For the convenience of our customers, we’ve decided to answer some of the questions we hear most often. We’ve broken these questions up into groups according to the service offered. Please take a look and if you have any other questions, feel free to call us Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm at (858)503-7965.
First of all we’re human. We answer the phone and we greet you at the front counter. It is easy to get us on the phone to ask questions and solve problems. Secondly, we’re really good at what we do. Each of our technicians is trained to be an expert on the media they manage. We’re getting to touch the most important possessions that our customers hold, so we need to be worthy of that. Third, we know that people choose us because they value the safety and simplicity of doing business with a local company.
We are a good choice first because you don’t have to take the risk of mailing your most precious possessions out to be managed in bulk by someone you can’t even get on the phone. Second, we are usually providing a much higher quality product. In addition to MP4 files which are compressed, we can also provide very high quality video files (AVI and MOV) if you want them, high resolution image files that go through 3 levels of quality control, and meticulously preserved film. Third, our pricing is competitive with online sources.
We think we are the safest option. We’ve been in business since 2006 and never lost or damaged any piece of media. Doing all the work in house with technicians trained to be experts on their specific media gives our customers great comfort. The fact that, for example, we never use document scanners to speed up photo scanning, also means that photos never get damaged. Everything we can do to make the process safe and secure has been done.
Processing is done in the lab where you drop off your media. It never leaves our office. In the case of the Redondo Beach office, processing is actually done in the Culver City lab.
Yes…nowadays most customers want their media back on thumb drives or external hard drives instead of discs.
For most orders we can. We use several cloud services for this and charge a nominal fee. The only exceptions would be large orders of uncompressed video or very large collections of images, where it just isn’t practical.
We aren’t really set up to do work while you wait. We maintain first in/first out queues and your work gets done in the order it was placed. If you have a small project that absolutely HAS to be done while you wait, you may be able to call ahead and schedule an appointment with one of our technicians and pay a rush fee to move your work to the front of the queue.
It’s easy to place an order with us. Most of our customers just bring their media in exactly as it is and place an order with one of our technicians. We will take a small amount of information from you, discuss your project options, count your media, and write everything up in our system. We will then give you an estimate. If the order is over $100, we will take a 50% deposit.
Sometimes customers want to mail their media to us instead of driving in. This is fine as well. We will simply call after everything has been counted and take the deposit over the phone.
We don’t currently have a system online to place orders. Most customers out of state that want to place orders with us simply box up their media and mail it directly to one of our locations. We count the media and then call to discuss the project.
No. If the order is below $100.00 you pay when the order is complete. If the order is over $100.00 then we take a 50% deposit when the order is placed, and then the balance when you pick up.
Not usually. Most of our customers just come in during open hours (make sure to check…our locations don’t all have the same hours).
Customers do make appointments for such purposes as previewing film or videotapes before placing an order or sitting with one of our editors to build a custom video tribute. If you have specific notes on your media, it is best to make an appointment with the technician who will be working on your order (check out our ‘About Us’ page!)
Most of the time our customers drop off at one of our convenient locations. For large projects, where a media archive would be impractical to bring in, we do offer pick up service and free on site estimates for large projects.
Leadtime depends on the size of the project and our current queues. Most standard size projects typically take a week or two.
Yes. We can often get you what you need for an urgent project on very short notice. In order to get your project to the front of the queue and meet your deadline we may need to delay other projects and work additional hours. We can do this, but this sometimes incurs a rush fee.
Yes. We are ideally structured to handle large projects that demand archival quality and organization. Our Sales Director handles consultations and estimates for those. We have many government, education, and entertainment references for this kind of work.
Yes. One of the reasons that University archivists and foundation archivists like working with us is because of our ability to manage their collections locally, and provide the security they demand.
Yes. For large projects we will often provide pickup and delivery services.
Yes. For very large projects we typically like to have at least one on site visit for cataloging, estimating, and consulting. Our consulting and estimates are typically done free of charge.
Yes. On request.
Our normal terms and conditions of business set out our guarantee not to disclose or share any media that comes through our systems. However, for very large projects it is possible to put in place a more specific NDA.
Yes. Just bring your photo albums in as is. We’ll take care of the rest.
Maybe. Every phone is slightly different and not all operating systems make it easy. It is better if you get the photos off your phone and bring them to us on a thumb drive if you want them incorporated into a video tribute.
ALL negative formats. We have equipment and expertise to handle just about everything.
ALL slide formats. We have equipment and expertise to handle just about everything.
Yes. We have a large format Epson 10,000 scanner at each of our locations. For documents too large even for that we can use multiple scans and then digitally stitch the final image together.
We offer Digital Ice™ for color scans which helps with dust and particles. We also offer separately a photo restoration service whereby major restoration can be undertaken.
Nope. Bring them to us as is.
Yes, we can scan those on the Epson 10000 and if necessary digitally stitch the final image together.
Yes, photo albums and scrapbooks can be scanned as full pages.
No. We currently do not offer any printing services.
No. We currently do not offer any chemical development services. We only convert already developed film to digital.
It depends. Most of our customers now want digital files that they can edit, share, and backup to the cloud. But some of our customers are still more comfortable with playable DVDs that they can simply insert into a DVD player. We support both approaches.
