Bring your videotape back to life

By the year 2014, half of the homes in the United States with a TV will have an internet-enabled TV, I heard on the CBS This Morning show earlier this week.

If that means you will no longer be able to enjoy watching videotapes of your home movies, you’re not alone.

The International Imaging Industry Association estimates one can expect computers, media, cameras and software to work well for as little as three years. If you still have a videotape player, you’re probably not using it.

Such is the case in our house where we’ve  had a computer hooked up to the big screen for years, and it’s time to update — and backup — the home movies we haven’t viewed in years. I know we have images of my brother, gone 13 years now, on one of those tapes, and the little baby girl (my stepdaughter) being baptized on another is 22 years old now.

Fortunately, many photo shops and videographers offer this service.

At Create A Video in Crystal Lake, Mike Lemieux will convert all kinds of video to DVD: Betamax, VHS, VHS-C, 8 mm camcorder tapes (also known as High 8 or digital 8) and mini DV.

Cost for converting one videotape is $25, but if you have a lot of tapes, volume works in your favor: Two to five tapes cost $15 each and more than five will run $13 each.

Like most locally owned photo shops, Lemieux converts videotape right on site so clients don’t have to worry about the vagaries of mailing. Don’t know what’s on your tapes? Lemieux won’t transfer the tape if all you’ve got is old TV shows, and he’ll let you watch a minute or two of a tape to see what’s on it before making the transfer.

All your new DVDs can be viewed on your computer or with a DVD player on your TV. Memories of family holidays, weddings, sports and coming of age ceremonies are preserved.

At least until the next wave of technology.

Create A Video, 101 N. Main St., Crystal Lake, is usually open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call Mike Lemieux at 815-356-5253. He scans and converts photos, slides and old movie film (8 mm and 16mm) to DVD as well.

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