until the development of CDs.The Compact Cassette position, when at first released, did not offer dependable sound quality and was promoted for recording voice.

audio cassette

VHS (Video Home System) tapes are viewed with VCR (Video Cassette Recorder). VHS-C tapes are a compact version of a VHS and were created to facilitate the design of smaller camcorders and can be inserted inside VHS shell-adapter tapes to allow for VCR compatibility. VHS is utilized by home consumers, and also to a limited extent in television.
VHS tapes record up to 200 minutes in SP mode (or 600 minutes in EP mode) while VHS-C tapes can record 40 minutes in SP mode (or 120 minutes in EP mode).


These 8mm and Hi-8 tapes measure the same dimensions and come in the same cassette casing. Hi8 is the successor to the original Video8 format and is an analog format. The length of the recording of 8mm tapes is 120 minutes in SP mode and 240 minutes in LP mode while Hi-8 tapes display both their running time with a range from 30, 60, or 120 minutes of video in SP mode. 8mm and Hi-8 tapes both are compatible with Hi-8 or Digital-8 cameras, with the assistance of a wire connecting the camcorder to a TV or VCR, or can be transferred to a VHS tape for VCR compatibility. Now preserve your special moments by hi 8 to dvd conversion at Digital Video & film Lab, LLC.

MiniDVs was the first digital format available to customers, this has become the most popular type of videotape format. MiniDV tapes can record 80 minutes in SP mode or 120 minutes in LP mode. MiniDV can likewise be utilized to store different types of information with the help of appropriate format. MiniDV tapes can hold about 13GB of information along this way. Play these tapes on the camcorder and connected by a wire to a TV or computer.

This disc having 8 cm (3 in.) in diameter. These are-recordable 8 cm discs are commonly used in DVD-based camcorders. Depends on the variant, these discs can offer up to 5.2 GB of storage space.

These were a proprietary videotape format introduced in 2001 by Sony. -Physically the smallest of all videotape formats, 70% smaller than a MiniDV cassette. Each cassette can hold up to 60 minutes of video.

3/4 U- Matic
These were developed by Sony and released in 1971 as a professional videotape format. It was among the first video formats to have the videotape inside a cassette, as opposed to the various open-reel formats of the time.

5 Easy Steps to Shift from Magnetic Tapes to Cloud Storage

September 27, 2017 at 7:30 pm

The world moves one step forward every day and no one here wishes to stay seated at one place. Do you know it’s possible to carry every bit of your loved memory in your pocket all the time, that too without carrying any special kind of memory device. Can you name the tech behind this miracle? Its cloud storage. You can virtually carry everything you and your family recorded in last 5 decades, that too with just almost no empty space on your phone. Here, you buy some space online and store everything there for all time easy reach. But first, you need to get your 8mm films, 16mm films or vhs tapes converted to a digital format.



Things are quite simple as you can choose a professional 8mm film to dvd and digital converter (also available for other older formats), create a collection of your valuable files and upload them accordingly. Unlike physical damages to vhs tapes or even video discs, cloud computing makes it easier for someone to get a detailed view of his/her past. Here are some simple steps to follow and enjoy one always available database of sweet and emotion filled memories.


  • Search for all available vhs tapes, 8mm films, 16mm films or any other kind of storage that could have been used in your family.
  • Reach for your reliable digital lab and ask for broadcast grade equipment for successful conversion.
  • Bring back your memories with added menus, titles and dates for the best ever experience.
  • Make one digital collection under specific folder names and save them on your hard drive.
  • Use your favorite cloud computing network to upload all of them for all time availability.


This works very well where internet connections are strong and reliable. People have shared their entire lifetime achievements online and that even makes sharing much more easy than any other medium. All that begins with the mood to get your old tapes converted. Actually, 8mm as well as 16mm film to dvd and digital conversion has became a necessity these days. Finding compatible players is one problem while other comes with its degrading quality with each passing day. These magnetic storage options are quite vulnerable to damage and need extra care than modern day stuff like dvd or card storage.


Choose or refuse is solely a personal decision but moving forward with technology can help you save memories for much longer duration than it was possible before the introduction of the concept of virtual memory. Folks at Digital Video Lab / preservetodvd.com are highly committed to their job as they can help you preserve all of your stuff in any of the possible way. Do remember to keep all the physical copies safe or at least set one password recovery wayout that is easy and accessible to your next generation. Happy memories!

How Professional Grade Equipment wins over Straight Transfers

September 3, 2017 at 7:32 pm


Whenever someone thinks of transferring the memories from an old VHS tape to DVD, every recommendation will fall in the professional equipment category of film transfer. Many think that this is one DIY practice but beware, things get fishy as soon as you start the same on your side. Just in case you have not heard of the side effects, let me explain two different terms in the world of film recording and transfers. What most people do is ‘straight transfer’, a term coined when one use a regular consumer grade 8mm film to DVD or 16mm film to DVD and digital conversion equipment.


