By Peter Glenn, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Jeff Ward has been in the “video game” for a long time. As a former technician at La Bonne Vie Camera in Westborough, Ward continued to master the ins and outs of all kinds of film, cameras and video equipment. This passion for recording technology, and the quest for knowledge surrounding the inner workings of recording equipment, started when he was a teenager. Now, even though La Bonne Vie Camera is a memory, Ward has continued to do business from his home in Northborough for the past decade. At Northboro Media Service, he converts older forms of media in all formats, such as camcorder tapes, 8-mm and 16-mm film, and audiotapes into the new digital formats such as DVDs and CDs.
As Ward explained, converting old tapes to CD and DVD formats doesn’t just make things easier – it helps provide the opportunity to preserve priceless family memories for future generations. People often overlook the fragility and expiration dates on old, outdated media. While no one can predict how long the new media formats will last, transferring older programs to them can help preserve them, and can also make it easier to view them now on today’s playback formats. Eventually, the day will come when it will be time to transfer the programs to the next media formats down the road.
Video cassette recorders (VCRs) and camcorders have become obsolete, and the tapes made on them won’t last forever.
“Recording tape is simply magnetic particles glued to a strip of plastic. As the tape ages, the glue dries out and the magnetic particles flake away, taking your program with them,” Ward said. “People generally overestimate how long recordings will last, and no one can make any promises but we feel that copying your family recordings to the newer formats, while making them easier to view, may also help keep your memories more secure, as well as more organized until the time comes to upgrade again.”
In contrast to old, often deteriorating film and video, a new DVD has an estimated shelf life of 30-35 years, which can keep your memories safer, condensed and organized until it becomes time to upgrade again.
“Past generations haven’t had the ability to pass on recordings of our ancestors to us because the technology simply didn’t exist, but these days, if we make the effort to preserve our old film and video, future generations will be able to look back clearly and see and hear members of their families’ past generations,” Ward added.
Along with upgrading a tape format, Ward can take images from slides, photos and even video stills, turning them into digital slide shows with music if desired. Your new DVDs will come packaged and ready to label. When picking up your DVDs, if you want your media on a flash drive as well, no problem. You’ll also get to keep your originals along with your clean new format recordings.
With a passion for preservation and extensive media knowledge, it’s plain to see that Ward takes great pride in his work. Along with decades of experience, he knows and values the importance of this kind of preservation.
“What I do is very technical, but the end result is something very emotional for customers,” he said. “They can relive family memories.”
Northboro Media Service offers you peace of mind that Internet conversion companies simply can’t. Why take the risk of sending something so irreplaceable through the mail when you can instead meet Ward in person, knowing your memories are not going to be shipped away by third parties?
So whatever format you have, Northboro Media Service has you covered. Ward is familiar with all of the major formats and many of the unusual ones as well.
As Ward said, “If we can’t convert it, you don’t have it.”
If you’re looking to get started, you can email Ward through his website, www.paxtontrading.net, or call him at 508-393-9440.