U Matic Tape Conversion

Judging by the hundreds of U-matic tapes converted to digital and DVD by EachMoment every year, we too can testify for there being huge numbers of the tapes taking up space around production studios and households alike. In modern times, U-matic tapes are a high preservation risk. Although their tapes are slightly more durable than some of their successors like VHS and Betamax, U-matic tapes can and will degrade – some by as much as 10% every 20 years. What’s more, mould can grow on the sides of the tapes which puts the footage at risk of being lost forever.

Why convert my U-Matic tapes to digital

How we convert U Matic tapes at EachMoment:

  1. Begin by placing an order for an EachMoment Memory Box.
  2. Decide how you would like to store your digital files – see our guide for the output formats we offer at EachMoment.
  3. The next working day, our premade Memory Box arrives at your chosen location, ready to be filled with u-matic tapes.
  4. You let us know when you’re ready for collection, via our online portal and we take it from your doorstep to our digitisation lab in Norwich.
  5. We hand clean each tape, using bespoke cleaning methods. We use lint-free gloves and dusters as well as carefully applied chemicals. This helps to preserve the tapes for future as well as preparing them for digitisation.
  6. The tapes are played through our broadcast quality VCRs, equipped with Time Base Correction to address any syncing problems before being digitally formatted.
  7. Digital files can then be manipulated more easily with computer software. We apply colour correction and remove audio distortion, aiming to bring your footage into the 21st century.
  8. Fully edited files are transferred to your chosen output format.
  9. All your cleaned and refreshed u-matic video tapes are repackaged in your Memory Box together with your digital copies – unless you selected the Cloud album, in which we will email you a secure link to access the videos.
  10. We return it all to your doorstep, ready to enjoyed at home with friends and family.

Why should I convert my u-matic tapes to digital with EachMoment?

3 big reasons to convert your U-matic tapes to digtial:

  1. Many of our customers tell us that saving space is one of the biggest reasons for digitising old tapes. Collections of tapes, whether they be VHS, U-matic or Betamax, consume storage space in many a family household. We can replace all your tapes with 1 tidy USB memory stick.
  2. Tapes are also prone to degradation, losing approximately 10% of the quality every 20 years. As u-matic tapes are one of the oldest forms of video cassette tape, we commonly receive u-matic tapes with mould eating into the tape itself. Never fear though, we are often able to retrieve much of the footage during the cleaning and digitisation process.
  3. Video making and viewing technology has advanced since the use of u-matic tapes and camcorders. The quality of the footage taken from u-matic tapes can be jarring to modern viewers. We use specialist software to bring your footage up to modern standards.

Stop the degradation of your tapes with an EachMoment Memory Box order!

Preserving your precious memories and gifting an EachMoment Memory Box to a friend or family member is an especially touching way to remind those closest to you how much you care about them. Whether it be for Christmas, a birthday, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s or Father’s Day, the memories enclosed in an EachMoment Memory Box always make the most thoughtful gift.

A Brief History of U-Matic Tapes

One of the earliest formats to hold videotape inside a cassette, making a break from the most popular reel-to-reel formats of the time, the release of U-matic video cassettes in 1971 signposted a video-recording revolution in the TV and film industry that helped pave the way for more the more widely used Betamax and VHS videocassettes, and the explosive popularity of home-video entertainment. There were, however, many issues with U-matic tapes. As well as being easily prone to damage and producing distorted images, U-matics also had trouble reproducing the colour red. The colour issue was so renowned that TV and film studios often discouraged on screen talent from wearing red clothing.

Despite its issues, lack of mainstream consumer appeal and eventual obsolescence, many long-running TV and film studios still have stacks of U-matic tapes along with their recorders to replay footage from their heyday.

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