Old Kodak slide scanned- Happy Customer

A customer, John from Cambridge, had his friend try 9 different places to get some special slides scanned but there was one special slide that kept getting cropped by the machine.  So John, tried to scan the slide himself with a slide scanner and a digital camera, but still couldn’t do it. Finally, he brought his slide to Play it Again Video and was very pleased with the result.  He even gave the person helping him here a Mother’s Day card in appreciation. We’ve seen a lot over 30 years, but this is the first time a customer gave our front desk person a Mother’s Day card.

To see more customer testimonials:http://playitagainvideo.com/testimonials/

Old Technology Anonymous – Still hanging on to your VHS tapes?


Still hanging on to your vhs tapes?

I’m not sure if there’s any such thing as meetings of “old technology owners anonymous,” but if there were, I would have to stand up and say, “My name is Justin, and I own a VHS deck.”

I realize that Digital media is far superior in every way, and when my VHS tape deck breaks (I bought it in 2002), I will not buy another one.  But until that day comes, it works for me.Of course, my addiction to antiquated technology comes at a price.  Full disclosure, since I’m writing a blog for a video transfer place, it’s reasonable for you to expect I will lecture you on the many advantages of transferring your VHS recordings to digital format.  But instead of giving you the complete lecture, I will just share personal experience.The simple fact is, VHS tapes are not manufactured on Krypton.  They are mortal.  And while I have been known to use the same videotape cassette to record Big Bang Theory reruns for later viewing over and over again, I have learned that VHS tapes do, in fact, die.  Mostly, the tape just gets stretched.When that happens, the overall timing of the video signal gets out of sync.  The electronic signals are farther apart than they should be, kind of like markings on a stretched a rubber band.  It’s quite vexing to see that recurring flash of snow on the screen, along with the garbled soundtrack.  And when that day comes, that tape is dead, never to be resurrected.They still make VHS tapes, so you can solve this problem in the short term by just buying another cassette, but then the cycle eventually repeats.

The second problem that I consistently have with my VHS tapes is caused by the simple fact that all videotapes are dragged across a spinning head inside the player.  I will spare you the technical details and just tell you that over time, dust in the air, and little tiny bits of oxide flaking off the VHS tape, start to clog the delicate little electronic “heads” that read the tape.  It’s not just the video heads, the audio heads get dirty too.  It’s no big deal to clean them if you know how (and since I know how, that’s why I still have a VHS deck that bought in 2002), but if you screw it up, you ruin the deck.

As the saying goes, “there’s always a trade-off,” and for me, and possibly for you, using VHS as a video medium has the advantages of comfort and familiarity.  But the magnetic energy that holds the images in the audio decays over time just like uranium, and it loses clarity of picture bit by bit.

I don’t really care if my recordings of M*A*S*H reruns go the way of all flesh, but if you have a precious memory recorded on VHS tape, you should consider converting it to a digital format, and the sooner the better.


Justin Locke is an author, playwright, and media producer.  Visit his website at justinlocke.com.

This article is presented by Play It Again Video, Metro West Boston’s trusted neighborhood resource for 8mm to DVD, VHS to digital, and your other video film and photo transfer needs.

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

Film-to-DVD Transfer Near Newton, MA

Looking for film transfer?
Out on-site film transfer brick and mortar lab is only a few minutes drive from Newton, MA

The good news is that 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm film have a longer shelf life than magnetic media such as VHS or Hi8 tapes.   It is not too late to transfer your decades-old 8mm, Super 8 or 16mm  film to DVD.  Our telecine process using professional 3CCD (a chip for each primary color) brings back these aging films to life again.

We can transfer all 3 film formats: 8mm, Regular 8 and 16mm film to DVD or if you have plans to edit your raw video footage, we recommend transferring your films to an external hard drive.

If you live in Newton, MA, you don’t need to ship your precious film reels out of town, out of country.  Our on site film lab is located in Newton, MA, only a few minutes drive from Newton.

Film to DVD transfer

Click here for Film to DVD Pricing

3 Reasons Newton, MA families choose Play it Again Video

We are 100% Local

We are local. Our on-site lab is in Newton, MA, a few minutes from Boston and Cambridge. Our friendly staff is right here to assist you in person. Don’t know what’s on your film reels? Bring them in and watch them on our film viewer.  When you drop off your film reels, they stay right here until you pick them up.

We’ve Been Transferring Film for 24 Years

Film is our specialty: 8mm, Super 8, 16mm. We use a combination of old-fashioned technology – hand-cleaning every inch of the film and repairing any sprocket damage – and the best 3CCD film-transfer equipment out there to get the highest film to dvd digital transfer quality possible.

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

We are confident we are one of the bestin the world at turning your 8mm, Super8 or 16mm film to DVD or external hard drive. If you are not satisfied with the quality of our transfer, we will redo the work or give you a full refund.

Competitive Pricing

Unlike some labs that advertise a low rate per foot, than add all kinds of extra charges for basic services like DVD creation,

Play it Again  Film-to-DVD Pricing is all-inclusive:

  • Cleaning and conditioning of film,
  • Minor film and leader repair,
  • Monitoring and adjustments
  • Generic Opening “Memories” Title
  • Choice of background music for your silent film
  •  DVD copy and
  • Master DV backup tape (In case you scratch or break your DVDs, you don’t want to spend the $ transferring the film all over again

Click here for detailed Film to DVD Pricing

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.

Super 8 the Movie

Steven Spielberg’s latest: Super 8 is now in theaters. The story starts with a group of kids who wanted to make a zombie movie with a Super 8 camera.
While shooting, by chance, they witnessed a dramatic train crash. Since then, strange occurrences and events happen in their town, the army shows up and appear to be hiding a secret that will change their lives forever.

The movie is co-produced by JJ. Adams and Steven Speilberg. You’ll be transported to the Speilberg eighties productions, a mix between “ET”, “The Goonies” and a touch of “Jurassic Park”. Even the music, created by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino, is reminiscent of past Spielberg’s films and the composer John Williams. Super 8 has received delightful ratings from critics so far.

It’s amusing that Steven Spielberg has named the movie Super 8, a film video format that disappeared before most of the movie viewers were born.

By the way, if you are still hanging on the Super 8 film, Regular 8, or even the predecessor: 16mm film, you can transfer them to DVD or to a portable hard drive (for editing) at our Newton, MA lab. We have been transferring 8mm film to DVD since 1986. Wait, that’s a lie. When we started in 1986, we were transferring 8mm film to VHS tapes, only in the 90’s did we start transferring film to DVD. And those VHSs are making their way back to be re-transferred to DVDs.

And if you want to watch more sneak previews of the Super 8 movie, the official website is: Super8-Movie.com