Another term is professional broadcast grade equipment, used in case a service provider has used highly specialized recorders to extract every bit of information in the highest available quality. The latter has the ability to shock everyone with such extreme levels of sophistication of matter inside the old tape that going for straight transfers would never be a choice again. Here we have few solid points to prove why professional services are highly recommended over straight transfers.


# Pure visual and aural experience

When using professional grade equipment for film to dvd transfer, the amount of noise experienced gets minimized to bare negligible level. Noise reduction further clears the way for better dialogue and music quality, helping you enjoy memories in a better way than regular 8mm or 16mm films. Picture quality through professional equipment in enhanced and balanced in a better way.


# Minimal compression

The biggest benefit of using professional service for 8mm film to DVD and digital conversion is its highest quality of settings for lowest possible compression. This makes a pro made DVD good for bigger displays and better sound systems while straight transfers will provide the same quality on small as well as big screen.


# Precise authoring

Professional broadcast grade transfers have no chances of error in any sort of authoring on the disc. One can effortlessly divide the DVD into virtually infinite chapters and all of them have playable separate spaces on the screen. Inserting background music and visual effects was never that easy and still impossible under straight transfers.


# Tailored to perfection

Not just one gets authoring option under professional services, the tapes are transferred after removing all the dead frames or time gaps between the stories. One gets the option of adding timestamps to all those separate frames. Navigation menus are decided well before transfer as need of the customer is highly respected in professional services. Unlike odd transfers that freeze at some frames, pro services are pretty smooth and consistent all over the disc.


In fact, the easiest way to differentiate between both is the use of additional frames inside your original video. Discs made through straight transfers will not even have a welcome note on your screen. Will you let your precious memories risk their quality under such conditions? I guess the answer is a big no!

6 Benefits of using DVD over VHS

August 29, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Ever thought why this generation moved to DVD from the very precious VHS tapes? As VHS was the only way of recording personal memories at that time, it ruled the world for more than two decades and once seen as a threat by the television industry, it went out of mainstream limelight around 2008. The only reason for its extinction was DVD and here we have 6 solid reason to prove why getting VHS converted into DVD is the best way to secure your memories for future generations.

Benifits of VHS to dvd


1. Extensively Long Life

DVDs can last over 100 years, providing ultimate protection to your favourite content. Passing the same to your children becomes easy and highly reliable. VHS degrades over time and has a small life span of around 5 years. This makes DVDs 20 times better than mummifying your favourite VHS tape or transferring its content from one to another after short intervals.

2. Data Security from Electric/Magnetic Fields

Data from VHS tapes could be lost if it meets with a strong magnetic or electric field. As they are magnetic tapes, change in weather also affects the quality and lifetime of the product. DVD stores data optically and makes it safe against various laws and forces of nature. This means you can easily use DVDs at all places where weather is not that reliable or changes frequently.

3. Zero Depreciation in Quality

DVDs either work or they are scrapped. There is no chance that you will get signal noise while playing your favourite movie through DVD, even after it has completed a decade of its recording. In case of VHS, you will face distortion or loss of quality very easily when time moves on. When you will be ready to gift your memories to your grandchildren, relying on a DVD is the best way in present scenario.

4. Time Saving

DVDs are copied at a much faster pace when compared to VHS. Spreading content through DVD is easy and highly time saving affair. You can burn DVDs at different speeds and make unlimited number of copies without losing the quality of content inside any of them. They are even rewriteable and covers all the benefits that were once specific to VHS.

5. Interactive Layouts

You can insert different interactive layouts in DVD formats. The menus are clickable and you can shift from one scene to another with just one click. This helps differentiate scenes and even let you start from your favourite point any number of times. VHS does not have such chapter point provision with them, making them feel pale before DVD for sure.

6. Low Cost

At present, buying a DVD or a player that plays the same is more cost effective than VHS and VCR. Easy availability of parts makes them good for extensive use whereas VCR parts are mostly hard to find and once damaged, one needs to be lucky enough to find a replacement.

How do you know if your 8mm Film Transfers are captured Frame by Frame?

April 18, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Over the past several months we have  been receiving calls from the Los Angeles Community about Frame By Frame Transfers for their 8mm & 16mm Films.  Frame by Frame Transfers is exactly what it means, FRAME BY FRAME.  Film is scanned by a professional film scanner in either 720p or 1080p resolution.  The example below is an exact demonstration  of a FRAME by FRAME capture.

At Digital Video & Film Lab, we transfer all films by a Professional film scanner.  After which, each frame is assembled and color and exposure corrected, as we slowly bring back to life what your films should really look like.



