General FAQ


Q. Why use us, Play it Again Film & Video?

There are 3 main reasons families trust their precious media to Play it Again
  1. We are Local. No need to ship off your precious irreplaceable media out of town, out of state, out of country.  Our customers feel safe that they can bring their precious, irreplaceable media to our brick and mortar store and on-site lab in Newton, MA.  Local also means faster turnaround. Local also means a Warm Body to help you discuss options, questions, issues.
  2. We have been serving Greater Boston families since 1986. We have the highest referral rate in this community because of our excellent customer service, fair prices, and unbeatable quality. Click here for customer testimonials.
  3. We guarantee our work. Hey, we have a 25-year old reputation to keep, we’ll make sure you are completely happy.

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Q. What formats can your lab process?

We transfer the following formats:
  • Film: Regular 8mm, Super 8mm, 16mm, Silent and Sound.
  • Tape: VHS, VHS-C, Hi8, Video8, 8mm, miniDV, BetaCam, BetaCamSP, PAL/SECAM, Umatic 3/4″
  • Slides/Photos: 35 mm Slides, Photos up to 8″ by 14″
  • Audio: Cassette Tape, Reel-to-Reel, Vinyl Records, D.A.T.

Your format is not listed above? Call us at 617-332-3300 so we can refer you to other transfer labs that can work with your format.

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Q. Should I transfer to DVD or to Hard Drive?

DVD is for watching.  If you plan to edit your videos, we recommend going to a hard drive because :
  • You can directly drag the files from your hard drive to your editing software.
  • DVDs require an additional step called DVD ripping to convert the files to a format your software can understand.
  • You also get full-resolution files on a hard drive, whereas DVD files are compressed.  A one hour video is 12 Gig on a hard drive, but only 2 Gig on a DVD.  The bigger the file, the sharper the image quality.

Q. How much does it cost?

  1. Prices are listed on our website: pricing page.
  2. We have volume discount for large orders.
  3. Call us at 617-332-3300 to let us know exactly what you need and we can give you a quote over the phone.

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Q. What is the Shelf-Life of my Tape / Film / Photo/ Slide?

The shelf life of your tape / film / photo / slides varies a lot on how well you’ve taken care of them.  Assuming you’ve protected them against humidity, extreme temperatures, rough play, the list on the link below takes you to a chart of shelf life for different media.

Click here:  Shelf Life of Different Video media, photo and slide

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Q. How long does it take?  What’s the turnaround time?

Because we do our work on-site, our turn-around is pretty quick.  Turnaround time depends on:
  1. - Media type: VHS is 3 to 5 business days, 8mm film is 2-3 weeks.
  2. - Quantity of the media: 3,000 photos take a few days more than 300 photos.
  3. - Time of the year: We are swamped in Nov/Dec.  Turnaround time is a lot shorter in Aug/Sep
  4. - Transfer Format: Transferring to DVDs or to external hard drive.  Transferring to hard drives may take longer during peak times.

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Q. Is it safe? Will you return my originals?

The 3 main reasons precious, irreplaceable tapes, slides, cassettes get lost are: 1) shipping through the mail 2) hobby equipment  3) inexperienced technicians.

  1. Your precious media does not get shipped out of town, out of state.  They stay safely in our on-site lab until you pick them up.  
  2. Our professional-grade equipment also ensures that your images and movies are not destroyed or damaged in the process and you’ll be able to view or even transfer your media again! 
  3. An expert technician (not part-time min wage temp) is with your movies and images during every step of the process.
We return everything that you send to us- film, cans, boxes, reels, video tapes, albums, negatives, slides, carousels.

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Q. What if I’m not satisfied?

1. We have a 25-year old reputation to keep so we are committed to fixing any problem in a timely manner.
2. If any issues, just come back.  We’re local.  We’re here in person to resolve any issues.
3. We will redo the work at our cost of course, until you are satisfied.
4. If we can’t fix any problem that is not inherent to the original media, we will refund you your money (up to $200).

Q. What if my tapes are blank?

  1. No charge for blank tapes
  2. No charge for non-supported formats that we can’t transfer.
  3. No charge for damaged media that we can’t transfer (we can repair them for a nominal fee)

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Can I get extra DVD copies?

  1. It’s best if you tell us how many extra copies you need when you drop off your order.
  2. Copies start at $10 a copy, goes all the way down to $5/copy for 100 copies or more.
  3. If you need more copies after you pick up your order, just bring back your DVD and we can make copies while you wait.    
  4. By the way, our DVDs are not copy-protected.  So if you have a DVD burner on your computer at home, you can make your own copies and save yourself some money.

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Q. Any restrictions regarding the content of my images, videotapes or film reels?

There are several instances where your media will be returned without being converted to DVD. If we do not transfer your home movie or images for any of the following reasons, you will not be charged any fee:
  • Blank or undeveloped film
  • Media with extreme physical damage
  • Non-supported Format
  • Objectionable Material
  • Copy Protection
  • Copyright (unless you sign our Copyright Responsibility form)

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Q. What kind of discs do you use / Will my new DVD play on my DVD player?

  1. We use brand name DVD-R discs which has been shown to be the most reliable in the industry
  2. Our discs have been found to be compatible with over 95% of home DVD and Blu-Ray players made in the past three years.

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Q. Can I edit the DVD on my home computer?

  1. Not directly.  DVD is formatted for viewing, not for editing.
  2. You need to convert the DVD files to edit-able format your editing software can understand.
  3. That step is called DVD ripping.  We can show you where to download a free DVD ripper software to do that.
  4. If you want to prevent this extra step of RIPPING the DVD, please ask us to transfer the media to an external hard drive.  Remember to bring the hard drive when you come in with your media.

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Q. If I cannot come to the store in person, can I ship to you?

We are conveniently located in Newton Highlands, off Route 9 . If you are not able to get here in person, you can mail your video tapes, 8mm/16mm films, slides or photos to us instead.
To mail your media to us, simply follow these steps:
  1. Place your items in a ziploc bag or similar waterproof packaging.
  2. Print the mail-in form and complete. Click here for mail-in form.
  3. Mail your items, payment check, completed form to the address label provided on form in step 2.


If you have any questions, please call: (617) 332-3300. One of our friendly customer service managers will be happy to walk you through the process step-by-step.