Video Tape Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is your ordering process?

A: The best way to proceed is to either print out our paper order form to send with your video tapes, complete and submit an online order form for DVDs or Digital Files, OR simply include a handwritten or typed note to include with your video tapes.

   With both the online form or printable form, you can skip or select any option you would like such as Combining Tapes to fewer DVDs, Duplicate Copies, Standard Chapters every 10 minutes, Custom Chapter Points, Add Photos, Permanent Archive Storage, and more. You are also welcome to include any special instructions on either order form, or include a note with your tapes.

   Next, package your video tapes in a box or padded envelope and send them to our studio address below.

If you submit our online order form, we will match your order form with your package when it arrives.

NOTE: You may also instead of using our online order form, or printable order form... type out or hand-write your order information on paper, and include with your video tapes. This information should include: Name, address, phone number, email (if available), tape title, and how many DVDs needed (or digital drive). Plus any other information you would like to add.

 

MediaLocks

2127 Rice Rd.

Chehalis, WA. 98532

   You are welcome to include your payment information on our online or printable order form, send payment with your package (if you know your exact total - check, money order etc.), Or, if you would prefer, call us at anytime with your payment information, after receiving our email confirmation that your order has arrived at our studio.

Q: What is the difference between "Video to DVD" or "Video to USB" Digital?

A: "Video to DVD" is the most common order, and simply means we transfer your video tapes to DVDs. The same DVDs that we all have, and have been around for almost 30 years.

   "Video to USB" means we do not create any DVDs, but instead transfer your tapes to digital files only, and put them onto a USB flash/jump drive.

   If you would like both DVDs and Digital Files on a USB Drive, select the DVD order form. There you can add digital files as an option. 

Q: How long does it take to complete my order?

A: Our normal completion time is 1-3 business days for most orders. If you need it back faster, please let us know of any deadline you may have and we will do our best to expedite the completion of your order at no extra charge. For even quicker service, there are always various shipping options such as Priority Mail, Express Overnight Service etc.

Q: My video tape is broken, can you repair it for me?

A: YES, we can repair 99% of the tapes that are broken. The charge is $12.00 for a simple splice repair. If more extensive repairs are required, we will let you know the estimated cost before proceeding. Please note: if any part of the tape itself is damaged (crinkled, twisted etc.), that portion would need to be removed.
    If your tape is broken, please include a note acknowledging the need for repair.

Q: My video tapes are commercially purchased, can you transfer these?

A: YES, fair use copyright laws allow you to have a back-up of video that you already own. We are simply changing the format of video that belongs to you from analog to digital.

Q: Can you combine several short tapes onto a single DVD?

A: YES, we can combine numerous tapes onto a single DVD, as long as the combined video does not exceed 120 minutes (a DVD's capacity). However please note, the cost is per video tape, as each is individually processed. When combining tapes to fewer DVDs, any additional tape added is reduced in cost by 25%.

  There are several benefits of combining multiple tapes to a single DVD.

  One: We try to ensure all the tapes' volume levels are as close as possible to balanced on the final DVD. Rarely are 2 tapes ever recorded at the same volume, so we do adjust and normalize all levels with a process we call "multiple tape decibel equalization". This way you'll never need to adjust the volume level up or down significantly.

   Two: We create and include a separate chapter for each tape on the final DVD. This means if there are 3 tapes on a single DVD, there would be 3 separate chapter points. Meaning, you could easily locate any particular tape on the final DVD.

   Three: when combining multiple tapes to a single DVD, there will be less duplicates needed if ordered.

 

* If you would like your video tapes combined to a single DVD... you can select this option on our online order form, or simply include a note with your tapes. Also, please indicate the order you would like them combined.
   ~ 
Not Applicable with Digital Files to USB Orders

Q: Can you run all my tapes continuous one after another onto fewest DVDs as possible?

A: YES, this is a great idea if you have multiple tapes of home movies, any tapes of the same subject, shorter length tapes... or you just want the fullest DVDs possible to save money. (Also less duplicates will be needed if ordering extra copies).
  Simply number or mark each tape with a sequence number 1,2,3, etc, we will record them one after another in that order, and fill up the DVDs as we go.
   We will also create a free chapter point on your DVDs where each tape begins, so you can easily locate any particular tape on that DVD (no ex-charge) even when combined with other tapes.
   Also, please choose one main title for any tape series. This title will be printed on each DVD, we'll then add a sequence number to each DVD... "Part 1 of 3", "Part 2 of 3", "Part 3 of 3" etc.

 

* If you would like your video tapes to run consecutively... you can select this option on our online order form, or include a note with your tapes. Also, please indicate the order you would like them combined.

   ~ Not Applicable with Digital Files to USB Orders

Q: How many minutes can fit onto a DVD?

A: A DVD can hold approximately 2 hours. If your tape IS longer than 2 hours, it would require an additional DVD to transfer the entire tape's video. In this case, we try to divide the tape into 2 equal DVD lengths, use the same title and add "Part 1 of 2" and "Part 2 of 2" to each disc's label.

  As part of our transfer service, we also eliminate/cut out any large blank spaces, and tape lead-in and lead-out times. These included edits can sometimes allow an extended length tape to fit onto a single DVD, but not always.
   ~ Not Applicable with Digital Files to USB Orders

Q: I don’t know how long my tapes are, how will I know the cost or how many DVDs my order will taken?

A: If the tape lengths are not known, we would not know either, until they have all been recorded. You don’t need to determine the length of your tapes ahead of time. We can simply transfer your tapes no matter the length (short or long). If the cost or number of tapes is a concern, we can always let you know their lengths before any final transfer to DVD.
   ~ 
Not Applicable with Digital Files to USB Orders

Q: I am not sure what all is on my tape, can you let me know?

A: YES, this is more common than you would think. Simply include a note with your tape(s) that you are unsure of the content. As a courtesy, we will contact you after it has been recorded and let you know. From that point you can decide if you want it transferred to DVD, or even decide what the title should be (a minimum charge may apply).

Q: Can I make my own copies of the DVDs Medialocks creates?

A: YES, your new DVDs belong to you, we have no copy-protection built into them. They are very flexible and duplicates can be made if you have the equipment and ability.

   ~ Not Applicable with Digital Files to USB Orders

Q: Can you add a photo to the DVD or case?

A: YES, You can choose the picture that is already in the case (if applicable), or send us your own custom photograph with your package or via email. We do not print on the DVD itself, but instead format and create an insert for the front of a standard "Hollywood Style" DVD case. Photo prints are priced as each, and are not included with duplicate copies.
   ~ Not Applicable with Digital Files to USB Orders

 

Q: My video tapes are of a very personal nature, will anyone be watching my videos?

A: NO, we never watch or monitor customers’ video tapes as they are being played/digitized. Once we set a tape up to start recording, it is simply left alone until it is finished. We will however (for editing purposes once the entire tape has been recorded), scan the file at a very high speed to determine if there are any large blank spaces. If blank spaces are found we’ll eliminate those gaps before transferring the files to DVD or USB Drive. If a gap is 10 seconds or less, we would most likely not catch that small of a blank space to eliminate before completing transfer.

Q: Will I get my tapes back?

A: YES, your tapes or any other media will always be returned to you just as we received them.

Q: Can I edit my video myself once I have my order back?

A: With DVDs no, they are finalized discs and can not be edited once created. However, if you order Digital Files on USB, or add digital files as an option to a DVD order... YES!! The .mp4 files we create on a USB drive are very industry standard and can be used in most video editing programs you can purchase.

 

Q: Do you keep a back-up of my videos?

A: Temporarily only, we do keep back-up files of your tapes in our system for about 4-5 weeks after we send them out to you solely as a shipping safety net. If something were to happen to your order during return shipping, we could easily reproduce the same exact same DVDs or Digital Files. After 4-5 weeks we delete all files. 

  We do also offer a Permanent Archive Service (see below).

Q: What is the Permanent Archive Storage Service?

A: With this option, we will keep an extra copy of your DVDs permanently in our studio. This service has 2 distinct benefits:
  (1) You will always have your video backed up in a 2nd location with us.
  (2) If you ever need extra DVDs made, no need to send a DVD back to us for duplication... just email or call us, and we will send more out to you. We also store the labeling information!

Note: any DVD(s) stored with us always belongs to you. If you ever want them back, simply pay for return shipping.

   ~ Not Applicable with Digital Files to USB

 

Q: I am nervous about sending my video tapes, how can I know they will be safe?

A: We have GREAT news in this area!!! We have never even once had an order not reach us that has been sent. Nor have we ever even sent out an order that did not reach its destination. We also send every order out with a tracking number, as well as keep a digital back-up of your recordings for about 4-5 weeks from the time your package leaves. If something were to happen to it, we could easily make identical DVDs or Digital Files and send them out again.

 

The best way to send/protect your video tapes is to completely enclose them in a box, or padded envelope. For extra further assurance, you can always purchase some type of tracking number through the US Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS. We will then email you when your order arrives.

Q: How is my video tape converted to DVD or Digital?

A: Every video tape we convert to DVD or Digital receives careful individual attention with the goal of improving the quality whenever possible. Each tape is played just one time, and is digitized into our system (converted from analog to digital). There is a never a situation where we simply put a tape into a one side of a machine, and out comes a DVD on the other.

   With each tape, we start by fast forwarding and rewinding it to ensure it flows freely. Next, we adjust the input and volume levels. Once these adjustments are made and set, we then rewind your tape and start recording from the beginning and let it play. We will always record the entire tape (unless otherwise instructed) to make sure no video is left out.
   
From this point after the entire tape has been recorded, we eliminate/cut out any large blank spaces/gaps that are very common at the beginnings and ends of tapes. Next we scan through your footage at a higher speed to locate any large blank spaces. If we locate any larger blank spaces, we will zoom into that area, and delete that section. We don’t watch all of any tape, so a small blank space would probably be left in if less than 10 seconds.

   Once this process is completed, we will add an opening “Title Page” to the beginning of the video. This is the title of the tape (or one that you choose), and will also be printed on the disc itself when ordering DVDs, or the file name on a USB.

Ready to Order?

Video Tape Order Forms
Online or Printable

Complete and Submit this online form for DVD orders

Complete and Submit this online form for USB orders

We will match up your online order form with your package when it arrives

OR... print, fill out, and send this form with your video tapes

This printable form is for both DVDs and Digital USB orders

Medialocks - 2127 Rice Road - Chehalis, WA. 98532