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 itâ€™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 donâ€™t believe me, hereâ€™s a video my father took over thirty years ago â€“ I canâ€™t even make out my motherâ€™s face anymore. Do you have your wedding video stashed 'safely' in a closet in your bedroom? Donâ€™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. Thatâ€™s why the service takes three weeks. Some customers are uncomfortable about that, some donâ€™t realize they get shipped offsite, some are okay with that.
What 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 whatâ€™s on the DVD to help you identify it visually. When you play the DVD, youâ€™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. Itâ€™s like watching grass grow. In my last post where I listed reasons why your friends and family donâ€™t watch your videos, this is what Iâ€™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 itâ€™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 donâ€™t wait to transfer your home videos and film, and if you are a Costco member, you've one fewer excuse to wait.