Many smart TVs have USB ports on them, so it is easy to plug a thumb drive in. Usually the TV will have software that automatically detects the video files and will play them. For these TVs, MP4 files are best. There are other approaches to get your content on to your HD TV however. Google Chromecast and Apple TV are two good ways to stream wirelessly from a laptop directly to a TV.
We convert virtually all consumer video tape formats, including some PAL formats. For some rare formats we may need to send that tape to one of our other locations for transfer.
Sometimes. It depends on the operating system on your phone and how you have your phone set up. It is always better if you get the videos off your phone and bring them to us on a thumb drive.
Yes, we repair audio and video tapes, including providing new enclosures.
Yes…just call ahead to make an appointment with our video tape technician in the location nearest you.
Our pricing is per tape. Most standard tapes are 29.99 each to convert to DVD or Hard Drive. You can find the prices for less common tapes here. Please note that if you have any tape less than 10 minutes there is a $5 discount. Also, if you have 6 tapes or more there is a 10% discount, and if you have 20 tapes or more there is a 20% discount. Blank tapes are no charge.
Yes…6 tapes gets you a 10% discount; 20 tapes gets you a 20% discount. If you have a large quantity of tapes please contact us to inquire about further discount possibilities.
Yes…if a tape is less than 10 minutes, there is a $5.00 discount.
If you only want one section the best way to get this done is to queue the tape to the start of the section with one of our technicians, and let us know how long the section is. If you want multiple sections the best way to get this done is to have the tape converted to a digital file. Then you can view the digital file and tell us the timecode of what sections you want to keep and what you want to remove. We can then render a new file, or burn the new video to a DVD.
If you want to upload and share your videos online it is best to have them converted to digital files in the first place. MP4 files are compressed, and require less storage.
Yes. It is best to format the hard drive before bringing it to us. It is usually best to format it “exFAT” because that will allow larger file sizes to be copied to the drive.
Often we can improve on the results obtained by other companies because we have a large inventory of decks and we are more hands-on and meticulous than some of our national online competitors are able to be.
Yes, we offer 1080p film transfer for 8mm, super8, and 16mm. We get great results on all formats, but the results of high-def film transfer are often best with 16mm film.
We handle 8mm, Super8, and 16mm, including sound, in all of our locations. We can handle 35mm projects on a case by case basis, but we handle those centrally…not in our local labs.
About 85% of our customers choose our Premium service which includes scene by scene lighting and color correction. This always helps with fading and color shifting immensely. If the film is very brittle, or smells of vinegar bring it in to one of our locations for evaluation.
Yes. We convert magnetic sound on Super8 and optical 16mm film and on 35mm special projects.
Yes. You can make an appointment with our film technician and spend a few minutes previewing your film reels.
Pricing is usually per reel, depending on the diameter of the reel. If you have reels that are not full, we can also price by the foot. You can see all of our film pricing here.
It is harder to discount for film because it is so labor intensive to do the meticulous work of capture, lighting, and color correction. However, we do sometimes offer discounts for large projects. Please contact your store manager for details.
Yes…we can help you get that done. We will convert your CDs to digital files and give those to you on a thumb drive or external hard drive. Then, you can take those files and upload them on to your phone.
Most of our customers are converting their cassettes or LPs to digital files instead of converting to CDs. When you convert to digital files you can play your music on your phone, on bluetooth speakers, smart speakers, or network speaker systems such as Sonos. But some people still prefer to keep it simple and just have CDs to play in a trusty CD player. We are here for that too.
We LOVE working on old family audio recordings. We can often help enhance the sound, reduce background noise, and bring out important voices. We will provide free samples of our audio restoration at your request.
Yes. In addition to standard cassettes, we also convert mini-cassettes and micro-cassettes.
When we convert LPs we do some light reduction of pops and clicks…but not so much that we reduce the fidelity of the actual music that you want to hear and preserve.
Yes! We convert quarter inch audio reel to reel tapes (half-track and quarter-track). Our customers are often surprised at how great the sound is on these old tapes. Quarter inch audio was a GREAT format!
Yes. It is always a privilege to work on these old greeting discs that service members recorded and sent home. We love working on them and working hard to pull out the best sound we can get.
Yes. We have several packages for memorial video tributes that can be done urgently. Please see our Video Tribute page here.
It is a great idea to come to us with plenty of time in advance. We can incorporate favorite photos, film clips, video clips, and favorite music to create a great that will bring the house down. Our editors have done a ton of these over the years, so you are in great hands.
Yes…we do lots of graduation video tributes every year. Get your photos, film clips, video clips, and anything else you can think of together and bring it in to our editor. They will help you weave all of that material into a beautiful video for your celebration.
Yes…We can provide custom art on both the disc and the case. We can develop the artwork from photos and other material you provide, or you can provide the artwork to us and we can adapt it for printing on to the discs and the cases.
Yes…as long as the DVDs are not copy protected and do not contain copyrighted material.
Yes! We can extract data from 5.25 inch and 3.5 inch floppies. We can’t guarantee you’ll be able to USE the data though. A lot of the data from old floppies simply isn’t supported by current software. There is no way for us to know one way or the other.
Yes…we can extract data from most old portable storage formats.