Northboro Media Service: Converting film and tapes to DVD, CD, new media formats
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Northboro Media Service
Address: 12 Forrest Road, Northborough
Owner: Jeff Ward
Contact Information: 508-393-9440
What does your business do?
“I convert older forms of media such as tape, 8-mm and 16-mm film, videotapes in all formats into the new digital formats such as DVDs and CDs,” said Jeff Ward, owner of Northboro Media Service. “I can convert all formats. If I can’t convert it, you don’t have it.”
“We can also make slide shows with music for weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs and other events using your photos, slides, even frames from movie film and videos, whatever material you have.”
What kinds of media do you work with?
“All those video formats that came and went, that people don’t have the cameras and equipment to watch anymore. People even bring old reel-to-reel audio tapes. One man had tapes of his father, a jazz musician in the ‘60s, and I converted them to CDs so he could hear them,” Ward said.
An exception, he added, is 35-mm slides. “People should preserve their slides, put them in zipper plastic bags and squeeze the air out. The images on slides are higher quality that converted images will be. I can put slides on a DVD for convenient viewing or to share.”
Why convert this material?
“It’s a good idea to convert tape and film to CDs and DVDs to preserve the content as well as to be able to view and hear it on today’s equipment. Any kind of tape and film will deteriorate over time.
”People overestimate how long media is going to last. We expect DVDs to last about 30 years, which means if you do your part today, your children and grandchildren can transfer the programs to the next form of media.”
“Future generations will be able to watch and hear recordings of their great grandparents in color and sound. We can’t do that because our ancestors didn’t have the technology, but a couple of hundred years from now, families will be able to look back. A colleague of mine had a daguerreotype of his great grandmother that we compared to a picture of his daughter about the same age. The resemblance, four or five generations apart, was remarkable.”
Does conversion damage the originals?
“Normally, no. Certainly not by design. If the film or tape is in fair to good shape, we can hand back the original exactly as we got it. There was one case where the film was in such bad shape it disintegrated when it came out of the projector, but we had captured the images, and actually saved the program. Better that we saved the program to DVD than for the film simply to have disintegrated without capturing the program.”
How does someone get started?
“Call me or go to the website and email me. I will pick up the material or you can bring it to me. I don’t recommend mailing or shipping the material because, if it gets lost or damaged, it’s irreplaceable. If it’s a sound recording, I convert it to a CD; if it’s video, I convert it to DVD.
“DVDs make great gifts, and Christmas time is a good time to look at them when the family is together.”
Editor’s Note: The preceding is not an endorsement and is presented for informational purposes only.
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