Costco Video Transfer

If you are a Costco member, there's a new service you may want to look into: Costco Video Transfer and Costco Film Transfer.

This service fills an important role, because it’s estimated that 700 million home movies are stashed away in closets and basements, many of them degrading away because of the limited life span of film and video. If you don’t believe me, here’s a video my father took over thirty years ago – I can’t even make out my mother’s face anymore. Do you have your wedding video stashed 'safely' in a closet in your bedroom? Don’t end up like this faceless bride video.


Costco charges $20 for a video transfer and takes about three weeks. You drop them off at the same place you drop your photos, but unlike their photos that get processed right on site, these video tapes and film reels are sent off to California. That’s why the service takes three weeks. Some customers are uncomfortable about that, some don’t realize they get shipped offsite, some are okay with that.

Costco Video TransferWhat do you get back after 3 weeks? You get back a gold-plated DVD and on the cover of the DVD box, they put little thumbnail photos of what’s on the DVD to help you identify it visually. When you play the DVD, you’ll see those thumbnails like on on-screen index. Click a thumbnail to start the video right at that scene.

One more caveat: This service is only for families who just want to pop their DVDs into their player and do not mind watching raw video footage. I personally cannot stand watching unedited raw video footage. It’s like watching grass grow. In my last post where I listed reasons why your friends and family don’t watch your videos, this is what I’m talking about.

If do you want to edit your videos, you want to transfer them to a hard drive, not to a DVD. This is because it’s very tricky to edit videos already burned on DVDs, and since the videos have been compressed for DVDs, the quality of your edited video will be inferior compared to if you were working with original source files on a hard drive. To transfer your videos to a hard drive, consider the options I listed in my post Transferring your videos to a hard drive.

Anyway, whichever option you choose, digitizing your videos is the only way to stop the video degradation is important, so don’t wait to transfer your home videos and film, and if you are a Costco member, you've one fewer excuse to wait.

Comments

  1. chuck says:

    I have a Costco near me. How do I go about getting more specific and detailed information about the service. I need an estimate for transfer of Super 8 film, VHS and Super 8 cassette transferred to hard drive so I can edit it.

    Thanks.

  2. John Houseman says:

    I have 11 (super) 8mm films spliced together on one reel, half with sound, half without sound.
    Together about 550 ft of film.
    I want three gold disks as a product. How much would this cost ?
    I am near the Azusa, CA, store.

  3. Big Red says:

    I was ahead of everyone about 7 years ago. Sent off my film to Florida and apparently they got lost for 8 MONTHS!!! Ok, I started this company and my clients would NEVER send to a local store (I heard some of this stuff goes to Mexico and India!). Call someone local…trust me, the prices that the local stores have is not worth your lost memories!

  4. Eden says:

    If your looking for a better way to digitize your footage for editing purposes, check out http://www.digitallaundry.net.

  5. Ryan Graves says:

    I provide this service as well for the same rate, including bulk discounts, custom packaging, multiple tapes to a single DVD, optimum resolution and incredibly quick turnaround…and I'm local! Feel free to look me up at http://www.seattlevideotransfer.com. Thanks!

  6. TJ says:

    It's a great service! If only people like Jeff Talbot would dig up his old VHS Videos & put them on DVD's, they'd be preserved for the kids & grandkids to see! VHS only lasts 15 years before they start to fade & crack. Then the memories are lost for ever! Come on Dad's, do it now!

  7. Phil Thomas says:

    Love Costco….but Yesvideo who they outsource to are consistently are not the best, it can take months and the quality of their film transfers is terrible. We see their DVD's all the time, dark, out of focus, cropped heads, it's so disappointing Costco didn't vet quality before bottom line.
    We get a lot of referrals from our local Costco due to employees fed up of complaints. Our company is http://www.gotmemories.com (480)970-7690 Open M-F 10-5pm PST.

  8. Jacob says:

    If you're in southern California and are nervous about shipping your precious tapes away, there's a great company called DVD Your Memorieswhich can handle it in half the time with stunning quality.

  9. Jane Shafron says:

    Video transfer is a great first step towards preserving important family stories. However, a new industry is emerging: personal history documentary – or video biography. Integrating old film and video into a life story DVD creates a legacy that will become a treasure for generations. My business is one such video production company – http://www.yourstoryherehome.com – but there are others. Try Googling "video biography" and good luck!

