Converting VHS To DVD – Instructional Videos

Most of the work I do in converting VHS to DVD involves home videos. It’s always a pleasure to do these, as I know it really lets some wonderful memories come back. These are not, however, the only type of video people contact me about.

In recent times I’ve had a few requests to convert guidance or instructional videos to DVD. These have covered quite a diverse range, featuring everything from fly fishing through to martial arts. All of them have featured useful and important information which the owner wishes to watch again.

An example of an instructional video has come my way. I’ve uploaded it to the You Tube channel for The Taper to show the quality of my converting VHS to DVD work.

converting vhs to dvd

Converting VHS to DVD – Why Do It?

The most obvious answer to this is that someone wishes to watch what is on the tape again. In cases of home videos that’s quite understandable. For instructional videos, though, some further information is valuable.

In many cases videos of documentaries and instructional guides are no longer available. These are videos which have not been released on DVD or as a digital download. A previous article here mentioned that some 50% of all VHS tapes released in the UK have not been reissued in a different format. My converting VHS to DVD services directly addresses this problem.

Not many of us have kept a working VHS machine, or have one set up to play tapes. My services make it far easier to watch the content of VHS tapes again. The DVDs I produce work with the overwhelming majority of DVD and Blu Ray players in the UK. In fact, as my DVDs are “Zone Free”, they should play without problem anywhere in the world.

converting VHS to DVD

Converting VHS to DVD – An Example

Let’s have a closer look at this tape I have used as an example.

This tape is over 20 years old. As people buying camcorders or video cameras today are likely to buy digital ones it would make little sense to release this one on DVD. There are, however, a great many people who still use tape based video cameras. This kind of instructional video is ideal for people wanting to get the most from their equipment.

As mentioned earlier I have converted this tape as an example of my converting VHS to DVD services. Here’s the direct link to the video. Despite the tape being old, and quite well used, the quality has come out exceptionally well.

There are thousands of tapes like this that are of interest to people in this day and age. I will be delighted to help you watch them once again with my services.

Don’t forget I also convert VHS-C tapes to DVD. Please look at this page for more information!

converting VHS to DVD

Converting VHS to DVD – What I Do For You

Whether it’s a home video or an instructional tape I am always delighted to help you. I have uploaded the above, plus a few other examples, to show the high quality of work I carry out. The price I charge is also kept highly competitive. My passion is more for helping people bring back their memories rather than huge profits!

If you would like to watch your VHS tapes on DVD then please get in touch. You can reach me through the details on the contact page.

Hopefully you have found this article interesting. I’m really looking forward to hearing from you soon!


Convert Tape To MP3 – Radio Recordings

One of the most popular services I offer is to convert tape to mp3. There are many people who have kept tapes over the years but don’t have the means to play them. My work makes it much easier for you to hear those recordings again on modern audio equipment. I take pride in delivering high quality conversions for the most competitive price possible.

I have converted a number of different recordings over the last few weeks. Some customers have contacted me to transfer audio books to mp3. There’s also been one or two albums I’ve done, ones which have not been issued on CD or as a digital download. In this article I’m going to look at another type of tape – radio recordings.

convert tape to mp3

Convert Tape To MP3 – Radio Recordings

Making a tape recording from the radio might seem a little strange in this day and age. For the last ten or so years it’s been the case that most radio broadcasts are made available for download, or as a podcast. This wasn’t always the case. Before we had the internet the only way to keep a radio broadcast of interest was to have a blank tape at the ready. I am one of the many people who did this.

The most common request for my convert tape to mp3 services relates to radio interviews. In the pictures with this article you can see two examples of this from my own collection.

Radio interviews was one of the most common forms of promotion used for many years. It used to be easier to arrange a radio interview for a musician, author or actor than it was a television one. Good promotion of an appearance on the radio also meant that the target audience was reached. As you might expect – and as shown in my examples here – for the most part it was musicians who appeared on the radio for interviews. This was normally to promote a new album or upcoming tour.

Convert Tape To MP3 – Why Keep Radio Recordings?

Some might say that once you’ve heard an interview you would not need to hear it again. For fans of specific groups or artists this is not really the case. If an interview has been particularly interesting, entertaining and enjoyable it’s likely that you would want to listen again. This is why I have kept a number of them over the years.

convert tape to mp3

I’ve used my convert tape to mp3 services on the two tapes you can see pictured here. They appear on the You Tube channel for The Taper. I have done this so you can get an idea of the sound quality my services deliver.

