VHS Tape won’t play – Newton

You pop your old VHS tape into the VCR player and it won’t play.

You panic because you know what’s on it – precious home movies of your kids, birthday parties, summers at the beach, thanksgiving memories of uncles, aunts, grandparents who may have passed on.

But why won’t your VHS tape play?

Here are the possible reasons:

1. The VCR player is jammed – the equipment is quite old and if you have not maintained it regularly, there’s a good chance the VCR player is not working well anymore. To test this, use another VHS tape. If the second tape won’t play as well, chances are the equipment is the problem.

2. The VHS tape ribbon has detached. VHS tapes are fragile and after years of being played and exposure to the environment, the tape sometimes snaps off from the housing when it’s rewound. You can check this easily by flipping open the side of the tape housing.

3. The VHS tape housing spinning mechanism is broken. This prevents the tape reels from spinning smoothly. Do not force it to spin, bring it in to be repaired so the tape ribbon is preserved.

A word of caution: if you see white specks on your VHS tape, that’s mold. Don’t put it in the equipment because the mold will fly off into the equipment and gunk up the fragile mechanical parts of the equipment. You’ll need to get your VHS tape cleaned and restored, a very expensive process.

VHS tapes have a shelf life. The best time to transfer your VHS tapes to DVD or other digital formats is:  Yesterday. A DVD does not deteriorate, does not jam, does not grow moldy.

Even if your vhs tape plays, you will notice that the quality has deteriorated, the sound has started to crackle. A VHS tape is made of magnetic media and even in the best storage condition, the earth’s magnetic forces will affect the magnetic particles on the tape. The cost to transfer a VHS tape to a DVD is minimal, only about $25 depending on the length of your tape.  That’s a very small price to pay to preserve the precious memories of families and love ones.

Arlington ! Boston ! Brookline ! Cambridge ! Dedham
Framingham ! Lexington ! Natick ! Needham ! Newton
Quincy ! Waltham ! Watertown ! Wellesley ! Westwood

Other services offered by our lab:

VHS to DVD Service

Film Transfer

Slide Scanning

Photo Scanning

Audio to digital Transfer

Watch old home movies together with your College Kids

memories-growupI like to ask our customers what prompt them to bring their VHS tapes, 8mm film, and other old home movies in to be transferred after all these years?  Why now?

A common answer at this time of the year is:  My kids are home from college.

You’ve heard the saying, “Give them roots, and give them wings”.

Watching old home movies reminds our fast-growing-children where they started; reminds them of their happy childhood, the fun times we had, the first day of school, the school play.  Reminds them of all the things we DID for them!

If your kids’ memorable moments are still stuck in VHS tapes, Hi 8, or the older 8mm and 16mm film, it’s time to converts these old media into the 21st century so you can share these memories again.

We’ve Moved to Newton Center!

We kicked off April with a big change here at Play It Again Video. We have moved to a beautiful, bigger new location in Newton Centre! After many years on Needham St., your continued support has meant we have outgrown the space. So, on April 1st, we opened the doors for business at 1349 Centre St., Newton Centre, and we are looking forward to seeing you there!

Moving is always a huge undertaking, of course, and it was a couple of long days of all-hands work to carefully pack up, transport, and set up the equipment we use in the new space. If you visit us in the next few days, please accept our apologies if you see some boxes still waiting to be unpacked.

Our move parallels that of many of our customers. Very often, someone comes in with old videotapes or film that they found when they were packing up their house for a move. As everyone knows, if you find something you haven’t used in ages when you’re about to move, you throw it out, rather than spend time packing and moving it! Right? Well, not in the case of old media. If you haven’t watched an old movie in years, it might just be because you no longer have the technology to play it. The solution in that case, of course, is to convert that VHS or film to DVD. So we felt a kinship with the many customers who had that exact thought process and brought us the home movies they found while preparing for their own big move.

Whether or not you are getting ready to move, it’s always the right time to save your old memories, so come see us in our lovely new home in Newton Centre!

Click here for directions to our location

1349 Centre St, Newton Centre, MA


Why We Love VHS to DVD (And You Should Too!)


Here at Play It Again Video, we’ve been transferring VHS to DVD ever since the technology became available. It isn’t just our job. It’s our passion! Here’s what we love so much about it:VHS, VHS-C, miniDV, Hi8 Tapes

  • Preserving old memories. Since VHS tapes have a shelf life, transferring those tapes to a more durable medium can keep precious memories from fading away forever.
  • Creating new memories. Watching an old tape from your childhood with your kids can be a touching and funny moment, and you can even make new traditions around watching old home movies. Or, using our Scattered Pictures custom video montage service, you can commemmorate all the big moments in someone’s life for a birthday celebration, a wedding, or any important occasion.
  • Putting smiles on faces. Most importantly, the joy and delight it brings our customers to see these movies again (sometimes after thinking they were gone for good) is infectious and we love seeing your reactions. Some of our customers surprise their loved ones by transferring their VHS tapes for them, and that can be a truly marvellous surprise.

February may be over, but we are still feeling the love!

