Format Wars: No Love for Laserdisc

Previously on our blog we looked at the tragic demise of Betamax – tragic to those who actually owned Betamax players, at least. This time we’re going to look at the history of the laserdisc, why it didn’t take off, and where it is today. Hint: Garages, car boot sales and eBay feature heavily.

 

Give a kid a laserdisc today and they might be forgiven for thinking you’d transported back to the Land of the Giants and offered them up an outsized DVD. The technology for laserdisc was first patented way back in 1958, but it’d be another twenty years before they hit the mainstream. Befitting its 1970’s inception, the laserdisc was first known as the MCA DiscoVision. Say what you will about the name, it’d certainly make video formats a lot more interesting if they were named after genres of music. FunkVideo or DVDrum’n’Bass anyone?

Pub quiz question – what was the first laserdisc ever produced and sold in America? Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. That’s a pretty strong start, and it certainly had tons of benefits over VHS. The picture was of superior quality, and much sharper. And they were even cheaper to make given they have fewer moving parts, with a far greater longevity than the now classic video. The trouble was partly due to the extraordinary cost of laserdisc players.

 

And there was another problem. And that problem was DVD. Yep, as soon as the ol’ Digital Versatile Disc hit the market it was game over for laserdisc. Sure, laserdisc might have allowed a greater amount of control when playback movies, and the fact is that, unlike DVD, it wouldn’t become unplayable when the disc was scratched – it would simply skip the damaged area – but the real issue was the image. The format might have had a better quality of analogue video, but it was no match for the mighty digital.

Storage was a problem for laserdisc too. Its size was comparable to an LP vinyl, and having your entire film collection on such a bulky format meant that not only was storing them at home no good. Then there’s the cold, hard fact that stores didn’t want to give up shelf space to so few products, preferring to cram shelves with the tinier DVD.

 

Videophiles still debate the relative merits of laserdisc – some reckon the quality of the audio is much better than anything else on offer. And the picture quality, it has been argued, is a lot more true to the cinematic feel of the big screen. But none of that could prevent the laserdisc going the way of the Betamax.

Here at Video 2 DVD Transfers we’re passionate about audio-visual technology. That’s why we specialise in video to DVD transfer. For all your conversion needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 592 433 or email info@video2dvdtransfers.co.uk and our team of experts will be more than happy to help.

6 Films to Look Out for in 2015

Last year was a great year for cinema. And yet, already, 2015 looks set to be even better. So let’s take a cheeky gander at the 6 films you need to keep an eye on this coming year.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Bringing together 6 super heroes, 4 of who already had a film, could have easily been an overhyped flop. But when The Avengers was released in 2012 it quickly became the third-highest grossing film of all time with a worldwide box office taking of $1.5 billion. The long awaited sequel will finally be flying into cinemas in 2015 and is set to be even bigger than the first. Director Joss Whedon has introduced several new characters from the marvel world as well as a sombre storyline.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

The hope that many Star Wars fans lost after the announcement that Disney were acquiring Lucasfilms returned when the official announcement was made for the seventh star wars film. With JJ Abrams as director, many are expecting this film to be as big. When a teaser trailer for the film was released last year it got everybody excited, but not much about the plot was released so nobody really know what to expect.

Fifty Shades of Grey

When the 2011 erotic romance novel was published, it quickly gained popularity and became one of the most talked about books of all time. When it was announced that a film adaptation was being created, many questions were asked about how the content of the book would even be able to shown in a cinema, but somehow it has been managed and the film is being released this year.

Spectre

When it is released, Spectre will be the 24th instalment in the James Bond Saga. Featuring Daniel Craig in his penultimate Bond flick, the film will have Bond up against a sinister organisation called SPECTRE. Christoph Waltz, best-known for Inglourious Basterds and Django, has been recruited as what some are calling possibly the best Bond villain to date. Aston Martin have even designed a new special edition car, alongside the film’s production team, that will only be used in Spectre and won’t be available to the public.

Jurassic World

Despite all the mishaps that occurred in the previous 3 films, somehow Jurassic Park has still not shut its gates and the park will be shown again in the fourth instalment in the Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World. Set 22 years after Jurassic Park, the story will revolve around the creation of a mysterious new attraction that ends up backfiring completely. With a cast featuring actors like Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, the film is anticipated by many who are wondering what it will turn out like.

Child 44

Based on the 2008 multi-award winning book with the same name, Child 44 will be a Stalin-era USSR based thriller that follows the investigation of a curious chain of murders by detective Leo Demidov as the state works against him. The film has a brilliant story behind it and actors such as Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman portraying it so this film should be one of 2015’s best.

These might be the films we’re looking forward to in 2015, but for some, it’s the home movies that are really the ones we’re looking forward to seeing. If you’ve videoed your own old classics you haven’t seen for yonks, we’ve got you covered. We can convert VHS to DVD and allow you to relive those memories. For more information about our services, feel free to contact us on 0800 592433 or email us at sales@video2dvdtransfers.co.uk and a member of our team will be happy to help you.

Why Transfer Your Old Videos To DVD?

In homes up and down the country, there are dusty old VHS tapes stored away in attics and at the back of cupboards, going unused and unloved. Why would you want to go rummaging through piles of old boxes in the loft to rediscover those tapes? We’re going to take a look at a few of the reasons why you may want to get those old films transferred onto DVD.

Format Wars: Did Betamax Deserve to Die?

Here at Video 2 DVD Transfers we specialise in converting tons of different formats, from Mini DV to Digital 8; VHS to Betamax. Ah, Betamax – once heralded as the thinking man’s video format of choice, and now the punchline to a thousand tech jokes. But does Betamax deserve its reputation, and did it deserve to so comprehensively lose out to VHS?

Get Festive With These Christmas Classics

When it comes to Christmas, no winter evening is complete without your nearest and dearest, a bottle of red and a snuggle on the sofa with a good old Christmas movie.

So, whether you’re a film fanatic or devoted to the classics, here are a few of our festive film favourites to fill the chilly season evenings and get in the festive spirit. Enjoy!

Unlocking A Loved One’s Memories

As specialists in bringing memories back to life, we were truly moved by recent news that old documentation of memories, photographs, film and music have found a new use, being thought to help trigger memories and reminiscences among people with dementia.

 

Bringing back memories for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can happen in a number of ways. It may be playing a 1940s classic, spreading out photos on the coffee table, or re-playing old movies from family parties – but whatever it may be, helping recover these memories can offer extremely positive and rewarding results, for all family members.

Reminiscence therapy is defined by the APA as the use of life histories – written, oral, or both – to improve psychological well-being. The therapy is often used with older people, as a method or technique for the purpose of recalling memories, and has been a feature of recent news with the progression it has made for those suffering from dementia.

The heart-warming story of Joseph Hardman, an amateur photographer who had taken photographs between the 1930s and 1960s of daily life from all over the Lake District is a wonderful example of how captured memories can become a catalyst for those unable to remember.

When Hardman sadly passed away, his wife donated almost 5,000 glass negatives to the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry in Kendal, Cumbria, which are now being used to help a group of people living with dementia in the region. The group have been encouraged to take their own versions of his images, using them to reacquaint themselves with their lives.

The idea behind the project was simply to follow Hardman’s footsteps over a five-week period, so as Hardman did himself, the group took taxis everywhere, indulged in the tea and cake he was fond of, and visited some of his favourite places, documenting their journeys.

One place in particular was Dora’s Field in Rydal, a field made famous by the poet William Wordsworth. This was a trigger for Wordsworth’s poetry, a piece the generation would have learnt by heart as children, encouraging them to tap into deep long-term memories.

This wasn’t the only memories that were stirred; one participant re-discovered her ability to write short-hand although she hadn’t wrote that way for many years, and others were brought to recall particular events, songs and days-out that made their history.

As you can see, reminiscence therapy is a growing part of dementia care, and many deep-seating memories are often attached to emotion. Yet, with new techniques, you are able to tap into the positive emotions of their past and bring someone positive emotion to them.

For the full article on this very special project, please visit the BBC website.

Here at Video 2 DVD Transfers, we are proud to be one of the leading specialists in our industry, and are dedicated to helping you preserve those special family memories to enjoy and re-watch again and again. As a family run business, we understand the importance of quality service, and promise to take the upmost care when handling and delivering your beloved memories. For more information regarding our VHS to DVD transfer services, or to speak to one of our friendly and caring team – please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 592 433 today!

You Wouldn’t Want to Miss It

There are some moments in life that can just pass you by, like the first coffee of the morning, or that joke your friend told you that you can’t remember because it wasn’t any good. But there are some that you really wouldn’t want to miss. Here are our favourite moments that really should be committed to film.

That Romantic Proposal

No matter how your significant other does it – whether they drop to one knee on a romantic trip to the Lake Garda, or even slur those loving words over pizza – being proposed to is a big deal – especially if you, y’know, say yes. And sure, while everyone films the resulting wedding, most people forget about the moment that started it all. Capturing the wedding proposal is a wonderful way to remember just how those blissful years together began.

Baby’s First Steps and Words

Ok, this might seem like a hard one to judge. Either you film your baby constantly, or you get lucky, but it’s totally magical if you can capture your child’s first steps or words on camera. Sure, you’ll remember the delight forever, running, screaming, calling up your mum and all your friends, but it’d be nice to let others witness the moment too. After all, it’s a big deal. And once you’ve got it on film, you can watch it back 15 years later and wonder what ever happened to that sweet, innocent kid!

First Day of School and Final Graduation

What could be better than book-ending your kid’s academic career? There are few moments as important as their first day of school, decked out in an ill-fitting uniform, designed to last for years, and a nervous smile. And no parent will want to forget the end of years in education, as they proudly swish their robe and collect their graduation certificates. In fact, it’ll be tough to tell who’s prouder – them or you.

If you’ve got any of these moments stashed away on video, relax, they’re not lost forever. If you wish to relive the moment, or cherish and share those memories, then we can definitely help. Here at Video 2 DVD Transfers we specialise in VHS to DVD transfers, and we’d love to help you see and share those moments again. Just contact us on 0800 592433 or email us at sales@video2dvdtransfers.co.uk to find out how we can assist you today.

Are you wondering how you get your order to us here at Video2DVDtransfers?

Well we use Royal Mail Tracked Returns. The UK’s most popular Customer to Business shipping service. A services used by 100’s of big names. High Street stores and online companies.

Simply download and print off the label from our website (we’ll also send you a link in our emails).

Attach the label to your parcel.

Take the parcel to your nearest Post Office. At a time that suits you! (no need to wait in for a courier)

At the Post Office your parcel will be bar coded and you’ll be given a receipt.

We’ll acknowledge receipt of your parcel a few days later.

It couldn’t be easier…..   and the cost is included in our prices.

Preserving Family Memories

Preserving memories can be very important, especially when it comes to those all-important precious family moments. Often we are lucky enough to have been able to capture these moments on film so we can come back and relive them over and over again. However in order to preserve these for the future, its important you take good care of your old photos and home videos so they stay in good condition, after all you never know when you might want to see them again. So here we take a quick look at how you can help preserve those precious family memories you have on film, so they can hopefully stay with you and your family for many years to come.

Photographs

The rise of the digital age has seen a move away from more traditional printed photographs and digital archives are now commonplace. Indeed almost gone are the days of getting your camera film developed. However many of us still have numerous old photos lying around of our most precious memories, such as family holidays, and our childhood days.

When it comes to protecting and preserving your old photographs there are a number of things you can do to help. For example a number of factors, such as sunlight and high humidity, can damage your old photographs, hence keeping your old photos away from bright light and humid environments is a must. High temperatures can also present a particular problem for you old photos, so when it comes to storing your photographs lower temperatures are preferable. You can also store your photos in good quality photo albums to help preserve them for the future, and these are perfect for having a look through and reminiscing over too.

Ultimately it can also be a good idea to make a back up copy of your most precious photos too. For example you could consider digitizing your old photos. There are a number of methods of digitizing your old photos, however for the best quality, using a scanner is usually the best option. Creating a digital archive of your old photos also means you can easily share your photos with others online.

Movies                     

There’s nothing quite like catching those all important memories on film; from your baby’s first steps to your wedding day, our home videos speak volumes and are there to be treasured. Home videos have been around for decades, allowing us to forever immortalise and capture our favourite moments and memories. However whilst memories can last a life time, the same cannot be said for you old home movies, at least not if they were captured on VHS that is.

VHS tapes were never intended to last a lifetime and in many respects VHS is a dying medium that has all but been laid to rest. Unfortunately VHS tapes wear out a little every time we use them, and over time their components can degrade. Hence if your old VHS home movies are sitting on a shelf somewhere collecting dust, and taking up valuable storage space, a great idea is convert these to DVD, giving them a new lease of life and preserving those memories for the future. Converting your old home movies to DVD can also make the ideal gift, perfect for putting a smile on people’s faces.

Here at Video 2 DVD Transfers we are specialists when it comes to converting VHS to DVD and pride ourselves on the high quality of our work. For more information about our great range of services please do not hesitate to contact us and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.