Here are the direct links for the two interviews –

Tin Machine – Radio 1, 13 August 1991

Ian Brown – Key Radio 103, 8 February 1998

For examples of how older recordings come out when using my convert tape to mp3 services there’s also an interview with Mary Hopkin, recorded on 1 March 1976. Here’s the link to part one of that interview.

Convert Tape To MP3 – What I Do For You

In the above examples I have removed most,  if not all, of the songs. This has been done for time considerations. When you use me to convert tape to mp3 I make sure the complete recordings on the cassettes are converted.

I convert your tapes to the format you will find most useful. Some people prefer them to be converted to CD, whereas others want them as mp3 files. I am happy to do either, and indeed I will do both if that is preferable.

For more information on my convert tape to mp3 services please visit this section of my website. If you’re ready for me to do this work for you then please get in touch via the contact page.

I’ve had the pleasure of doing this work for people across the UK. I am looking forward to being of service to you in bringing back your memories!


Digital Photo Frames – A Great Gift Idea

Digital photo frames are a wonderful gift idea. They are as enjoyable as they are practical for those who have many photos they wish to admire. You can use one digital photo frame to display hundreds – indeed thousands – of pictures. This lets you, or the person you give one to as a gift, enjoy many memories.

The services I offer here at The Taper are perfect for digital photo frames. I scan photographs, negatives and slides to make high quality digital images. These, as I will show in this article, look fantastic when displayed on a digital photo frame. With Christmas coming up you may find this to be the most inspired choice of gift for a special friend or family member. That said, digital photo frames can be the perfect gift for any occasion.

digital photo frames

What Are Digital Photo Frames?

These frames have been around for just over ten years now. They embrace the benefits of lightweight, high-definition LED screens and digital storage. Most frames have a built in memory with the option to plug in an SD card or USB stick.

One of the greatest advantages of digital photo frames is the ability to view many pictures at once. Instead of having to select just a few images – or risk cluttering your home with many frames – you can have all your pictures on display in one frame. A 1GB SD card, for example, would let you have some 500 high quality images displayed on a digital photo frame.

Digital photo frames are widely available and very affordable. Prices for them usually start at around £25. In my experience even the more budget range of digital frames offer a very impressive picture quality. If you are looking for a digital photo frame the best place to start is online. Sites such as Amazon and eBay usually have some great deals on them.

My digital photo frame features an 8″ screen. To give you a better idea of how they work I’ve added a video to my You Tube channel. Here’s the link to the brief clip, showing how the images rotate and change on it. All the images on my frame are ones that I have scanned from photographs, negatives and slides.

digital photo frames

Digital Photo Frames – What I Do For You

The one thing I don’t do is supply the actual digital photo frame. I really believe you would be able to find a great deal on your own, with most suppliers offering free shipping. It would be best for you to select a frame, after all, that has the colour, style and size you want.

My services make it possible for you to display digital images of your photographs, negatives and slides on your frame. I create high quality images which, as you can see, appear perfectly when loaded onto a digital photo frame. At your request, and subject to an extra charge, I can save the images on an SD card so you can plug it straight in.

If you want to have photographs, negatives and slides scanned for digital photo frames please get in touch. You can reach me through any of the methods listed on the contact page for this site.

For some other great ideas about what to do with scanned photographs, negatives and slides you may find this earlier article interesting.

Hopefully you have found this article interesting and inspiring. Digital photo frames really do make a great gift for dear friends and loved family members.


Cassette Store Day 2017

Saturday 14 October 2017 is Cassette Store Day. This annual event was first held in 2013. It’s a wonderful companion to the rather more famous Record Store Day, and allows music lovers to celebrate a highly cherished format. As I love tapes here at The Taper I thought it would be a good idea to join in with the celebrations.

For many of us cassettes form part of wonderful musical memories. Tapes, along with a Walkman, gave us the freedom to hear music wherever we wanted to. There are also many bands who recorded their first demo tapes on cassettes, sending them off to record labels. Cassette Store Day really celebrates how important the format is to music.

cassette store day 2017,uk

That’s some tapes from my collection. Quite a mix of styles, as you can see!

