How's the market for VHS>DVD transfers?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by davidg4781, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #1
    A few years ago I bought an Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus. Top of the line back then but after looking for ones for sale it doesn't look like people are buying them.

    I was maybe thinking of using this to start a business/hobby transferring VHS tapes to DVDs. How's the market for that? I realize it'll be different in different areas, but are people still doing this?

    Also, I have a CD MacBook. I did some video stuff a while back using iMovie and some old reunion tapes but it was somewhat sluggish and I never finished.

    If I decide to do this, what's a good suggestion for a Mac to use? I was looking at purchasing a PowerMac DP 2.0 on craig's list for pretty cheap. I'm guessing it would be a lot more efficient than my current set up especially since I can put 8GB of RAM in it. I really want to keep the investment low at first since I was really looking at the PowerMac just because it'd be neat to have.
     
  2. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #2
    Those days are nearly over. I had some good sales over the years, but it went down to about 0. Have only had 1 this year, compared to 1 per week three years ago.
     
  3. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #3
    Would my setup be good for what I'm planning on doing? I may have to purchase a VHS player, but I might be abel to find those cheap.

    I figure if I'm going to purchase this stuff I might as well try to make some money off of it.
     
  4. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 6, 2011
    #4
    Those Elgatos transcode to MP4 or h.264 with a pretty low bit rate, don't they? I wouldn't use it to ask for money.... but that's me.

    I'm using a Canopus/Grass Valley ADVC110 capturing into 25mbps DV. That should be the minimum.
     
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #5
    While I understand using a better capturing device, I had a Fast AV Master and some Pinnacle card I can't remember the name of right now, when I used Premiere in the early 2000s, and DV is probably the best low-cost editing codec available, it seems a bit overkill for VHS sources to me, especially if one uses a second or third rate VHS player.
    I always used a Sanyo S-VHS player that did cost north of 400 € when doing so, thus the DV codec is actually a good codec for it, but if one buys a used VHS player, which may have maladjusted and worn heads, H.264 will not really take away from the "abysmal" source.

    But then again, we both have different backgrounds in editing and actually like editing codecs and proper equipment and its advantages, but for the OP's purposes, they might be a bit overkill, especially since untrained eyes will not see a difference and s/he will probably not have a viable business for digitising VHS tapes in this time and age.
     
  6. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Alice, TX
    #6
    I was really looking for something to do with this. I poste a feeler in the Marketplace and got nothing. On eBay they are hardly moving and if they are it's for $40.
     
  7. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #7
    Not trying to be confrontational, but please don't take people's money if you don't have high quality equipment. The fact that you have to ask the question is a huge warning sign. And, an Elgato is about the furthest thing from "professional-level" equipment.

    The services that do this have thousands of dollars in professional-quality equipment, like high-quality decks and capture devices. They also have trained post processing staff.

    Plus, unless you plan on getting insurance (an in turn setting up an LLC), you could lose your shirt if you lost/damaged someone else's tape.

    I had a friend that did "wedding photography on the side." He didn't have an llc or insurance of any kind. He took the photos, went into a restaurant afterwards to eat, and came out to find his car (and equipment) stolen. If that wasn't bad enough, he was sued by the newly-married couple and lost $90,000.

    If you do this, do it for your family or friends, but don't market your services to the general public.
     
  8. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #8
    Good idea.

    Guess I'll just try to sell the EyeTV for whatever I can get for it. Beats having it take up drawer space at home.
     
  9. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 6, 2011
    #9
    With that equipment I wouldn't even dare to ask money for my service.

    It doesn't have to do anything with background, but if you have a paying customer, you give him the best. What happens if your client has, indeed, a trained eye? A bad bad reputation spreads faster than a good one.
     
  10. simsaladimbamba

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    Nov 28, 2010
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    located
    #10
    I agree and totally forgot about the money aspect when replying. Sorry.
     
  11. jpine macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #11
    FAST AV Master. I almost forgot about FAST Electronics. I actually had the FAST Video Machine. Two streams of video and limited RT FX on a 100MHz Pentium computer. Those were the days.
     
  12. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    Yikes! One should never leave raw photos or footage in an unattended vehicle for any reason, ever (insurance or not). No amount of money can replace the photography/videography of a live event such as a wedding.
     
  13. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #13
    Totally agree. It was an idiot move to be sure. But, the point is, he didn't think through that kind of stuff, and it really, really came back to bite him.

    Now, a "pro" would never have done that. But, this was a glorified hobby for him, and he never thought through the consequences.
     
  14. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 6, 2011
    #14
    That doesn't have to do with glorified hobbyist or "pro". Once you get paid for a gig, the footage/pictures don't belong to you (in a sense). You treat them that way.

    Never leave your eyes off your gear, or have someone trustworthy look after it.
     
  15. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #15
    You're getting caught up in semantics and missing the point, which was there's much more to consider, up to and including legal ramifications.
     
  16. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    Exactly. I run this as a business and take it with the utmost responsibility - these are people's family memories! I make sure I have great equipment and clean it after x amount of tapes etc... and my encodes are done properly. These aren't like hard drives or cameras or anything you can re-order.

    In terms of being busy - I'm busy enough. I have good work/life balance and to be honest, anytime I push to advertise more, I can get busier. But I think it also depends on where one lives (small town vs big town ie. more people) and how many other 'shops' are offering the same services. I was one of the first 9 years ago, but then more started popping up.

    The more frustrating thing, like alot of businesses I guess, is you get other shops doing ridiculous things with their pricing in order to undercut what the normal market rates are. How those businesses stay running is beyond me. I've learned to stick to my guns wrt pricing and the quality I offer and if people want to do business, great. If they don't, I'll go to the gym or for a run etc.. I'm also the stay-at-home Dad so I have that freedom or better put, that flexibility as I do work alot of evenings instead of during the day.

    However, I'm not sure if this business could support full household expenses on its own. You'd have to be fairly big and have more people working for you. Like the photography and journalism fields, there's a watered down effect where cheaper equipment brings consumers and other shops into the mix and the market rates can flex. People can do it themselves if they have a fast enough computer, enough hard drive space and importantly, some knowledge.

    I've had some potential customers say, "C'mon, you can give a better rate than that, you're just hitting a few buttons." Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggghhhtt lol Then I've had the customers who understand they won't have to do it and I've got the knowledge, experience and equipment so they don't have a problem.

    For the record, I don't consider myself a 'professional editor' as the edits I do are general in nature. I've put together some nice multimedia slideshows, but I probably couldn't cut a feature presentation movie to save my life lol That's a different level imho. In my line, people want some chapter markers and that's it. They just want to see their footage.

    Cheers,
    keebler
     

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