AVS Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An article at EventDV explains how one editor uses a Panasonic DMR-EZ48VK for a business opportunity of copying VHS tapes to DVD.

Quote:
The Death of VHS: A New Opportunity

By Alan Naumann - Posted Aug 10, 2009

Copyright EventDV


Since I'm best known in this industry as The Funeral Guy, it shouldn't surprise anyone that I see a business opportunity in the death of VHS tape. Those of us who have been event videographers since the '80s and '90s have witnessed the rise and fall of VHS tape, much like the rise and fall of the 8-track and audio cassettes. But just because we no longer use VHS tapes doesn't mean we can't profit from the millions of tapes sitting on people's shelves. We have an obligation to communicate to our clients that their precious VHS tapes have a limited shelf life and are in the process of deterioration. We also need to communicate to them that we have a service to offer: converting their VHS tapes to DVD.


For the last several years, VHS-to-DVD conversions have provided a steady source of income to my business. And I have been able to perform these conversions without adding a lot of time to my already busy schedule. The key is to use one-touch, dual-deck VHS-to-DVD recorders. When I first told a colleague that I was doing this, I felt like somehow I had violated a sacred trust. I was told that this was not the way that we, as professionals, should convert tapes to DVDthat, somehow, it cheapened who we are. But our customers don't really care about chapters or advanced menus; all they want is to convert their tapes and preserve their family memories.


While I was writing this column, one of my clients called and asked if I was able to convert VHS tapes to DVD. After I answered in the affirmative, she said she had 17 VHS tapes that she would be bringing over for me to transfer to DVD. She was especially pleased when I told her I charge only $25 per tape. For me, that's an additional $425 of income, maybe more since she indicated that she would want extra copies of several of her tapes. I charge $15 per copy of a transferred tape, so that will be a very good profit as well. The wonderful thing about this is that the only labor I have to put into this job is to load the tape into my recorder and press copy. Once the tape is copied to DVD, I put the DVD in my Primera Bravo printer and print on the disc. I also print an insert for the case. All of this just takes a few minutes.


To keep up with the demand, I have two DVD recordersone from Panasonic the other from Sony. The Sony also has FireWire built in so I can create DVDs from digital tapes; it also automatically creates chapters for each clip. CNET rates my Panasonic model, the DMR-EZ48VK, as an excellent, all-purpose DVD and VHS recorder. The street price for the DMR-EZ48VK is about $325. I've had excellent results with several Panasonic models, and recommend them for your recording needs.


I purchased the Sony RDR-VX525 ($225) because it has the FireWire option and also because it upconverts DVDs via an HDMI output. I'm not familiar with other brands' features, but one thing I know they all have in common is that they are reasonably priced. The first DVD recorder (no VHS capabilities) that I purchased several years ago was about $1,000, so the current pricing is good news for anyone who wants to invest in this technology.


VHS-to-DVD transfers have been easy to market. Whenever I meet with clients, I simply ask them if they have any VHS tapes that need to be converted. Invariably, the answer is yes. This will often lead to other video work once they realize we are a full-service production house. I have also been using transfers as an effective marketing strategy to gain new customers. If you go to www.mnseniorsonline.com , you'll see a banner advertising a free VHS-to-DVD transfer for Minnesota seniors. We have had several people take advantage of this. Through friendly conversation, they've also discovered the importance of making a video biography, having all of their photos scanned and put on CD, having their home movies converted, and also producing video montages for special events. The only cost to me is the blank DVD stock, which is very inexpensive. This has been one of the best advertising strategies that I've tried.


I also encourage clients to convert their memories of special events I've videotaped for them to DVD. In this case I offer them a straight transfer for $25 or a more elaborate transfer job that will include chapters and a nice menu. Even this does not take a great deal of time, but the profit is much greaterusually about $150 per job. Once they have this done, they usually have me make copies for friends and families. (By the way, in all these instances I'm talking about personal tapes, not professional or commercial ones. If a videotape is copyrighted, I respectfully decline to do the transfer job.)


Recently, I was talking to a fellow videographer who was trying to increase his income. He's already working 60+ hours a week, but he's considering becoming certified in legal videography so he can make more money. His wife asked him a very good question: How will you find more time to do thisdo you plan on giving up sleep?


We have only so many hours a week to work, and the key is not working longer but working smarter. I've found VHS-to-DVD conversions to be an effortless way to increase my income. And not only have I received more income but I've received the gratitude of many clients who are grateful that their memories are now preservedthat is, until they next advancement in technology necessitates new transfers in order to stay current. When that happens, we'll be ready.


Alan Naumann (alan at memoryvision.tv) is the author of The Complete Course on Funeral Videography, an updated an dexpanded version of his popular Business Everlasting training DVD. A featured speaker at WEVA Expo 2004-9 and a two-time EventDV 25 honoree, he is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



Comments Posted On :The Death of VHS: A New Opportunity


Posted By Anthony Burokas on 8/10/2009 11:43:21 PM

I've dubbed many VHS's out of my own collection to DVD. When I went back to play them, years later, they stopped playing anywhere from 90 minutes in, to well under an hour. Anywhere after that point was unplayable. I was just asked for another copy of a school year end video I did in 2003. Thankfully I had a copy on hard drive because that DVD master I ketp was also unplayable. These are all good disks kept in good temperatures, in DVD cases. When I went back to the original VHS tapes to see the shows that the DVD's couldn't play, the VHS tapes played fine. In no way would I trust my archive to DVD.