Cassette Store Day – What’s Involved

A number of bands and solo artists are releasing music on cassette exclusively for this day. Everyone involved knows and appreciates just how important tapes are to the world of music.

Of the many releases lined up, one of the most exciting comes from The White Stripes. The band’s first three albums are being released on cassette to mark Cassette Store Day.

There’s also a number of releases from new and unsigned bands. You never know – picking up one of these tapes might mean you get the first recording of the next big band to top the charts!

cassette store day

The above picture is an example of cassette singles, or “cassingles” as they were sometimes called. Usually they had the same track listing as the 7″ single. Once in a while, however, you got a bonus song not available anywhere else. The live track on the Manic Street Preachers single shown here is a good example.

Cassette Store Day – How To Get Involved

There are many stores around the world participating in Cassette Store Day. Events are being held in the UK, the USA, Japan, France and China.

You can find the details of stores involved in the celebrations on the official website.

There’s good news for those unable to get to the stores involved. Many of the releases will be available to buy online.

Cassette Store Day – Why Get Involved?

Taking part in Cassette Store Day is a wonderful way to remember how much you love music. As mentioned earlier, for many of us tapes were the first form of freedom we had to listen to music anywhere we wished. To prove this, here’s a rare picture of me from quite a few years ago!

cassette store day

Yes, that’s really me in a picture from 1981. That’s my first ever Walkman hooked onto my belt. I went everywhere with it. If I had to take a guess I would say the tape on the go is either Queen’s Greatest Hits or an Adam & The Ants album.

These days – like most – I usually use an iPod or mp3 player when listening to music on the go. I do, however, still have a working Walkman, and love listening to tapes on it!

Cassette Store Day is a wonderful opportunity to take a moment and remember this magical musical format. Perhaps you have fond memories of getting some albums on tape, or recording the top ten from the radio. In respect of the latter, it’s amazing how so many of us did this!

Converting Tapes To CD and MP3

One of the most popular services I provide is converting tapes to an easier to play format. Whether it is to CD or mp3, my skills let you hear what’s on your tape collection once again. You can find more details on this page.

The conversion services I offer make it a lot easier for you to hear your favourite tapes again. It’s always a pleasure to be of service in doing this. If you have cassette tapes that you want to hear again, please get in touch through the contact page.

I am really looking forward to seeing all the wonderful stories from Cassette Store Day 2017. If you are involved with it all I hope it’s a fantastic day!


Transfer VHS To DVD – Video Singles

Being able to transfer VHS to DVD means that you can watch and enjoy some fantastic memories. Usually when I am called to provide this service it’s to convert home videos from VHS tapes to DVD discs. There are, however, a wide range of videos that people want to have in an easy to watch format. A very interesting example of this is the Video Single.

The idea of a Video Single might seem quite strange to the younger generation of today. In this day and age we have multiple TV channels dedicated to showing music videos, as well as a number of online providers available on the internet. Back in the 80s and early 90s, though, chances of seeing music videos were rare. We only had four TV channels, with shows broadcasting music videos being small in number.

In some cases the record labels released music videos to buy. They tended to be rare and expensive – but for fans of the bands very much worth it!

transfer VHS to DVD

Above are three examples of Video Singles, taken from my collection. Well, mostly – the Prince one is a tape I “borrowed” from my sister! Whilst the covers for them look like they have seen better days I am delighted to say that all three tapes inside still play perfectly. They provide a great example of how, when you use me to transfer VHS to DVD, you can relive fantastic memories.

Transfer VHS To DVD – The Video Single

Video singles first appeared in shops during the mid-80s. At the time more and more money was being spent on promotional videos for songs. This was because great videos were broadcast more frequently. The more a video was shown the higher the record sales were.

Usually video singles copied the format of 7″ vinyl singles. They were ten minutes long and featured two tracks. The first track was the main song released by the artist and the second was some additional material. In most cases the second part was a video not made available to broadcasters, making the video single the only way you could see it. As this means the footage is usually quite rare it makes all the more sense for you to transfer VHS to DVD. Whilst many of the main videos on video singles have been released on DVD it is rare for the second part to have been.

transfer vhs to dvd

Transfer VHS To DVD – Why Are Video Singles Rare?

