Act today to rescue and preserve your family memories while there's still time.
RetroMedia converts obsolete video tape formats into future-proof, easy-to-play digital video clips or DVDs.
Videotape is not an archival medium, and has an expected lifespan of just ten to fifteen years. That lifespan can be shortened even further when tapes are not properly cared for.
But there's no need to panic! We have many years of hard-won experience, and we have developed the processes & technology to allow us to rescue thousands of tapes that are well beyond this expected safe lifespan. We then preserve these memories for future generations - on modern, convenient digital media formats, such as future-proof Mp4 files on USB, or on DVDs.
Unsure what formats you have there? No problem! RetroMedia can digitise all domestic video tape & camcorder formats, from the 1980's onwards.
…and many more!
We can transfer the following formats:
VHS - PAL, NTSC, SECAM
VHS-C - PAL, NTSC, SECAM
Betamax - PAL & NTSC
Video 8 - PAL & NTSC
Hi 8 - PAL & NTSC
Digital 8 - PAL & NTSC
Mini-DV - PAL & NTSC
HDV 1080i - PAL & NTSC
DVCam (mini) - PAL & NTSC
Umatic (aka BVU) - PAL & NTSC
BetaCam - PAL & NTSC
BetaCam SP - PAL & NTSC
BetaCam SX - PAL & NTSC
DigiBeta - PAL & NTSC
Video CD (VCD)
Even just playing them can cause damage. Old VCRs or cameras can easily eat your tape. Dust, mould & cosmic rays all conspire together with age to degrade your memories.
Old VCRs and cameras are notorious for eating video tapes.
While we can repair most kinds of damage, some types can permanently ruin your tapes.
Most people decide it's not worth the risk to play valuable tapes in a VCR.
Our Brisbane lab is located at
249 Lutwyche Rd, Windsor. Qld. 4030
We're on the corner of Bowen St, with parking in Bowen St.
Our business hours are:
Weekdays 9am - 5pm
Late night Thursdays by appointment only
Saturdays 9-12 (AEST).
No appointments necessary (except for Thursday evenings), just pop in!
Ph: (07) 3357 4807
SMS: 0448 855 056
While you're free to have your transfers done overseas if you choose to, some Australian services hide the fact that they are outsourcing - including to overseas.
We guarantee that all our listed video conversion services are performed fully in-house.
If we ever need to outsource a service we can't provide, we'll never do so without your knowledge, and never to outside of Australia.
All video tapes are pre-cleaned before transfer. This way we can be sure that they are looking their best when they are digitally preserved.
Included free with every transfer, tape cleaning ensures your tapes will be digitised looking their very best.
Our cleaning process can remove from your tape's playing surface:
• oils from prying fingers
• shedding oxide particles which can clog VCR heads & reduce picture quality
...ensuring the best possible result!
Many others will advise you to throw away mouldy tapes because they can't help you. Don't listen to these naysayers! We can save 98% of mouldy tapes.
We offer special heavy duty cleaning processes which target:
• mould (mildew)
• mud & water damage
• insect/ant infestations & the mess they leave behind
We've been able to achieve amazing results for hundreds of clients who had feared the worse for their damaged tapes.
Please note that timeframes will need to be extended from any original estimates in cases where we discover mouldy or damaged tapes.
Worried your tape has broken? We can repair almost any video tape damage - even flood damage - and rescue the memories.
Repair charges will apply for tapes you bring in damaged, as well as for tapes that snap during rewinding.
But we will always seek your approval before going ahead with any work that will affect your quoted price.
Please note that unforeseen repairs or mould cleaning can extend timeframes.
Specialty equipment like Time-base Correctors stabilise damaged tapes. We can also crop & adjust colour as we digitise.
The above screenshot shows picture distortion on interlaced video, in this case VHS. Wear or damage to recorded timecode pulses on the tape causes the VCR to improperly align the individual video "fields", giving these wobbly results.
Our time-base correctors can "reconstruct" damaged timecode to help the VCR to line up individual fields correctly.
Each of our digitising stations is equipped with a range of selected professional decks of different models, so we can choose the best match for your tape.
Many tapes have blank or worthless footage. We digitally top & tail your videos deleting most blank footage & static.
We trim off most of the unwanted footage from the front & end (top & tail) of your video, but we may leave a few seconds. This is left to help set at ease the mind of the customer that we have indeed captured everything we on the tape. We will keep any trimmed-off material in our archive copies, so it will be available for a full 6 months after collection of the job.
For analog tapes we crop a minimal amount to remove/lessen unpleasant side effects of the old analog technology - a thing called switching noise - that used to be hidden behind the bezel of old tube TVs, but which on computers or modern frameless TVs would show & can distract from your viewing experience.