Posted By Ken Norris on 8/10/2009 3:39:21 PM

To Alan's article, let me that you can actually guarantee a better image on the DVD than the existing VHS image with the help of a built-in TBC. There are only a couple that offer a TBC to straighten out jittery tape and those oversaturated colors splashing outside the lines and the one I have found that works exceptionally well is the JVC SR-MV50US. Two things stand out on this deck; the TBC and the fast rewind. The manual and awkward controls aside, this turns old VHS into a much improved DVD. You can then say you are handing them results that they can't get in a consumer deck (as the JVC is in the pro line) and save time in the rewind to boot. Good luck finding one as I believe this is out of production...but worth the effort. Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,530 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwil /forum/post/16974316


An article at EventDV explains how one editor uses a Panasonic DMR-EZ48VK for a business opportunity of copying VHS tapes to DVD.

Folks must be pretty desperate to have their VHS recordings copied to DVD that they will accept the stop/start and overlapping content at the beginning and ending of "titles" when using the front panel copy button on a DMR-EZ48V, results that are crude and unprofessional.


I suppose I could set up my semi-retired DMR-ES30V and DMR-ES35V combos that produce seamless results, and my Toshiba VCRs connected to other DVD recorders, and go into business for myself if it were not that the local city and state governments are so hostile to business that this would be next to impossible.


In Oregon, with the government's tax and spend mentality, businesses are forced to close or move to other states. The Portland area is now like Seattle was back in 1971 when it was said "will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights."

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm...m&File_Id=1287
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,642 Posts
I find this line curious "I purchased the Sony RDR-VX525 ($225) because it has the FireWire option and also because it upconverts DVDs via an HDMI output."

The EZ-48 has both those features??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
This is a (chuckle) business opportunity?! LOL


Two reasons I'm doing it: my boss for the tapes at work, and a labor of love for my personal tapes.

What's the going rate by the foot, I mean hour, how much can you really make?

$25 bucks a tape, that's better than $3 hot dogs! I'm running out and getting racks full of pana combo es30v.

The guys that do 8mm to dv conversion make the big bucks too. -sarcasm


The author is Alan Naumann. He is the author of The Complete Course on Funeral Videography.
Obviously he's not a member of AVS.

He said something about trying to find the time to sleep. Hmm, does he have a dvd duplicator and dvd printer?

This just makes me chuckle, I don't want to be misinterpreted that this is a bad business, it just hits a note with me right now...


At last count the # of tapes to dvd'tize for me is about 700 at work and 600 for me. By the time I'm done the first dvds will be showing signs of rot...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,308 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo /forum/post/16974644


The Portland area is now like Seattle was back in 1971 when it was said "will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights."

Crap!
Portland was on my short list of places to escape to from the hell hole we now call New York City. The entire economy here got hijacked by Wall Street in 1984, with no fallback position whatsoever to cushion the inevitable bust. "Unemployment" is our new industry, and the only thing still propping up our ludicrous housing prices is the constant influx of third world immigrants (apparently no one's told them all the jobs have dried up). If Portland's tanking as well, I suppose the other alternative coastal cities aren't far behind. My friends in Pittsburgh tell me its a great time to move there...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,530 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by crabboy /forum/post/16984380


Sorry to hear. Visited Portland last month and was favorably impressed, as I was in the 80's.

Were you here for our warm week and a half at the end of July, 105-110 degrees in the shade (at my house)? Those kind of temperatures are normal for folks in Henderson/LV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo /forum/post/16984575


Were you here for our warm week and a half at the end of July, 105-110 degrees in the shade (at my house)? Those kind of temperatures are normal for folks in Henderson/LV.

It was a little after midnight when I got off the plane with my pooch. We got thru the long corridors and to an exit door. When we walked outside, geez, it was 112 degrees F. At night. It was a dry heat, but hot is hot. First time and last I go to Vegas in the summer. They talk about 24/7, that's for the A/C continuasly left on. So what if the electric charges are like 0.01 a kilowatt.


Back on topic-

I shopped around, just to see how much my transfers were worth out in the retail market. Its barely $10 for a 2 hour tape, with cut-rate places springing up daily. If ya ask for $25 bucks a tape you'll see the customer's butt. Oh well there goes that $$$ scheme. It'll have to get put next to Fred's gravelberry pies.

That original article is typical of the quality of news reporting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,642 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hansiz /forum/post/17007763


That original article is typical of the quality of news reporting.

That's a very accurate statement. Over the years I've learned the more one knows about a particular subject the more you'll know how poor the reporting on that subject generally is


Hard to make much money with $10 for a 2hr conversion
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,041 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/16982674


Crap!
Portland was on my short list of places to escape to from the hell hole we now call New York City. The entire economy here got hijacked by Wall Street in 1984, with no fallback position whatsoever to cushion the inevitable bust. "Unemployment" is our new industry, and the only thing still propping up our ludicrous housing prices is the constant influx of third world immigrants (apparently no one's told them all the jobs have dried up). If Portland's tanking as well, I suppose the other alternative coastal cities aren't far behind. My friends in Pittsburgh tell me its a great time to move there...

Don't come to California, it's even worse!! Not only is unemployment the biggest thing going here, but the state itself is in financial ruin with no way out. California will soon be destitute thanks to the govenor and the cronies who not only cut everything including emergency services, but they just gave themselves a raise today!!!!!!


As far as places to escape, perhaps you might consider Canada. They have not outsourced their manufacturing sector like we have so they are not really having employment issues compared to the U.S. or the U.K. (A great many folks from the UK are moving to Canada for jobs).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Don't come to Canada either. Our manufacturing base has all but dried up and moved to the US and Mexico. A large office furniture manufacturing company in Calgary just outsourced 600 jobs to the US today. Unemployment in Canada is hovering around 9%.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top