Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tape to Disc

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The VHS Family

The VHS Family

I transfer a lot of tape to disc, meaning DVD and even audio cassette to CD.

I also make copies of those discs with printed, professional looking labels for your enjoyment or profit. I’ve made a lot of friends doing this kind of work. Movie people, comics, actors, directors, musicians, poets all come into the shop. Some just need a transfer. But the regulars build up a rapport and I feel very good about the relationships I’ve built with people over the last 4 years I’ve been with the company. When I came in, I knew very little compared to what I know now but the good thing is, there may as well be an infinite amount to learn in the media business, partly because it’s changing every day. It’s this knowledge that I’m in pursuit of as well as the relationships that have grown over time that make me passionate about what I do. If it was just transfers, I probably would have lost interest a long time ago. But to quote the Beatles, I’ve got to admit it’s getting better all the time. And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

The Sizzle Reel

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Contact Us

Contact Us

Everybody knows that we do demo reels and trailers, but did you know we also create Sizzle Reels?

The question comes to mind, what is a Sizzle Reel exactly? Think of it like this. You’re selling the sizzle so they buy the steak. The purpose of a sizzle reel is 3 fold. It’ got to expand the awareness of the viewer. It has to be engaging. And lastly it has to get your idea across. Because this type of reel is generally very short, approximately 2 minutes, you don’t have much time to promote your product or to entice your viewer to action. So who needs a Sizzle reel? One example would be a company with an ongoing project. There is a need to show what has been done thus far and to show perhaps the stockholders, what the final product will actually be, or if you’re trying to promote a product for sale. The idea is that the short video be fun with style and that the content be very creative. Obviously the message it has to communicate is the first idea to think about. From there, everything will be born and with a little luck, your project will be like a dream, coming true for you and your project. Please feel free to contact us here for more information.

DVD Copying Services

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There are a few key points I’d like to make about DVD copying services that we provide at Advanced Media.

The main thing I want to impart is that if you want to make copies, you will need a master. I can create that for you but it’s much cheaper if you already have one. Sometimes people bring a hard drive and that’s fine but in the interest of saving you money, I wanted to let you know that if you do it yourself or provide the master in some other way, it will be quick and painless for your wallet. Also, the master should be clean. Any scratches or dirty surfaces can cause problems for you and your disc. You may want to test your master and look at the bottom. Remember to never place your fingertips on the bottom of the disc. Always grab from the sides to prevent the oil from damaging the disc or causing it to play improperly. If a disc plays, it won’t necessarily copy. These are two different processes. However, if it will copy it will play. For more information, please contact us here.

DVD Duplication

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We do runs of DVD duplication small and large. Minimum of one.

If you want the real price break it’s at 100 + discs. For orders of 100 or more we also offer the thermal printing option which a lot of people tend to think looks more professional. It’s a high gloss print and it’s also more durable than the inkjet prints which can run if they get wet. I recommend them for clients who want a professional look and don’t mind paying a little extra to get it. It’s very good for hi res images as well.

For my clients who simply want text, inkjet is probably your best choice. For more information, please contact the office. (323) 469-0707

DVD Conversion

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I must have transferred a million tapes in the last 3 years. Maybe not quite that many, but there have been a lot.

I’ve converted all kinds of tape to DVd and CD. The fact is you can convert all your old analog formats to digital to preserve them for future generations. On a regular basis I transfer VHS to DVD, Hi8 to DVD, Super8 and 8mm film to DVD, Mini DV to DVD, Betamax, Beta SP and Digibeta to DVD and many other formats.

I thought at some point people would run out of tape to transfer and perhaps people will but as of yet, that hasn’t happened. Some people would like to try and make a project of it and others would just like me to handle it. Some are embarrassed of their footage, others are quite proud. Still others just want to organize everything and toss the old tapes. I actually recommend that my customers keep the tapes as a back up plan in case the DVDs are damaged. I notice a lot of people don’t treat their discs with the utmost respect.

I have customers all the time who are shocked when a DVD won’t copy. I flip the disc over to reveal the scratches and fingerprints. Some discs are covered in dirt. I even got one that appeared to have taken a bath in Coca Cola. I figure if you’re going to pay the money to have the conversions done, you may as well protect your investment and store your DVDs as if they were precious memories because in a way, they are. For more information please contact us here. (323) 469-0707

Definition of a DVD

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Wikipedia defines a DVD as a “an optical disc storage format” invented in 1995.

Originally the acronym stood for “Digital Versatile Disc” and now it is most commonly interpreted as “Digital Video Disc” although it remains versatile for a few good reasons. None of this is very important to most consumers, it’s more about the functionality of the disc. It is a storage device and most people are familiar with the DVDs you get via Netflix. We will refer to this as a “Playable Disc.” That just means that it’s a disc that will play in a DVD player.

These types of DVDs contain a series of files that work together to play your movie and make it easy for you to navigate using menus as well as the buttons on your remote controls such as fast forward and rewind. The main limitation of this type of disc is that you can’t just pop it in your computer and begin editing it. The same holds true for the DVDRs (the R stands for recordable) that I make on a daily basis when I do transfers from VHS to DVD and various formats such as Hi8 to DVD.

The bottom line is that if you want to edit, you’ll need files. Of course you can create files from a DVD however, the fact is you will have more compressed files unless you go directly to file with your tape. A DVD can also be used as a storage device. You can set it up as a “Data Disc,” which can store all kinds of files such as word documents, audio files, video files as well as picture files. It truly is versatile. Another point I should address is that there are many different types of DVDs. The most common is the DVD-5. This is a single layer disc with a storage capacity of about 4.7 GB. So a playable DVD holds about 2 hours of footage. There are DVD-9 discs which are also known as “Dual Layer Discs” which can hold roughly 9GB of storage. For more information please contact us directly. Thanks for reading.

Copy That Disc!

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The Disc Family

The Disc Family

I do a ton of transfers as part of my daily work and a lot of people are still going to disc.

Whether it’s DVD or CD, the disc is one of the most popular mediums due to it’s easy accessibility. Practically everyone has a DVD player or a CD player in their home and a lot of people now days have Bluray players to boot. The thing about these discs is that they are vulnerable to scratches. If not handled properly, their life expectancy can be very short. That’s why I always recommend to my clients that they get a backup disc. I tell them not to even play the disc if it’s really important and to keep it for duplication purposes only.

That’s one way to assure that your valuable media and memories will never be lost. A copy is very cheat at Advanced Media. We charge $5 for 1-5 duplicates and $4 for 6-20 duplicate discs. If you get 100 discs, that’s where the price break is. The cost is $1.60/disc for inkjet printing and $1.80/disc for thermal prints which are a shinier, more durable alternative. So I would say, make an extra copy, it’s reasonably priced and it could really save you a big headache in the long run. To copy that disc visit us here. (323) 469-0707

16mm or 8mm?

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Perhaps you’ve unearthed some film or happened upon it some way and you want to know how to tell if you have 8mm or Super8 or maybe even 16mm.

One quick way would be to use a measuring tape. If the film is 8mm wide, chances are you have some variety of 8mm film. Good, because that’s a little cheaper to transfer generally. I had a customer come in earlier this week with what he thought was 8mm film. It turns out, ¼” reel to reel audio, which we also transfer, is pretty similar looking. Of course the tape is a shade of dark brown and you can tell by holding it up to the light and by the fact that it has no sprocket holes, that’s it’s in fact, audio.

Another way to know if you have film is to give it a good whiff. If it smells like vinegar, you’d better bring it down to Advanced Media for a transfer because the film will eventually disintegrate and the smell of vinegar is a tell tale sign that this process has already begun. Sadly, film does not last forever. A good deal of silent films from the United States have disappeard. Very few remain and this is a sad fact. There are societies for preservation but not all films are deemed important enough to make the list and are lost forever. Don’t let this happen to you. We offer HD digital files for Mac and PC users. The price is $3/minute for Mac users and $2.50/minute for PC users. We also provide DVDs if you’re not a computer person or if you just want to have a watch with the fam. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns here. (323) 469-0707

Video Libraries

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I get some very large jobs from time to time.

These tend to be video libraries and can include every thing from VHS to DVD transfers to digitizing high-end tapes like Digibeta as well as old school formats like Beta SP, ¾” and Hi8. I have also handled my share of reel-to-reel audio transfers and even 1” reel-to-reel video, which is pretty rare in this digital age. To put it simply there are a ton of varying formats out there and most of them, I can handle.

Over the last 3 years I have worked on jobs for the Orange Public Library, the FBI, UC Riverside and USC. All of these have been monumental, ongoing tasks that I have approached from a one step at a time standpoint. I generally request an inventory list, making organization easier. When the boxes arrive, they are stored in a temperature-controlled vault with other masters. Then the fun begins. The transfer process is not always a simple one, especially when digitizing is involved. There are a lot of variables that make various set ups necessary. Some can be complicated and they can involve frustration and troubleshooting.

Every step from transfer to duplication to labeling to organization is handled with the utmost care because if there’s a mistake anywhere along the line it can trickle down into the final product. The only way I can handle these large jobs is by breaking them up into a kind of conveyor belt in which every element is headed in the direction of completion. So that one day, these dinosaurs of industry can be finally allowed to rest in peace. But the data continues to live on in our hearts, in our minds and on our hard drives. Please contact us here for more information. (323) 469-0707

A Scanner Lightly

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As the Office Manager at Advanced Media, I oversee a lot of family history projects from beginning to end.

I started thinking about my own family history. I too have boxes and boxes of slides and photographs left behind by my grandmother. There’s always one photographer in the family and that designation has now fallen to me. But I had to wonder, when would it be my turn to take all these images, most of which I had never even seen, and create digital files so my entire family could witness a bit of our history that we still don’t know much about. I decided to start with my own photographs that I have collected since childhood.

As I began scanning them, I found that each photograph contained a unique memory of a time and a place that no longer exists anywhere except here in this snap shot. I found that I wanted to share them with my friends and family, some who have since passed away. The faces and places began to speak to me and I began to piece together the mystery of my life and I saw that it had meaning and beauty and continuity. It made me want to make more memories with my loved ones. It inspired me to create a slide show with music. I chose to put mine in chronological order.

The project isn’t done yet but I have scanned all of the photos and I’m hoping to give these out as Christmas gifts for my family and friends. It’s a great way to warm all of our hearts, watching it together, reliving the memories and retelling old stories and rediscovering who we are, where we come from and where we are headed. After all, photographs have a way of really capturing what is important. They are moments in time that will not be lost forever as long as we take the time to preserve them and to share them with the ones we love, not to mention future generations who we may never have the chance to meet face to face. For more in formation please click on this blue word. (323) 469-0707

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