Video singles were a wonderful way to see your favourite band. They were also quite expensive. A video single would cost anywhere between £4.99 and £7.99, which seemed a lot for 10 minutes of footage. For comparison, a 7″ single would cost either 99p or £1.49, with an album on vinyl or tape costing £4.99.

Buying a video single was then a big decision for anyone’s music budget. You usually had to be a big fan of the act to spend that kind of money on this form of release. Very few people did, which has made the video singles released back then quite rare today.

If you use me to transfer VHS to DVD you can preserve these rare video singles. My services mean you can watch the rare footage on them once and share it with friends, family and fellow fans. I have done this with one of the video singles from my collection.

transfer VHS to DVD

Transfer VHS To DVD – A Video Single Example

Of the three video singles shown I’ve added the Sigue Sigue Sputnik one to The Taper’s You Tube channel. The other two have a BBFC certificate of “15”, which means they are not suitable to add. The one I have uploaded is Exempt from Classification.

transfer VHS to DVD

Hopefully fellow fans of this rather famous 80s band will enjoy seeing the rare footage on the video single!

If you would also like to transfer VHS to DVD then please get in touch. You can reach me through the contact page here on this site. I offer a high quality service for a very competitive price.


Tape To CD – Converting Comedy Classics

Converting tape to CD has been one of my most in demand services of late. It’s fantastic to be able to do this as it lets people once again hear some of their favourite music and other forms of recordings. Due to the popularity of this service I thought it would be interesting to look at another example.

In this example I am going to use another tape from my collection. This is another case of a recording not being made available on CD or as a digital download. Recently I used the quite rare Starstruck soundtrack tape to highlight this kind of situation.  For this example I’m using a rare comedy tape by popular Liverpudlian comedian Alexei Sayle.

tape to CD conversion

Tape To CD – The Source

This cassette comes from 1985. It was given away as part of a promotion by Newcastle Breweries. The tape was part of the marketing for a new drink called Newcastle Bright. It was a mixture of lager and ale – one which proved not to be too popular. Happily the comedy sketches created and performed by Alexei Sayle on this tape were!

Alexei Sayle is probably best known for being a regular performer on the cult BBC TV show The Young Ones. He has, however, had a highly successful career in his own right. A great deal of this tape shows exactly why this is true. His observational comedy is celebrated for being sharp and witty. There’s many examples of this on the 20 minute recording.

To be completely honest I do not remember exactly how I came to own this tape. If my memory serves right I believe it was my brother who got it, possibly at a football match. All I know for sure is that I loved it and so kept it safe for all these years.

convert tape to CD

Tape To CD – The Quality

When I carried out my tape to CD conversion skills on this cassette I was thrilled to hear that it played perfectly. As with so many of my other tapes it has travelled the world with me.

My research suggests that this recording is unavailable commercially. With this being the case I have decided to add the entire Alexei Sayle performance from it to my You Tube page. Here’s a direct link to the full recording. It’s about 20 minutes long and I sincerely hope you find it as funny as I do!

For those curious side two of the cassette features music. The most notable band on the tape is Prefab Sprout, who enjoyed several hits back in the 80s. As most of the music on that side of the tape is commercially available I cannot add it to my You Tube channel. Here, at the least, is an image of that side of the tape.

convert tape to CD

Tape To CD – What I Do For You

It had been a fair few years since I’d played this tape. I was delighted to find how much of it I remembered, and indeed that it still made me laugh.

You may well have a tape like this. Perhaps it’s a favourite comedy performance, or even some music that you really love. It could also be that, like so many recordings, it has not been made available in a modern format such as a CD or digital download. If this is the case then my tape to CD services can help you hear it again.

I believe in providing a high quality service for a very affordable price. You can hear this quality by playing this tape to CD conversion on the link above. If you have tapes that you’d love to hear again please get in touch through the contact page.

As this recording of him seems to be quite rare I do hope all you fellow Alexei Sayle fans enjoy hearing it!


Video To DVD – Relive Live Performances

Most of the work I do with transferring video to DVD involves home movies. In the majority of cases people use my skills to transfer VHS or VHS-C tapes onto a DVD, making it easier to watch them again. From time to time, though, I am asked to do the same for something recorded from television.

