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!

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!

VHS to DVD: Great Last Minute Gift Idea!

Are you stuck for a gift for a family member? Some people are tough to shop for – they “have everything” already, or they tell you there’s nothing they want or need. And time is ticking – it’s already the second week of December!

Don’t panic. We’ve got you covered! Think about it. Do they have an old VHS tape gathering dust somewhere in a closet or attic? Sure! Everyone has one or two somewhere. There’s still time to convert a VHS to DVD. It only takes about a week. You don’t need to spend time deciding which tape or tapes to digitize. Just grab one and go. You can always do a larger conversion project later on, once you’ve given your gift and put the idea in your family member’s head. For now, they can enjoy reliving these memories they may even have forgotten about!

A really cool way to give them this gift, if you can pull it off, is as a surprise. Watch this video to see how one of our customers surprised her husband:

And if your family member doesn’t have an old VHS tape lying around, surely they have a photo album or a box of slides – there’s still time for us to digitize those, too! But don’t wait – soon it really will be too late.

Converting VHS to DVD For a Gift? There’s Still Time!

The holiday season is upon us! Here at Play It Again Video, we think the gift of memories is the greatest gift of all – but remember, converting your VHS home movies to DVD (or any of the other services we provide) takes time. If you are thinking about bringing in your old home movies to transfer, now is the time. We want to make sure you receive your finished project in time for your holiday travel.

Consult this handy chart to get an idea of the time frame required for your project:

VHS to DVD 1 – 2 weeks (depending on project size)
Photos/slides scanned 1 – 2 weeks (depending on project size)
Audio (cassettes, vinyl, etc) 2 weeks
Custom video photo montage 2 – 3 weeks
Transferring to hard drive (instead of DVD) add 3 days


We can also do rush orders for an additional fee. Come in and see us, or call us at 617-332-3300, for more details on rush pricing.

VHS to DVD transfer for the holidays

Make sure you check it off your list in time!

Whether you are giving a DVD of an old VHS as a gift, or just want to watch your old home movies together with family when you see them over the holidays, we want to make sure you have what you need, when you need it! Don’t delay, come see us today to be sure your project will be completed in time.

Home Video Transfer also on Tax-free holiday

Don’t just think of big appliances, computers this tax-free weekend. What about transferring that big box of VHS tapes and home movies to DVD? You will save on taxes too when you drop off your old home movies this weekend.

Stepping into our video transfer lab is like stepping back a few decades into the 80′s, the 70′s, the 40′s yikes. When Play it Again Video first opened our doors in Needham, MA, we were converting old film reels to VHS tapes. Then it was to DVDs, and now, we are seeing a lot more customer transfer their old home movies to a portable hard drive to edit on the computer.

Soon, we will just beam these home movie memories from the VHS tapes, 8mm film, 16mm, film, Hi8 tapes right to your forehead so you can access them wherever you are.

For right now, the most important thing is to stop the degradation of your analog magnetic tapes, by converting and preserving them in digital formats.

Video Transfer cheaper than Psychotherapy

Karen, a Newton mom, brought in a huge collection of family video tapes of her family vacations, trips, kids’ recitals, etc

.  It was her insurance. she said.  One day, there’s a chance, growing up in our blame culture, her kids will lament in a psychotherapist office that their parents hadn’t paid enough attention to them.  She would then whip out her VHS tape, 8mm tape, miniDV tape and photos and slides to show them all the vacations a

nd trips they did together as a family.

A customer came in last week with a stack of her children’s photos.  She asked us to digitize the photos, create a music video montage, burn the video on a disc, and make copies of the discs for each of her 6 children.  She absolutely loved the video montage that Alison, our Scattered Pictures Video Montage designer, created for her.  She mailed off the DVD to her 6 kids in various parts of the country.  A week later, when she came back to the store for other video transfer projects, she told Alison that one of her kids who has not spoken to her for 8 years, called to thank her.

Yesterday, a customer asked us to transfer a VHS tape to a DVD in 24 hours.  Normally it takes 3 to 5 days.  Fortunately we do all our video transfer work in-house so we could accommodate the rush request.  Why did he need it in such a hurry?  His mother was suffering from dementia, in the hospital, and he was sure that watching videos of her life would help jog her memory back.

Videos are powerful.  They conjure up a time when everyone got along, everyone was younger, simpler, happier.  A walk down memory lane may be the doctor’s prescription to family fights, premature memory loss, strained relationships.  I’ll end with a quote from the French poet, Cesare Pavere: “The richness of life lies in the memories we have forgotten.

After You Transfer Home Movies on VHS to DVD, Can It Be Edited?

After You Transfer Home Movies on VHS to DVD, Can It Be Edited?

The short answer is no.  Most home movie DVDs are Read-Only (-R) discs.  Which means, after you burn the DVD, you can’t even add or remove one byte of data on it, you can only Read the DVD, not change it.   That begs the next question; can I copy the content to my computer and edit the video.

