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Tuesday, August 5, 2008 

Transfer Your Videos to DVD Now - Many Popular Home Video Camcorder Formats Are Going Away Soon

Family trips to Disneyland, gift openings on Christmas or other holidays, and glimpses of the family's youngest member attempting to blow out the handful of candles on their birthday cake; these are among the favorite cherished memories captured with Mom and Dad's video camera. They are also on the verge of becoming lost forever as the equipment used to play them is quickly disappearing from homes all over the country.

History has shown that media formats have a limited life span

Do you remember the old Victrolas? How about reel-to-reel tape, 8-tracks, 8mm film or the Betamax VCR? As technology speeds ahead, media formats are left behind, sometimes, along with their contents. Some of the old recordings made during the days of the Victrola have managed to survive long enough to be digitally restored with the aide of advanced computer software. The infamous "duet" of Nat King Cole and his daughter Natalie is one of the best known examples of this technological wonder.

Many of the recordings made in people's homes using the once popular Betamax VCR have not been so fortunate. The extinction of the format along with the VCRs capable of playing the Betamax tapes have left thousands of people with videos they'll probably never get to see again. History is about to repeat itself as the 8mm, Hi8, Digital8, VHS-C and VHS formats are nearing the end of their viewing life.

The end of the 8mm, Hi-8, and Digital-8 video formats

Sony, the creator of the 8mm, Hi8, and Digital 8 tape formats has been phasing out production of all of their 8mm camcorder models. In fact, their website no longer includes any 8mm models in their current product lineup.

During the lifespan of the 8mm videotape formats there were relatively few video players produced that would play any of the 8mm video formats, so most consumers had to use their cameras in order to view the tapes on their television screens.

The cost of repairing an 8mm camcorder was nearly that of purchasing a new one, so when it ceased to function, it was usually thrown away. Many 8mm camera owners grew frustrated with the idea of having to use the camera to play the tapes, so they opted to switch over to the VHS-C format. Others decided to go with the newer MiniDV format when it became the more popular format.

The combination of these factors have left us with very few fully-functioning videotape players that are necessary in order to transfer 8mm videos to a format like DVD that can be viewed on televisions now. It's expected that within the next few years it could become nearly impossible to make these conversions, as we run out of equipment to play them, as it did with Betamax. For this reason, it's strongly recommended that anyone who has one of these formats should have their 8mm, Hi8, and Digital8 videos transferred to DVD as soon as possible or risk losing their contents forever.

VHS and VHS-C tape formats are next

JVC, the inventor of the VHS and VHS-C formats, has been phasing out the VHS-C camcorders. While VHS-C tapes can still be played in a standard VCR using a special adaptor, VCR's have been rapidly disappearing from retailers' shelves as a result of the transition to DVD. VCRs are expected to be gone within the next few years.

In addition, it's been proven that video information captured on VHS and VHS-C tapes will begin to deteriorate 7 years after being recorded, so now, more than ever, is the time to transfer your VHS videos to DVD.

MiniDV's days are numbered

Take a trip to the local camera or electronics store and you'll notice that even the MiniDV format is giving way to the hard drive, memory card, and mini DVD cameras. MiniDV has been one of the most popular video formats, in recent years, for both consumers and professional video production companies alike. This should allow these types of tapes to be transferred for a few years longer than the 8mm and VHS formats.

Time is running out to transfer home videos to DVD

The window of opportunity is closing soon. Don't let your precious memories suffer the same fate as Betamax videos. Have all of your 8mm, Hi8, Digital8, VHS-C, VHS, and MiniDV videotapes transferred to DVD before it's too late and the equipment needed for the transfer is no longer available.

What format is safe to transfer to?

As of 2008 the most common video format in the country is DVD. The Gold Archival DVD is the ideal choice for preserving all of those special memories and important videos. Gold doesn't oxidize like other minerals, which is a common cause of failure in most DVDs. The non-corrosive, reflective properties of gold make these discs the best choice for archiving important information and enable the discs to last up to 100 years. For now, DVD is the preferred format and the Gold Archival DVDs make the best choice for preserving your important videos.

Kirk Barber is the founder of Sunray Video Productions and a frequently sought after source for the news media on the topic of home movie and video transfer topics.

Sunray Video has been transferring home videos and movie films to DVD for more than 12 years and is considered one of the leading transfer companies in the nation. Sunray Video was the first company to offer film to digital video transfers was also featured on an NBC news story about transferring film to DVD.

For more information about film and video to DVD transfer services contact Sunray Video at 1-877-362-0741 or go to http://www.sunrayvideo.com

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