Remember your daughter’s big dance recital from 1986? Her leg warmers were the perfect shade of purple and every movement was fluid, just like she practiced. Afterward, there was a standing ovation from your applauding family members. Now, more than 30 years later, she wants to show the tape to her daughter, an aspiring tap dancer. Yet, the VHS tape that you’ve been cherishing since that day no longer serves its purpose in modern day. You may not even have access to a VCR anymore, and it’s possible that playing it on your old system could damage the recording.

Using a video transfer service eliminates problems like this by transferring your old video into a modern format. Before you hire a company to transfer your videos, consider asking these five questions to ensure you have a good experience.

1. What Transfer Services Does the Company Offer?

Ideally, you will find a video transfer service that has experience working with multiple older formats, including:

  • Mini-DV
  • VHS
  • BetaMax
  • HI-8
  • DVD
  • The Cloud

Some companies can even transfer 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm film into modern formats.

Today, you may only have one format that you would like to transfer, but in the future, you may need to transfer a different format. Use this opportunity to start a professional relationship with a company that can meet your current and future needs.

A knowledgeable company that transfers a wide range of formats takes its job seriously, and their employees want to do more than work with the most popular formats. Many of these people have a passion for video that encourages them to learn about transferring obscure formats, too.

Of course, you also want to make sure that your updated video comes back to you in a useful format. Some of today’s most popular video formats include:

  • AVI
  • FLV (Flash)
  • WMV (Windows)
  • MOV (QuickTime)
  • MP4

2. How Much Do You Trust the Company?

Trust plays a crucial role in choosing a video transfer service. Especially if you only have one copy of your cherished video, you should make sure you use a trustworthy company with a proven track record.

Before you decide to use a company’s services, make sure you ask about:

  • The number of years it has been in business
  • Any big brands or major companies they work with
  • Their updated professional website
  • Any guarantees they offer around meeting deadlines and quality expectations

More often than not, you will get better service from a video transfer company that has a proven track record, a portfolio of “big brand” clients and strong guarantees.

3. Does the Company Do Video Transfers In-House?

Some video transfer companies send your original video to other locations to have the transfer completed. In fact, some will send your videos overseas.

Choosing a company that does in-house transfers is important because you will limit the risk associated with shipping your original video. If the company wants to send your video in a secure package to one location, the risk of damaging your video is small. However, the risk of damage increases when a company repackages and ships it overseas.

By choosing a video transfer service that does its work in-house, you can protect your original video, shorten the amount of time it takes to get your video back and pay a lower price for the service.

4. Does the Company Have Positive Reviews?

Before you commit to a company, go online and read their company’s reviews. These reviews can give you insight into the way the company treats its clients and what the final product will look like. Find both professional and customer reviews on websites like:

Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are also useful tools when reviewing a video transfer service. Customers who had a very positive or negative experience will often write about it on social media.

Within these reviews, you should look for consistency of feedback. If a company receives consistently bad reviews online, then it might benefit you to look for other options. Consider the general consensus of these reviews, which can be a great indicator of the type of experience you will have.

5. How Much Past Experience Does the Company Have with Video Transfers?

When you have narrowed down all your options, read up on the history of each company to help you make your final choice.  A video transfer company that has been in business for three years may only offer a handful of services, while a business with ten or more years in the industry may have encountered various unique transfer requests that better equip them to help you. It is also likely that they have experience transferring a wider variety of formats.

When determining a company’s experience, find out whether they offer popular services like:

  • Digitizing VHS tapes
  • Transferring 8mm to DVD
  • Turning old films into digital formats

In some cases, you might choose a company that specializes in one of these specific services. At other times, you may need a video transfer business that has experience with a variety of formats, services and products. No matter which services you require, always choose a video transfer company that shows their deep understanding of how valuable your memories are.

Whether you need to transfer footage of one beautiful dance recital or hundreds of hours of beloved family time, the best video transfer service will have a lot of past experience and industry knowledge. Consider asking these five questions to help you choose a reliable business that can transfer your favorite memories into a high-quality, modern format.