There are many cases of shows and events being broadcast on TV but not released to buy. The most common of these are music performances and interviews. I have taken an example of each from my own collection.

video to DVD conversion

Video To DVD – Live Interviews and Chat Shows

Chat shows have long been a staple of British television. One of the most dearly loved was Wogan. If I remember right, at its peak the show was on every weekday evening!

The popularity of Wogan meant that many big names were willing to appear. At a time when most homes only had four channels to choose from, being on the show guaranteed a big audience.

One of the most famous people to appear on Wogan was David Bowie. He appeared in 1991 with his band Tin Machine. This was part of promoting a new album and tour.

convert video to DVD

That’s a still from my video recording of the appearance. Like a lot of people back then I recorded segments of shows which featured my favourites. As there was no internet or You Tube you couldn’t be sure that they would ever broadcast the footage again!

Speaking of You Tube, I’ve added the above clip to my channel. It features the band performing You Belong In Rock N Roll, as well as the interview. Here’s the direct link to the clip. As you can see, the picture and sound are fantastic – very impressive for a 26 year old tape!

Video To DVD – Concert Performances

In some instances broadcast shows are released for sale but in an edited form. Whilst there are usually good reasons for this it can be frustrating for those who remember how something originally was.

A good example of this is the Freddie Mercury Tribute  Concert, held at Wembley in April 1992. When the concert was released on DVD and Blu Ray several performances from the day were omitted. One of these performances was by the legendary band Spinal Tap

video to DVD transfer

Spinal Tap were, as many of you will be aware, a fictional band. They were the stars of a spoof documentary called This Is Spinal Tap. The popularity of the group means that they still perform to this day.

I was one of the many who were disappointed that their performance was omitted from the DVD and Blu Ray release. Happily, however, I found that I had recorded it at the time of original broadcast.

As with the David Bowie appearance on Wogan I’ve added this Spinal Tap performance to my You Tube channel. Here is the link to it.

Unfortunately I am not sure why Spinal Tap were removed from the official release of the concert. Their appearance at the tribute reflected one of the many great qualities of Freddie Mercury – his sense of humour.

convert video to DVD

Video To DVD – What I Can Do For You

These are just two of the dozens of video recordings I have kept of my favourites.

Do you have a similar collection, but with no easy way to watch them again? Then get me to convert them to DVD for you!

As long as the tapes are in good condition I provide high quality video to DVD conversions at a competitive price.

If you would like to be able to watch your treasured video tapes again, please get in touch with me through the contact page.

I really hope you enjoy the two videos I’ve added. More importantly, I am really looking forward to converting your videos for you to enjoy!

Mobile Phone Data Recovery

There are many similarities between mobile phone data recovery and the other forms of this service I offer.  In all cases the intent is the same – to bring back memories from deleted or damaged storage systems.

It is the case, however, that there are some differences between recovering data from a phone and an external hard drive. In this article we will look at those differences. We will also see how my services can help you.

Mobile Phone Data Recovery – The Best Approach

The best approach to take with the photos and videos on your phone is to make regular back ups. If you are an Android user it is quite easy to set your phone to automatically back up to the linked Google Drive account. Apple iPhone users can set up an iCloud back up system with similar ease.

mobile phone data recovery

Quite a few people don’t like the idea of cloud storage for phone back ups. This is understandable as there have been several high profile cases of such storage systems being attacked by hackers. My personal preference is to back up my phone to my computer.

With respect to how often you should back up the files on your mobile phone this is something which is up to you. Once a month would be a good average to try for. That said, if you have taken some important or precious photographs with your  phone it’s always going to be best to back them up as soon as possible.

Mobile Phone Data Recovery – When Back Ups Fail

Accidents happen. Even people who regularly back up their mobile phones can find files get deleted in error. Sometimes the memory card in a phone gets damaged and cannot be read correctly. This is where my services can help.

In respect of the latter I recently shared a case study about recovering data from a damaged drive. The same principles apply here.

For the purposes of this article I’ve used some of my own devices for examples. I took an old BlackBerry handset and a 4th generation iPhone to run data recovery on.

