5 Film and Video Conversion Services Compared

By Denise Levenick Premium

Have you watched any old home movies lately? Compared to family photographs, film and video have a short lifespan — so don’t let your own “moving pictures” fade into oblivion. Each of the services below can convert your old movie film or videotapes to digital format, then burn the footage to DVDs you can view on your TV or computer. Many services also offer custom chapter marks and other personalization features.

Home Movie Depot
Phone: (866) 386-6843
Cost: Prices start at $14.95 per video, or 15 cents per foot for 8- or 16-mm film. Easy Box Flat Fee service also available.
Options: High-definition (HD) service and AVI files available. Online editor lets you view your order and customize for reorders.
Features: Share movies via e-mail, Facebook or company website. Your viewers get a free DVD offer.
Locations: Lab is in Ashland, Mo. Call or set up your order online.

Phone: (800) 845-7986
Cost: Digital conversion starts at $9.99 per videotape or 50-foot film reel; add $9.99 to get a DVD.
Options: For an extra fee, get a USB drive loaded with your movies in AVI format. Ship in your own box, a prepaid SafeShip Kit, or SafeShip with GPS tracking.
Features: See It Before You DVD It converts your film to digital format, then you go online to sort, label, and organize films to save to DVD. Set your own chapter marks.
Locations: Lab is in Scottsdale, Ariz. Set up your account and order online.

iPreserve Northwest
Phone: (503) 628-2228
Cost: Prices start at $20 to convert a two-hour video to DVD, 25 cents per foot for 8mm or 16mm film, and 45 cents per foot for sound film.
Options: Personalized service is available for rush orders, laserdisc conversion, and editable AVI files.
Features: Request AVI files for preview, and set your own chapters at custom points.
Locations: Lab is in Hillsboro, Ore. Call or e-mail to get started.

Phone: (888) 333-2808
Cost: Prices start at $19.95 to convert a two-hour video to DVD;
film starts at 28 cents per foot.
Options: ScanDigital can provide editable files on a USB drive.
Features: Chapter points are set using Scene Detection, or choose custom points.
Locations: Lab is in El Segundo, Calif. Set up your order online and follow instructions for secure shipping.

Cost: Prices vary widely by store. A two-hour VHS-to-DVD conversion costs $17.99; film starts at $17.99 at Costco locations.
Options: YesVideo doesn’t offer editable files or any type of custom work.
Features: DVDs feature chapter menus, music video highlights and Digital Scrapbook PC software. Purchase includes 90 days free access to view and share videos online.
Locations: Labs in Norcross, Ga., and Santa Clara, Calif. Drop-off services through local retailers including Costco, Walmart and Walgreens.

From the March 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine.