Absolutely. I had a customer bring in a shoebox full of old reels and I could see greenish/blue mold on almost all the reels and the boxes. I sent it out for conversion and they turned out just fine. You must remember though that if the original quality of the film is poor, the converted digital file will have poor images on it.
Short answer? No. If the footage isn't originally recorded in High Definition then it can't be converted to HiDef. I always remind clients that they must limit their expectations to some degree. Only one client was a little concerned about the quality, the scratches and dust particles that were now plainly visible on the DVD. "I remember them being a little better when we played them in the projector 30 years ago!" she said. I remind all customers now that projecting the images onto a wall or screen 20-30 feet away is not going to show all the dust & scratches but when the film is run through the telecine equipment, each little imperfection is captured. Another thing to remember is that the format for the old film was 1:1 and that to transfer it to digital requires reformatting it to 4:3 - which expands the image considerably. Read this article to learn more about the final digital quality of converted old film. Remember, you'll never have to set up the projector, if you have one, sit through all the over/under exposed material as I'll remove that (unless you want it left in) and you can skip reels with the click of a button on your remote. Almost all my clients were extremely happy just to watch their old movies again put to digital music!
In most cases, yes. I take the cassette apart as they're only held together with 5 small screws. One tape I fixed was so badly damaged that I moved the tape from the broken cassette and inserted it into a new one. The play mechanism is fairly straight forward inside - once you've opened a number of cassettes it's fairly easy to know how to put them back together again. If the tape is broken, I splice the two pieces back together.
What you're referring to is colour saturation and yes, I have editing tools that can adjust the saturation of the video. I recently completed one order where the quality of the film was so poor and so green that colour correction was not an option. What I did was I turned that section of the video tape into black & white and it showed perfectly - no green halo's around everything. The customer was quite pleased just to see the images albeit, in black and white.
You have two options here. If your Memorial DVD is just pictures then I can make a separate copy that'll play in PAL format (if she's living in Europe) and you can mail her the disc and case, or, I can create the DVD for you and upload the video file to YouTube so anyone in the world can watch it. I set the video to 'Private' when I upload it and I email you the link so that anyone with the link can view the video. This is an ideal option if you or your family members have internet access as you can watch it any time. If her access is limited (not high speed) then she'd be better off with the disc in a case.
That is one thing I can't do. I need a VHS player/recorder that plays PAL tapes in order to play your tapes back and capture the contents. That's a piece of equipment I haven't invested in. You need to remember that PAL video is shot at 25 frames per second and that NTSC video (and playback devices) are at 29.97 f.p.s. Most people that have made the conversion have complained about the 'jerkiness' of the converted video and that's because the conversion process inserts extra frames into the PAL tape to bring the frames up to 29.97 from 25. And where do they get these extra frames? The process copies existing frames and inserts them - hence the jerky motion which is really noticeable if the footage contains a lot of movement or action. The reverse is also true as when you convert NTSC (29.97 fps) to PAL (25 fps) the conversion process deletes enough frames to dumb it down to 25 fps. Again, if there's a lot of motion or action in the footage you're converting, you'll notice the jerky video. There's NO way to convert from one to the other without adding or deleting frames. I can create a Slideshow DVD in both formats with no loss or change in quality but as soon as video enters the equation, there'll be a noticeable drop in quality. It is what it is... east meets west... boy meets girl... cat meets dog...
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