  10. xxx says:

    Why would you ask a question like this? Furthermore, why do so MANY people ask questions like this? Do you really think you would get a more accurate and timely answer by posting such a detailed and specific question here and then waiting for someone to do what you could do by simply calling Costco and asking? How would someone reasonably expect that this poor woman would call their local Costco and price check services for them is beyond me. Have you no hands and no ears to do it yourself?

    It frustrates me how many people won't do at least a little bit of their own legwork, especially when a person has already gone so far out of their way to provide information or techniques for others. Do people want every little thing on a silver platter?

  11. wallace Martin says:

    I need a live person to talk to. I am a Costco member and have numerous questions. Please call me at 760-384-6054.

  12. Bill says:

    You definitely have to be careful with places like Costco, Walmart, etc. They handle a high volume and are great at getting you low prices on paper towels, cereal and pretzels. But you might want to think twice before trusting them with your home movies. I can tell you from knowing COUNTLESS people who had their movies lost by these and other large chain stores. If you are in the Philadelphia/New York/Baltimore/Washington area, there is a FANTASTIC transfer facility that does EVERYTHING audio/video related ON SITE in Wilmington, DE, right on route 202. Their website is http://www.DDVF.com Very reasonable pricing, work is done on site and top quality. I speak from experience, as I had my movies converted there and continue to use them whenever I have the need.
    (302) 888-2737

  13. We are in our 21st year of film transfers & dvd/cd duplication.
    We service various locations in Ca, Nv, Az.
    We are state of the art and can handle all of your needs or answer your question. We are friendly, reliable, and knowledgeable.
    I would say our 21 years speaks for itself.
    Transfers Unlimited:
    1-800-463-3222

  14. Zoe says:

    YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR WITH A DVD TRANSFER. This is very true! I would like to recommend an INCREDIBLE company called Timeless DVD for DVD and video transfer.

    Keep in mind that larger transfer companies like YesVideo use an automated process for their transfers. This means that a minimum-wage clerk loads hundreds of tapes into VCRs and lets them run without ever checking for quality issues. Automation is why they can keep their prices so low. (It also enables them to outsource transfer work to India and elsewhere, which they often don't mention.)

    Timeless DVD does not use an automated transfer process. They monitor every transfer to make sure that everything is going smoothly. This is a large part of why their conversions look so great, IMO. They also use broadcast/professional-quality decks and processors, while bulk-type companies use cheap VCRs to save on costs. And Timeless DVD works completely on-site, just outside of Philadelphia.

    Timeless DVD can also transfer your video into AVI files so that you can edit your videos yourself on your computer. Larger companies will not offer this (as mentioned in the original post).

    I speak from experience, as I have used Timeless DVD for both DVD transfers and computer files over the past few years. Trust me, they are awesome. Their website is http://www.timelessdvd.com

  15. Don Payne says:

    I am sorry to say I went with COSTCO. It was waste of time & money. No matter what is advertised the transfers are NOT color corrected that well. I had to have mine done three times. Finally gave up and took what was sent to me. The editing feature will not work on my computer. The DVD will only play on one segment at a time. I called the 800 # and got a web site. Went there. " NO LONGER AVAVALABLE" My advice, Save your money and go someplace other than COSTCO

    • Sarah says:

      You're most definitely going to have to spend a liltte bit more.I bought my Toshiba laptop that's built for gaming from Circuit City on sale for I believe only $ 900. I also bought a $ 350 2 year extended warranty so that I'm golden for the next 3 years. It's a great laptop. Fast, awesome graphics, a mini stereo system that makes it sound great, etc. And there's not one place in-game where I lag. Ever.You can also try Newegg.com Great site for high quality, cheap electronics. And don't ever buy from Best Buy. Even though Circuit City may not be the best either, Best Buy is by far the worst imo.

  16. Mike says:

    I live in Las Vegas and found a great company for transferring my videos, NuFilez Media, http://www.nufilez.com The guys were really nice and even though my videos were almost lost to the Vegas heat, they took care of my tapes.