Doing Movie Transfers the Right Way

movie transfersAt Play It Again Video, we’ve been doing movie transfers for our customers since 1987. It is important to us to do your transfer the right way. What does “the right way” mean? Well, to us, that doesn’t just mean getting your order completed quickly and accurately. That is the bare minimum of the service you are paying for! But there are other keys to success we suggest you look for in a movie transfer business before choosing to spend money there.

  • Local. Your movies should not be shipped off across the country or across the globe to be processed somewhere else, and then sent back. That is a recipe for disaster. It will take longer to process, since shipping is involved, and the shop you visit has little oversight as to how the work is done. If there is a problem with your project, you need to have someone able to correct the issue right away. For that matter, if their technicians have questions about your project, what are the odds they will contact someone on the other side of the world so that they can give you a call and ask you a question?
  • Organized. We have a very clear system of organization so that customers’ orders cannot get mixed up or “fall between the cracks.” Every order has a number and is stored in its own container, and every sub-section within that order is also numbered (for instance, separate reels of film, or separate VHS tapes). We are rigorous in ensuring everything on the order we enter when you come in matches up with the labeled boxes and cases in front of us while doing your transfer.
  • Transparent. We want to make sure you know what is happening with your movies when you leave them with us. We even have a 10-point safety checklist you can read on our site. Make sure any business you trust with your movies is transparent about their process and how they will ensure your movies are safe and sound.

Your movies are important to you! That means they are important to us, too. Make sure you only use a business that treats your movies with the same care you would give them (or better!).

Relive the Romance by Transferring VHS of Your Wedding

WeddingIt’s that time of the year again – the time when everyone’s thoughts turn to love. For us here at Play It Again Video, that means wedding videos. If you were married anytime during the heyday of the camcorder, you probably had either a professional or a friend or relative shoot video of your big day. And now you have a dusty VHS sitting on a shelf somewhere, unwatched for years. This Valentine’s Day, why not remind yourselves of how lovely your wedding was by transferring that VHS tape?

Transferring VHS wedding tapes also makes a great gift for a couple you love – parents, children, or dear friends – or save it for an anniversary gift. And don’t limit yourself to VHS tapes! If your wedding (or your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding) was captured on film, rather than VHS, we can certainly transfer that for you as well.

Come in and ask us about transferring your wedding videos – we’d love to help you!

The World’s Worst Advice for Scanning Slides

When you’re looking into scanning slides, be sure not to make these big mistakes! They’re a recipe for disaster.

  • Don’t bother storing your slides any special way. Slides are toughbad-advice and resilient! They’ll scan in as good as new, no matter how they have been stored.
    Real advice: Store your slides in a box or case designed for slide storage, or in a carousel (not, for instance, loose in a paper bag). That will protect them from dust and damage. Scanning slides simply copies the existing image into a digital format. If those slides are damaged or bent, the image that gets scanned will be affected.
  • Expect pictures to come back better-looking than they were the first time around! Of course a slide scanning lab will fix any photography errors that may have been made at the time the picture was taken.
    Real advice: If a slide is badly discolored, we will do our best to fix it up. But photos that are blurry, dark, or taken with the wrong type of film (for instance, if indoor film was used outdoors on a sunny day) will still not look perfect when they are digitized, without some in-depth correction work. We can do that for you at an additional fee; please ask when you are dropping off your slides. But, of course, no one can do anything about any unfortunate haircuts or outfits you may have sported in the 1980s!
  • Most importantly, slides last forever. There’s no rush to scan them – they’ll still be just as good in a few more years as they are today.
    Real advice: Slides, like all film, will deteriorate with time, no matter how well you store them. The color can fade or discolor, necessitating additional work to make them look good again. Save yourself the extra time and money on fixing up preventable image problems, and bring your slides in as soon as possible.

The best advice we can give you to counter any bad information you may have gotten is to treat your slides carefully, and don’t let them rot away in a closet or attic. If these pictures are important to you, preserve them! Ask us about our slide scanning services today.

Watch Them Again Before You Transfer Film To DVD

So, you’ve decided to transfer some film to DVD. Great! We’re happy to help you with that. But maybe you want to make some decisions first about what to transfer, so you don’t spend your money on transferring a home movie you don’t want all that much.

Transfer film to DVDWell, we can help with that too! We understand that not every old 8mm home movie is a gem, and some of them might have been poor quality or uninteresting subject matter. But unless you have a projector at home (and who does?), how will you be able to tell what is on a given film reel before you have it transferred?

We offer a free viewing service. You can bring in your old 8mm, Super 8, or 16mm film (or VHS tapes), and watch them for free right here at Play It Again Video. Then, you can decide just what you want to have transferred to DVD! To book the viewing station, give us a call at 617 332-3300, or reserve online here.

“Year in Review” Photo Montages

2014 has just come to a close. No doubt, your family has had a big year! Why not commemorate the events and milestones of the year with a customized photo montage? Our Scattered Pictures service is a great way to pull together the important moments of your family’s year into a beautiful montage, complete with custom music.

Check out this sample montage:

Thinking about creating one for your family? Give us a call at 617 332-3300, and ask about a Scattered Pictures photo montage!

Happy Holidays – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree Video

Happy holidays! Please enjoy this silly video from all of us here at Play It Again Video.

We appreciate your business all through the year and we hope to see you again in 2015! We hope you have a great holiday season filled with family, friends, food, and festivity.