The quick answer, again, is No.  Videos on DVD are formatted for playing on DVD players for your TV or on your computer.  You can copy the DVD video files to your computer, but when you try to import them into your video editing software – unless it’s an expensive professional-grade software -  your home video editing software will say, “What kind of a file is this?  I don’t work with files like this.”DVD Edit

What you need to do is to first “rip” your DVD .  A DVD ripper software will convert the home movie videos on your disc to a format that’s editable, that your editing software can recognize.  If you work with Windows PCs, you will “rip” the DVD to AVI files.  If you work with Apple Macs, you will “rip” the DVD to Quicktime (.MOV) files.  Your video editing software will be very happy working with these video file formats.

Disc ripping is so common that there is free software available for download on the web. Here’s a helpful link on how to rip DVDs with Windows. Also, our customers tell us that they like Mac the Ripper  for ripping DVDs on Macs.

Let’s take a step back.  If your videos are still in VHS, VCR, Hi8 tapes or many of the film formats: 16mm, 8mm, Super 8, and you know you plan to edit your home videos, instead of converting your home movie tapes to DVDs, transfer your home video tapes to a portable hard drive instead.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Play it Again Video.  We are a brick-and-mortar lab located in Newton, MA.  Drop by, our contact information is at the top corner of this web page.

Helpful Links:

Transfer VHS tape to external hardrive FAQ

How to Rip DVDs into Computer Video File for editing




Photos, VHS, Film to Digital – 5 Memory Gift Ideas for Father’s Day


With Father’s Day coming up soon, I bet you’re wondering what is the best way to show Dad how much you appreciate and care about him. This year, don’t get another tie for his collection. Do something special for Dad and give him the gift of memories. It is sure to be a gift to be remembered forever.

Here are 5 ways to give the gift of memories this year for Father’s Day:

DVD present-dad

1. Convert home movies to DVD - Somewhere in Dad’s closet is his pile of VHS tapes of all his most valued memories. However, less and less people have working VCRs anymore. Also, what Dad may not know is that it’s not doing the tapes any good to be stored for too long. VHS tapes have a shelf life and slowly degrade over time, even if the tape is only 10 years old. This year for Father’s Day, what better way to show Dad how much you love him then by converting his old tapes onto DVDs. He will now be able to easily enjoy the DVDs with family and will know that the footage is saved from degrading any further.

2. Converting old photos to digital - Along with Dad’s collection of VHS tapes, there most likely is a huge collection of old photos that takes up more and more space over the years. Whether the photos are stored in big albums, or kept loosely in shoe boxes, it can be stressful and simply not fun to deal with. Luckily, there is a much better option to this that will let Dad enjoy every photograph completely stress-free. By digitizing Dad’s old photo collection, you have many different and unique options on what to do with them. You can make a slideshow that plays through the photos with Dad’s favorite songs playing in the background, put them on a digital photo frame for all to enjoy or even have a coffee table book published with all of Dad’s favorite photos printed beautifully together.


3. Photo restoration - Photographs are a very fragile thing and can be easily damaged especially the ones that were taken many years ago. Photos will fade, stain, and rip. What if Dad’s favorite family photo has been damaged? Don’t give up on the photo and throw it away. Photo restoration technology will let you take a damaged photograph and breathe life into it and make it like new again. It can be electronically stitched back together if ripped into 5 pieces, restore its original colors if faded, or have stains removed if stained. Imagine what Dad’s face would look like if you took Dad’s favorite photo he has given up on and had it digitally restored, printed and framed.




4. Digitizing Dad’s favorite vinyl record to CD -

Although many records are now distributed on disc format, there is the occasional LP that is unavailable on any upgraded format. This can be stressful to Dad every time he wants to enjoy his favorite songs because he must set up all the equipment to play the record. By digitizing to CD, he can easily enjoy his favorite music in his car and at home without that bulky equipment and oversized record.

5. Transfer Dad’s old media to a hard drive - DVD’s are perfect for watching or making copies for loved ones but what if Dad wants to do more with his old media. By transferring to an external hard drive, his possibilities are endless. You can store photos, slides, film and audio files in a very accessible and organized way. After that, using different types of programs, you are able to edit the material to whichever way you’d like. You can make different cut points to make a certain section of a tape or film its own file, add music, burn DVDs of the footage you choose, and even send small files to friends all over the world. You can even put all the different types of media together and create a beautiful slide show using film footage, slides and add background music of the audio cassette you digitized. Even though Dad may not be familiar with using editing software, who knows, it could end up being his new favorite hobby!


Dad will be sure to love any of these ideas, and will be able to enjoy it for many years to come. This year, don’t add to Dad’s tie collection. Give him the gift of memories.