Standard Definition captures are Authored to Regular DVDs and High Definition is Authored to Blu Ray.  All Digital files are provided at no additional cost.  Image Sequences (example below) are provided upon request.

It’s simple and beware of imitation, if a company cannot provide you with Image Sequences files of your films, then it’s not a Frame by Frame Transfer.
image sequence example


April 10, 2015 at 7:35 pm

Our VHS TO DVD & 8MM FILM Conversion Service In Los Angeles

Choosing a company that you can trust to transfer all your cherished memories can be a very exhausting  process.  Who should you trust?  Will they deliver quality? Will they ship off your media to some far off distant country?  Will they lose your tapes and films of your entire life’s memories?

Here is some pointers you should consider when choosing a company for your VHS TO DVD, 8MM FILM TO DVD TRANSFERS.

1.   Choose a company to transfers all your media in house and Locally in Los Angeles.  Although you may find “great” prices online and in other States, please beware, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true”.  There’s always a risk, but if prices are too cheap, you’re more than likely sacrificing quality from your important memories.

2.  It’s easy these days to create a great looking website.  Don’t settle for something that ONLY looks beautiful.  Call the company and speak to them to get a sense of who’s going to be handling your precious memories.  Are they knowledgeable?  Do they know or offer various options on the process of how your VIDEOS or 8MM FILMS will be transferred?

3.  Never agree to upfront payment, before transfers!  Although some companies require deposits which is reasonable, always make sure you have the ability to pay for your DVDs when they are ready for pickup.  This will insure they have the incentives to get your job on time, rather than taking their time since payment is already made.

  •  This,  is what we consider to be one of the most important aspects of your decisions.    You want to be transferring your media, ONCE.  You shouldn’t have to settle for some inferior transfers only to have your DVDs not play after a few years.

When inquiring , get a sense of their transfer process.  How many hours are they placing on a single dvd?  Two hours?  Three hours?  Thinking you are getting a bargain to have 3 hours of running time on a DVD is at the sacrifice of quality.  The more running time they place, the more video compression there is, quality of images and sound is reduced!  2 Hours is Maximum, 1 hour is the best!  Consider digital files, this is the future,.  Are dvd’s authored or straight transferred?  Authored are always best as video has to be digitized FIRST before creating the DVDs.

Using quality DVDs is also very important.  Cheap and inferior DVDs that are used to cut YOUR cost will only result to unplayable DVDs, eventually.  Lastly, no labels on the the DVDs.  Insists on getting your titles printed on Printable inkjet DVDs.  Paper labelled DVDs, after hours of playback render dvds unplayable when those labels start peeling off! 







8mm & 16mm Film Transfer To High Definition !

March 25, 2014 at 7:35 pm

16mm Film

Considering to Transfer your 8mm or 16mm Film?  Look no further....  We at Digital Video & Film Lab, Scan your Films frame by frame in True High Definition!  
Our all inclusive pricing includes Blu Ray DVDs and Hi Def Files of your choice.  We provide the Ultimate 8mm & 16mm Film Transfer Service to DVD or Blu Ray.   All Films are scanned and process includes Cleaning, Lubrication
color and Exposure Correction, Fully Authored DVDs.  We also provide High Quality Digital Files in Quicktime format may it be from Apple Pro Res, DV or even 
Uncompressed AVI Files.  We also provide FREE Hard Drive for Quantity orders.
We are local and most turnarounds are between 7 to 10 Working Days.  Vhs to DVD Transfer Service is also available.

Please inquire or call 310.997.6448 or 818.812.6084  We would be most please to attend to you.

Raymond Izaac

Welcome to Digital Video & Film Lab – Your Local Video & Film Transfer Facility

August 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst and foremost, i would like to Welcome all clients, Past, Future and Present to our newly created blog for Digital Video & Film Lab, LLC. Here, we will be providing you with substantial information on the latest technology advancements for Video and 8mm Film Transfers. We will also update you and provide information on latest gadgets that relate to all Video & Film Industries.

We would be most pleased if you follow and subscribe to our blog to also receive new and discounted promotions for all your Video and Film Transfer needs. We transfer all Video & Film formats like, VHS, MINIDV, Hi8, Digital 8, Regular 8mm, Super 8mm, to virtually any type of Digital Files and Fully Authored DVDs and Blu Ray.

As the Owner and CEO of Digital Video & Film Lab, coming from the Motion Picture Industry with 12 Film production credits under my belt, we finally are able to bridge “Hollywood” quality to consumers at very affordable prices. Our process of transfers are very unique and one of the kind in Los Angeles. We look forward to posting more info in the coming weeks which we will explain our fantastic process.

With this, we close and hope each and everyone will have a safe and pleasant weekend!

Raymond Izaac
Digital Video & Film Lab, LLC