Let’s start with a look at the 2GB Micro SD card which was in my BlackBerry handset.

micro sd data recovery

The results, as you can see, are quite incredible. As was the case with this example it’s possible to extract virtually all previously deleted files from a memory card. Despite the capacity of the Micro SD card being stated as 2GB I was able to recover more than 14GB of previously lost or deleted files.

A Micro SD card from a BlackBerry was used in this example.  The same results are achieved with one used in an Android or Windows based mobile phone. As many of you will know, there is of course one very popular phone which does not use any form of removable storage.

Mobile Phone Data Recovery – A Note On iPhones

Many of you will be aware that a key feature of Apple mobile phones is the security they offer. There are several cases, such as this one, of iPhones proving to be difficult to recover data from.

It is important to note that such problems occur only when anyone but the legal owner of an iPhone attempts to recover data If it is your device and you have the security access codes then yes, you can recover data from it.

iphone data recovery

The above shows a very basic data recovery process I ran on the one model of an iPhone.  As you can see in the information provided it is possible to recover previously deleted files from your iPhone handset.

Please note that I cannot offer mobile phone data recovery services for locked iPhones. If you do not have the security code or PIN for your handset then you need to contact Apple for assistance.

Do You Need Mobile Phone Data Recovery? Get In Touch!

Here at The Taper my aim is to help people. That’s why I offer affordable and reliable services.

The single most important thing you’re looking for in mobile phone data recovery services is discretion. I take pride in offering a strictly private and confidential service. All data recovery work takes place offline. No copies of your recovered files are kept beyond the time you confirm that they are in working order.

Please get in touch through the contact page. I’m looking forward to being able to help you!

Creative Ideas For Scanning Negatives And Slides

Using my services for scanning negatives and slides lets you see pictures you might not have seen for a while. It is fantastic to be able see these memories again. This is not, however, the only thing you can do with what I do.

There are many wonderful things you can do with the images I create. The majority of these are both affordable and easy to access.

If you’re looking for some inspiration as to what to do with your images here are a few fantastic ideas!

scanning negatives and slides

Share them

The scanned images I produce for you can be viewed on a computer and via most DVD players. You can send them from a computer to friends and family around the world.

I scan photos, negatives and slides at the highest definition quality possible. This means that rather large file sizes are created. These can, however, be reduced to make it easier to send them via email. I will happily produce reduced file size copies too if you wish to mail them. Just let me know!

You can also upload the images to social media and sharing platforms. Services such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are fantastic for sharing images and the memories associated with them.

Print them

In this day and age there are many creative things you can do with digital images. Printing them to put them on display is just one.

There are many shops and online services which can create wonderful gifts with digital images. Your pictures can be printed on things like keyrings, mugs, cushion covers and calendars.

Many people like to do this with old images of family and friends. They make wonderful gifts, especially for important birthdays and anniversaries.

Sell them

This idea is usually related to images and slides of scenery and famous landmarks.

People are always looking for images to use in publications or on their website. Many choose to licence images from the rights holders for this purpose. If you took the image or are the legal owner of the negatives and slides featuring this then you can sell or licence the image.

Several websites allow users to licence their images to others. If you have many images yourself then you should also consider setting up your own site to do this. It can prove to be a very successful cottage industry for you to have! scanning negatives and slides

These are just three great ideas for what to do after you have used me for scanning negatives and slides. It’s very possible that you have a definite idea that is not on this list.

I offer a high quality, low cost service for scanning negatives and slides. It would be my pleasure to do this work for you, allowing you to use the images as you want. If you’re ready to start bringing back your memories, please contact me.




Preserving Rare VHS Tapes

Did you know that about half of the films released on VHS tapes haven’t been issued on DVD, Blu Ray or as a digital download? There are a number of reasons why this is the case. Ultimately what it means, however, is that there are a number of very rare VHS tapes in the world. Using my services to convert them to DVD is a secure way of preserving them.

In this article we will look at the reasons why there are a number of rare VHS tapes around. Many of them are of a high value – both financially and sentimentally. As usual, I am going to use an example from my own collection to illustrate.

rare VHS starstruck 1982

That’s my VHS copy of the film Starstruck. It’s an ex-rental copy from Australia and was bought in 1983. As you can see the VHS box for it has seen better days! This tape has had quite a history, though. Other than being played hundreds of times, it’s moved with me between Australia, England and South Africa over the last 30 or so years.

