Alex and me in 1988 with our first home video camera - so large you shot with it on your shoulderWe purchased our first video camera just before our second child was born in 1988. They were expensive back then; I remember paying well over $1,000 for it. But we made room in our budget because we wanted to preserve our children’s memories.

We didn’t use our camera often because back then they were big, bulky, and heavy. Plus they were noisy with their constant focusing. Because of that, we have only about a dozen 2-hr tapes of my children’s entire childhood.

Now it’s 25 years later and we want those memories available to us. Those Hi-8 video tapes can be converted to DVD. Sure, we could purchase the software, hook the camera up to our computer (it still works), and convert them ourselves; but we don’t have the hours available nor the expertise.

YesVideo Transfer Service

That’s where YesVideo comes to play. They have a simple concept. Take the memories we have stored in outdated formats (they do photos, slides, and more), send them to them, and they’ll convert them to digital and we’ll receive back our original media and new DVDs. Simple, huh! They’ve made it absolutely fail proof and affordable.

I have to tell you that I’ve tried two other businesses that do a similar service and they were both more expensive and frustrating. One was quadruple the price and I only received online access for which I must pay $5 a month. They assured me when I purchased that I’d be able to download them. Sadly that hasn’t been the case. Their server disconnects every time I try. I’ve been paying for online access for over a year waiting for them to provide the service they promised.

The second service did a fine job but there wasn’t anything special about their service or the way they presented the DVDs. They were adequate.

Tape Transfer to DVD YesVideo - Take in or mail your old media and it's returned along with your new DVDs!

Tape Transfer to DVD YesVideo – Take in or mail your old media and it’s returned along with your new DVDs!

How Digital Transfer Works

DVDs and original tapes returned as is any damaged piece of tape.

DVDs and original tapes returned as is any damaged piece of tape.

With YesVideo the process was simple and I felt a little more secure sending off my tapes to be converted because YesVideo has store drop off locations at many large retailers (currently Walmart, Meijer, Rite Aid, Sam’s Club, Bartel Drugs, CVS Photo, Costco, and Walgreens). I took mine to my local Costco Photo Department and they shipped them directly to YesVideo themselves. If you don’t have a participating local retailer, you can purchase an EasyShip Kit from their site and do it on your own.

Ordering was easy. I just visited their website before heading to the store and choose my services. The service automatically sets up the ordering form for me and all I had to do was print it and drop it off with my payment at Costco. Then I waited to be notified my order was ready for pick-up.

My precious memories are now stored in DVD format and my originals we returned as well. A piece of one of my tapes was damaged, so YesVideo enclosed not only a note to let me know about the mishap, but the actual piece of tape as well.

The DVDs are fabulous. The scene selections are printed on the front and back of the DVD and numbered so I can see at a glance what each DVD holds. Then when I watch the DVD, the menu screen shows small snippets of each scene. I love this feature!

YesVideo’s MemorySafe Feature

My home movies on YesVideo's MemorySafe site

My home movies on YesVideo’s MemorySafe site

But I also get the chance to view my videos online and share them with my friends and family. For a limited time, I have access to my converted media at YesVideo’s MemorySafe website. It’s a private viewing are where I can edit and share my videos. Only those who’ve been given the room key can get in.

I can purchase DVDs of my edited videos. Once my trial period is over, I’ll be offered the opportunity to continue their online digital storage for $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year (prices as of 1/6/13 and may change without notice). Using their online safe means I’ll never have to worry about losing my media or it becoming outdated again.

Preserving Our Family Memories

There have been a lot of tears shed watching these old home movies as well as a lot of smiles. I have cherished every moment of film and can’t believe what a wonderful life I’ve had. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have these tapes converted. Among them is the day my two sons met for the first time in the hospital, my father and grandmother’s last time on video, and more. Hearing their voices and seeing their faces are priceless.

Do you have memories stored away you can’t watch? Convert them, but a box of tissues, and enjoy.

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