Blank sections within a video are usually not removed, but because we keep copies of your files for 6 months you can always request an edit, and we'd be more than happy to help tidy things up. Plus it's easy for you to remove whatever footage you'd like with free editing software. Ask us how!
We have the technology to transfer directly to Mp4 files, rather than converting from an intermediate format which can affect quality. And we can still make DVDs as extra copies.
Exclusive 3VAULT triple redundancy archiving - 3 backups of your files stored in 3 secure, offline locations - included FREE for 6 months with all our digitising services!
Tired of hearing stories about DVDs that are 5-10 years old, and no longer playable, we were one of the first companies to act to caution people against DVD as a long term storage medium.
Admittedly poor quality media can be the culprit for most of these short lifespan failures. Backyard operators often buy the cheapest DVDs they can lay their hands on, and as in all things in life, you get what you pay for.
Disc rot is a phrase describing the tendency of CD or DVD or other optical discs to become unreadable due to physical or chemical deterioration. The causes of this effect vary from oxidation of the reflective layer, to physical scuffing and abrasion of disc surfaces or edges, including visible scratches, to other kinds of reactions with contaminants, to ultra-violet light damage and de-bonding of the adhesive used to adhere the layers of the disc together. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot
RetroMedia will no longer make DVDs, except as an extra add-on to having your memories supplied as future-proof mp4 H264 video files on USB.
Our advice if you have memories on DVDs only? Act now to have them transferred off DVD onto mp4... before its too late.
We can cut & polish out scratches, and that sometimes makes the difference. But time is very much running out on DVD as a medium.
Remember - you heard it here first.
And of course all of your original media will always be returned to you, along with your digital versions, at the end of the project.
Rates depend on a few factors - basically it can be the quantity, urgency, type and condition of the media that determines the rate.
We charge a flat rate per tape regardless of duration, but we give 15% discount on short duration domestic format tapes manufactured in lengths of up to 15 mins (E5, E10, & E15 tapes).
Unlike a lot of other services, we do not charge extra for longer tapes, so no nasty surprises!
If you're unsure about what you have, or have many different types of media, ask about booking an in-home sorting/organising session with our associated Media Manager. Available within the greater Brisbane/ SEQ region.
At this stage in the life of old videotapes they can all benefit from a really good clean to remove dust & grease from the tape’s playing surface, as well as loose, shedding oxide particles that could clog the heads of playback decks, thereby affecting the quality of the transfer. With our popular Clean + Convert service we physically pre-clean each tape's playing surface so they play back looking their very best for the transfer.
Here's a short clip showing the difference a single tape clean can make to a dirty tape.
Not all tapes are this dirty, so results may not always be this dramatic. But every tape is cleaned before conversion so that there's no chance that shedding oxide particles or dirt or dust will gradually (even slightly) clog the heads of the playback deck during the hours that the tape is playing through during the conversion process. This way we can guarantee the tape is being transferred in its best possible physical condition.
Please note that the Clean + Convert cleaning process is not sufficient if we find mould on a tape. We can clean mould, and we have an extremely high success rate with this, but mould cleaning is a considerably more detailed, heavy-duty process. Our policy is that if we see any mould we either must clean it, or we can leave that tape aside. We can't put it into our VCRs without mould cleaning because you'd get a lousy job, and we'd risk destroying the delicate equipment we rely on to enable us to offer the highest quality conversions possible. Mould Cleaning is $44 per tape in most cases. Occasionally, some very heavy mould infestations may be judged to require a deeper cleaning process, but that is pretty rare and we will always quote on that if we see it.
Here is a picture of mould on a tape. Looking through the tape shell window at the edge of the tape pack if you see any white powder, white flecks, or white spots then you have mould. If you don't see this you still might have mould as the entire tape pack edge is not visible unless you wind it through, and then there's the back side of the tape pack to consider as well. If your tape has mould we'll catch it & bring it to your attention.
Then, because every step of the recording chain is important, we run your tapes through a choice of at least three selected pro decks available at each of our transfer stations, so we can find the best match for your particular tape. Or, if we need to, we can test your tape on "the stack" - literally shelves full of playback decks in almost every brand & many models. This comprehensive Deck Matching step can make a huge difference. Some tapes just look better on a playback deck similar to the deck they were originally recorded on. Or perhaps on a rare high-end model. And because we pre-clean every tape, we can play even a damaged tape on our most valuable decks if we need to, without losing too much sleep over it!
They then go through processing gear (Time Base Correctors, and Digital Noise Reduction), before finally converting direct to a high quality Mp4 H264 file, which is the most widely playable video file format on the planet.
Our "Clean + Convert" rates for small quantities at regular turnaround timeframes begin at a flat rate of $39.95 ea for short duration tapes manufactured in lengths of up to 15 mins (E5, E10, & E15 tapes), or $47 ea (flat rate, regardless of duration) for most other formats, plus USB.