Why do we have rare VHS tapes?

Many people are surprised by how many films, documentaries and music videos are available only on rare VHS tapes. In this day and age we know that producing DVDs, Blu Rays and digital downloads is a lot cheaper than manufacturing video cassettes.

The main reason for so many VHS (and indeed Betamax) releases not making it to new formats is money. Whilst producing the discs or downloads is low cost, studios and rights holders would have other expenses. These include digitally remastering the footage for a digital release as well as paying royalties to those involved in the production. Releasing some films in a new format is simply not economically viable.

In respect of my example, Starstruck did get a DVD release. This, however, was a very limited one, with the film being made available in this format in the USA only. As a lover of the film, I of course purchased this at great expense!

Starstruck DVD rare VHS

When I got the DVD version I discovered something very interesting. I had no idea that the VHS copy was edited. The changes were made to fit the film onto a shorter, cheaper length VHS. One of the biggest surprises for me to find was an entire musical number – It’s Not Enough – had been removed from the VHS release from the original theatrical version.

Another reason for rare VHS tapes not being available in other formats is when the rights to the film end up in a “legal limbo”. Over the years a number of film and video distribution companies have ceased to exits. In some cases this means that no one is sure who has the legal right to claim ownership or release a number of films, documentary and music videos.

Are rare VHS tapes valuable?

The short answer is yes. This, however, is normally in terms of sentimental value rather than financial. Although there are some high profile examples of rare VHS tapes selling for values over £1,000, usually the value of them is around the same you would expect to pay for a new DVD or Blu Ray disc.

Sentimental value is, however, one you can rarely put a price on. I dearly love my rare VHS copy of Starstruck and would not part with it for the world, despite the monetary value being relatively low.

Any video you have which is dear to you is of value. It’s always wonderful when I can help someone in bringing back their memories by converting their dearly loved VHS tapes to DVD.

rare VHS startstruck video cassette

Do rare VHS tapes  converted to DVD come out in good quality?

This is an important and understandable question. The answer, however, varies for each and every tape. In terms of the work I do in converting VHS to DVD, I make the best possible quality conversion, but that is limited to how good the condition of the cassette is.

In respect of the example used here, this video has experienced substantial use and has travelled far. As I did all I could to look after the tape the quality has held up remarkably well. I have added some examples of my VHS to DVD conversion of this Starstruck video to The Taper’s You Tube channel  . Here you can see the the opening video logo for Australian Video, as well as a version of it which includes Star Video.

I have not added any scenes from the film to the You Tube channel. This leads to the last, perhaps most important, question you may have.

Is it legal to transfer rare VHS tapes to DVD?

UK copyright law states that you must obtain the permission of the copyright holder before you copy or transfer any copyrighted material from one format to another. To the letter of the law the answer, then, is no. In practical terms, however, the intention has significant bearing.

A good comparison to make is music CDs. Did you know that, in respect of the above, it is not legal to make copies of the CDs you own to either make discs for your car or play on an mp3 player? There are, however, millions of people who do this. Record companies have always been reluctant to enforce this law, as ultimately it is consumers choosing to listen to music they have legally bought in a different way. They would rather – understandably – pursue those who copy CDs to sell, or make them available for download from the internet.

The same is true of converting rare VHS tapes to DVD. If your intention is to simply watch the video in an easier to access format then it is unlikely any possible legal recourse would even be considered, let alone taken. Should the intention be to convert to sell or distribute, however, then it is highly likely legal action would be taken.

In respect of the work I do, for the most part I am asked to transfer home movies to DVD. When someone asks me to convert an original VHS tape to DVD I do so on the condition that they agree it is being made for the exclusive, personal use of my client. Further, I always investigate the title. Should the film be available on DVD or as a digital download then I direct my client to this and decline to accept the work.

Bringing back your memories

Yes, it is strange that someone would turn down business! I do, however, wish to ensure that both me and my clients stay within both the law and the general understanding of its application when it comes to copyright.

If you have a rare VHS tape that you want converted to DVD then please get in touch with me. I will gladly help you check if the title is indeed available on either DVD, Blu Ray or as a digital download. Should it not be, I will be of service, mindful of the above comments.

Should you, like me, be a fan of the film Starstruck  then you might like this article about the soundtrack album.