  17. jeff says:

    Costco sends all there stuff elsewhere and trust me, they lose stuff. I tried http://www.homemoviedepot.com and the experience was wonderful. Great price and great service

    • Kellie says:

      I've recently had a very bad experience with Home Movie Depot that has dragged on for nearly 2 months. I talked with a Jeff who is apparently the customer service manager. I wonder if this is the same Jeff?

      • Elizabeth says:

        Home Movie Depot has been experiencing some major work load issues this fall/winter. They are considerably behind schedule right now and I also had some huge frustrations with getting a project back this past month as well after being told it would be back several weeks ago. When I called to complain I was not happy with their response (Jeff) either. My footage came back and it all 5 hours look awful. I am going to take it to another place to see if it truly is a deterioration issue or not getting "premium processing" which I paid for in order to rush it back to a complaining customer.

      • Paraty says:

        I too had a very bad experience with Home Movie Depot and Jeff (Jeff Johnson is his name; email jeff_johnson@homemoviedepot.com). Output quality is just ok, even paying premium processing. It took them weeks to deliver the job, charged me for Fedex Express service and sent via super saver ground, was not nice and attentive over the phone (you just have to wait your turn, we're overloaded and I don't know when we'll be able to fullfill your order).

        I was also charged for items I didn't buy or authorize.

        My recommendation is stay away from these people.

  18. Veronica says:

    For the same price, I personally tried, and loved imemories.com

    You can view and edit your videos on their website which isn't the most extreme editing software but it's better than nothing. I sent in four tapes and only had to order 2 dvds, so it was cheaper than costco was (I tried them first, it's ok but you get what you get)

  19. Linda Byrd says:

    I have found a great transfering company in St. Louis, MO that has been in business for over 29 years….that says a lot!
    They do all the film media transfers right on site at their St. Louis location…if you live locally your can just bring your video over…warm great customer service. If you need to ship they have never lost a shipment in 29+ years! Go to their website http://www.cintrexav.com or call 800-325-9541. P.S. they even offer Courier Service!

  20. garden seat says:

    Must say these intriguing items you have discussed are really worth studying and sharing, I must say the style in which you have published this post has genuinely assisted me to alter my viewpoint around Simple Video Editing. Why didnt I remember about this? I would actually wish to understand more on this theme.

  21. joe says:

    costco looks like a yesvideo product so good luck.

  22. Rupert Clerc says:

    The great post helped me very much! Bookmarked your blog, very interesting topics everywhere that I read here! I like the information, thanks.

  23. Nicole says:

    I took (7) 3" reels to Costco to have them transferred to a DVD. Three weeks later they tell me there's nothing on them. The reels were full when I dropped them off! How could the film that was inside the casing just be gone! It has now been 3 months and nothing. The manager who said he would make the phone calls to YesVideo and find out what happened hasn't called me. I've had to contact him two times to find out the status. DO NOT USE COSTCO transferring if you hope to keep your precious memories. The only videos of my husband as a child in the early 70's are gone!!!!!

  24. Mike Downing says:

    Perfect post. I run a business in Las Vegas that does video transfers and everything we do is onsite. People shouldn't send their memories out in the mail, there is too much possibility of things going wrong. All local Las vegas people should contact us for their transfer and editing needs.

  25. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year !

  26. omnimoeish says:

    Let me preface by saying, I am SUPER detail oriented, especially about my home videos and pictures. I also have spent more time dabbling in video conversion, codecs, resolutions, things like that than I care to admit but I'm not professional or anything. I was hoping to get my home VHS just digitized. I don't want them on DVD, mpeg2 is too lossy. I would rather encode at high bitrate H.264. DVDs aren't very good for archiving, especially if you don't know how to demux and stuff.

    I bought one of those cheapo do it yourself VHStoDVD converters by hoestech, the thing was absolute garbage. Understand I'm running a screaming fast 6 core AMD processor at 3.6GHz and dedicated high throughput hard drives. Besides the fact that the audio was never in sync, the frames were choppy, you can see the interlacing (most of you probably don't even realize what that is), and much more but sufficeth to say, it was just terrible. Either I have a bad one, or most people are too dumb to realize their conversions are absolutely trash. I'm hoping I can a get better results with professional even though 20 home videos adds up quick at $18 a pop or more. After all of these problems, I think I would only take my videos to the best. Trying to find one in Oregon.

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