We do also offer discounts for bulk quantities. Different bulk discounts can apply depending on the quantities, urgency, and condition. 95% of the material we receive is covered by the rates outlined above, but broadcast formats, and some other rare formats are extra. For a custom quote for your quantities, your timeframe, your tape condition, and your formats, as well as further info about discounts contact us here.
Depending on your quantities, we’re quoting from approx 2 weeks at the moment, not including shipping time. If you’re in a hurry and need it sooner than that let us know, and we may be able to accommodate you.
Please note that with the Christmas season rapidly approaching, large jobs may need to carry over until the new year. Or we can arrange to deliver a part of the job before Christmas.
Christmas Cut-Off Times* for incoming orders:
All jobs requiring shipping must be received no later than 9 am Monday, 11th December 2023, for completion*/invoicing by Dec 18th & Express Postage dispatching no later than Wednesday, 20th December 2023. Australia Post states that the last mailing day is Dec 20th for WA & NT, and Dec 21st for the rest of Australia. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for Australia Post's services.
Pick-up Orders can be placed until Friday, 15th December 2023, for completion*/invoicing by Dec 20th, for collection Dec 20, 21 & 22.
*Any undertaking to try to fully complete a project before Christmas is subject to realistic timeframes considering the size & scope of the project. We will advise if your project cannot fully be processed within the desired timeframe, and discuss options for partial pre-Christmas delivery if that helps.
Store Christmas Closure Notice:
RetroMedia will close 5pm Friday, 22nd December 2023, re-opening 9am Monday, 15th January 2024
PLEASE NOTE: During the holiday month of January, our store will operate with reduced staff, as we conduct annual general maintenance. As a result, service timeframes may be longer than anticipated.
Left Your Run A Little Late?
For Christmas this year we are offering beautifully gift-wrapped Gift Certificates! Any service, any value from $100. For that special somebody in your life! And so easy for you to take advantage of!
Ask us how!
• We ask for a part payment (deposit) at commencement, of $10 per tape.
• To keep things as fair as possible, for regular timeframe projects your job will go into a queue of work and will be attended in turn. We're always very busy, dealing with very old, obsolete media, in a wide range of physical conditions, and with widely differing play durations which must be played through in real time (no high-speed digitising of video exists). So predicting timeframes is not an exact science. It's simply not possible to precisely allow for unforeseen issues that may occur in your job, or in the jobs preceding yours in the queue.
So we aim at estimated turnaround targets. We ask for your patience with us on this. To do the best possible job, and to do it at a reasonable price, means it can't also be quick. We can choose only two of the three, and we're unwilling to cut corners on quality. If you have a looming deadline or event, please let us know, and we can discuss options with you.
• Original media is available for collection upon full payment. Unless prior arrangements have been made, we ask for payment to be made within 7 days of invoicing.
• We like to be as flexible as possible. We’re happy to work with you before commencement of the job to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement. But we do ask that if we have not made alternate arrangements with you before commencement, that you will honour our terms.
* "Short Duration Tapes" means tapes manufactured with shorter tape lengths. We offer discount on E5 (5 min), E10 (10 min), & E15 (15 min) tapes. This discount does not apply to long tapes, such as 120 mins, 180 min etc that happen to have only short recordings on them, because we will still need to record the entire tape to be sure we get everything. Exceptions can be made if you know for sure that your tapes have only very short recordings on them & you authorise us at the time of ordering to quit after that short recording ends. We will then not be held responsible for missing any material that may occur further along on the tape. The only way to be 100% sure we get everything on a tape is to digitise the entire tape.
We understand that it isn't always easy - or even possible - to drop in to our centrally located store. So for 2023 RetroMedia is offering Free Shipping to clients outside of the greater Brisbane area! Here's how you can qualify for this great offer!
• Free Trackable Shipping (Return Journey) for purchases over $150!
How it works: If your purchase is over $150, and if you're located outside the greater Brisbane area, we'll pick up the tab for outbound (return journey) trackable postage, Australia-wide. Please quote promo code "FREESHIP23" at the time of ordering to avail of this offer.
We recommend that you use Australia Post Pre-Paid Satchels (or Express Satchels if you prefer) as these are a flat price Australia-wide. If you want to use a box, it will usually be cheaper to place the box inside a pre-paid satchel, especially if you are interstate.
For the purposes of this offer, we define Greater Brisbane area as including Brisbane City & Suburbs, Moreton Bay Regional Council area, Redlands Shire, Logan City & suburbs and Ipswich City & suburbs.
Gather up your media and drop them it or ship it to us. You don't need to organise anything. We'll take care of everything.
We'll work our magic to professionally clean and convert your old media to future-proof digital formats.
Experience the excitement of watching and sharing your memories anywhere, any time you like!