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Before The Memories Fade

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.

Cleaning and Conversion of Obsolete Videotape Formats to USB & DVD


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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.

We Accept All Domestic Videotape/Camcorder Formats


Unsure what formats you have there? No problem! RetroMedia can digitise all domestic video tape & camcorder formats, from the 1980's onwards.

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…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 DVD
Mini DVD
Video CD (VCD)

Top 10 Reasons To Trust RetroMedia To Digitise Your Video Tapes


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1. Tapes are fragile

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.

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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.

No-outsourcing

2. Made in Brisbane!

All video conversions are done in our Brisbane lab. Your tapes never leave our premises. There's no quietly shipping it off to India behind your back!

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.

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3. Pre-transfer cleaning

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.

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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:

• dust

• oils from prying fingers

• shedding oxide particles which can clog VCR heads & reduce picture quality

...ensuring the best possible result!

And because we clean every tape, the playback heads on our increasingly difficult to source & maintain pro VCRs are spared a lot of wear & tear.

Good for us, and good for your tapes as well!

Mouldy-VHS-tape

4. We can clean mould

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.

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5. We can fix broken 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.

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6. Picture enhanced

Specialty equipment like Time-base Correctors stabilise damaged tapes. We can also crop & adjust colour as we digitise.

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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.

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Our time-base correctors can "reconstruct" damaged timecode to help the VCR to line up individual fields correctly.

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7. Deck-to-tape matching

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.

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8. Digital cleanup

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 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 - something known as "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!

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9. The best digital formats

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.

Disc-Rot

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.

Data archiving service

10. FREE backup included!

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!

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.

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Our Process & Pricing


We Physically Clean All Tapes:

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.

Getting a cheap conversion is false economy if you're going to have to get the job done a second time. Do it once, do it properly - that's the RetroMedia approach.

Please note that the Clean + Convert cleaning process does not cover mouldy tapes. We can expertly 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.

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.

Mouldy Videotape

Deck Matching & Signal Processing:

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.

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.

Pricing:

Rates depend on a few factors - basically it can be factors like the quantity, urgency, media type and physical condition of the media that determines the rate.

We charge a flat rate per tape regardless of duration, with a discount on very short domestic format tapes. Unlike a lot of other places, we're not charging extra for long tapes, so there'll be no nasty surprises there!

If you're unsure about what you have, or have many different types of media, enquire about booking an in-home assessment or organising session with a RetroMedia Memory Expert. Available within the greater Brisbane/SEQ region.

Please note that with video-8 & Hi-8 tapes, mould may occasionally be the cause of more than a single instance of snapping.

Our quoted rate covers one single repair per tape. If we find a tape requires further physical restoration we will contact you & quote on that.

Our "Clean + Convert" service rates range from as low at $38 per tape (bulk) for most domestic formats. USB is $16.50

Broadcast formats, and some other rare formats are priced differently, as well as some tapes in very poor condition that may require full restoration services. For a custom quote for your quantities, your desired timeframe, your tape condition, and your formats, contact us here.

Basic Mould Cleaning is $55 per tape, and because the mould can cause the tape to snap, this includes one simple snap repair per mould clean.

Occasionally, some very heavy mould infestations may be judged to require a deeper cleaning process, but that is pretty rare and we will quote on that if we see it.


Turnaround Timeframes:


Depending on your quantities, we’re quoting from approx 1-2 weeks at the moment for a small video conversion project, 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.


Terms:

• We ask for a part payment (deposit) at commencement, of $16.50 per tape. 

• To keep things fair, for regular timeframe projects your job will go into a queue of work and will be attended in turn. Please note that predicting timeframes is not an exact science. It's simply not possible to precisely allow for unforeseen issues that may occur with obsolete media, either in your job, or in the jobs ahead of yours in the queue. So we aim at estimated turnaround targets. 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. Storage fees may be levied on jobs not paid for &/or collected within 30 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.

Interstate? Outside Greater Brisbane?


Free Shipping!

We understand that it isn't always easy - or even possible - to drop in to our centrally located store. So for 2024 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 $200!

How it works: If your purchase is over $200, 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 "FREESHIP24" 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.

Hunting for more in-depth technical detail?

Join the thousands of Aussie families enjoying their digised memories!


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Get Your Media To Us

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.

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We Digitise & Preserve

We'll work our magic to professionally clean and convert your old media to future-proof digital formats.

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You Relax & Enjoy

Experience the excitement of watching and sharing your memories anywhere, any time you like!

Ready to make a start?