What formats can you process?
We are equipped to handle all analogue media except cine film which we send out to a Cine-AV specialist. Analogue material we process includes: 8mm Cine (Standard or Super 8); Vinyl phonograph records; Audio 'cassette' tapes (e.g. Philips Compact Cassette); Sony MiniDV; LaserDisk; Sony Hi8 and 8mm Cassettes (Video-camera); VHS, Betamax and Betacam video cassette formats; Photographic negatives and positive 'slides' (120 and 35mm format); hard-copy photographs and documents including bound 'books'. If what you want to digitise is not on this list, please contact us anyway as we are always looking for an excuse to broaden our capabilities!
What's the minimum value for a single order?
We have a minimum value of HK$1,800 ex. accessories and hardware for any one order. By way of example only, a minimum value order would be any one of the following:
300 ft of cine (say 6 x 3 inch reels)
9 VHS cassettes (up to 180 minute each)
6 Betamax / Betacam cassettes.
120 colour slides in individual frames (scanned to JPG images)
15 rolls of 35mm film negatives (scanned to JPG images)
For some A2D work, we may accept a trial order of less than the minimum value. In this case we still charge the minimum of HK$1,800, but give the Customer a rebate on the 2nd order, of value up to HK$500. Normal terms and conditions apply and that 2nd order must be instructed within 3 months of the trial order's completion for the rebate to be valid.
Do you do post production work?
As standard we do not carry out post production ‘touching up’ or ‘Photoshopping’. However, sometimes we find low contrast black and white or sepia photos need some manipulation of scanning settings to achieve a good digital rendering, so we do that as part of the standard price. Vinyl audio tracks can be treated with filters so as to remove some of the ‘rumble and crackle’ of older records.
My negatives are in poor condition, does this matter?
Yes – some film quality is too poor to give a good output but we make a real effort to tackle these problems. Our negative scanning software helps remove scratch marks, etc. If we cannot get a good result we will tell you and there will be no charge. We like a challenge!
Can I post the media to you and have a courier collect?
Yes, so long as you make clear to us that this will be the case. You will have to take responsibility for the courier. We will not start work until we have received payment and will not release the finished work until the balance of the cost of the work has been paid in full. Please call us for details.
Who do you use to do the work and where?
The work is carried out by our Technical Manager or on big jobs a lab assistant under his supervision. I.e. people we know, trust and are sure will care for your media correctly. Once your media reaches our lab, it remains there until returned to you (except cine).
Can I specify the digital quality of the conversion process?
Yes. If you have a specific output standard, please make this clear to us. We have a standard file specification for each conversion type, which is complemented by further options. For some high quality options (e.g. scans > 1200 dpi, Apple Lossless Audio Codec 384kb/sec audio file) we need to charge extra as the conversion process is far more time consuming and creates bigger files. The standard settings should be adequate for normal domestic use. The main quality issue relates to expectations around old video - old analogue video media cannot be brought up to modern standards and some Customers are understandably disappointed that the conversion output of old video tapes is clearly less than the standard they are now used to.
How do you give me the digital media?
Unless you specify otherwise, we will return the completed digital files to you on a USB memory stick, or for large jobs a USB remote hard drive unit. If you have a HD storage device you would like us to load the files to, please provide this as part of the media. Note: We cannot read Apple iOS formatted remote hard drives.
Apple or Microsoft?
We run Microsoft Windows 10. We can output to any format normally recognized by Apple or Microsoft.
Will I need 'Third Party Software'
In certain cases, in order to deliver on the best video output, you will need to buy a third party application (or download free software) to play the AVI file format that we provide. This is because some file formats will not be recognised by native Windows or OS. If this is the case, we will advise you before we start the job.
Can I have a particular folder structure?
Yes, you just need to tell us. If you do not request a specific folder structure, we will adopt our standard folder structure and you can adapt this later.
Can you name files according to track name or date of photo etc.?
Yes. We have a file naming convention. However, this service is an extra charge if the media does not offer up the information automatically and it has to be manually added by our technician.
Do you edit the video output into separate scenes?
When we convert a tape to digital file it is one file. We do not as a standard then edit this into a series of sub-files for each period or scene. We recommend that you review the file and decide where the 'scene breaks' should be (e.g. 2:36 for a break at 2 minutes and 36 seconds) and what sections you do not want to keep. Then tell us of your decisions and we can edit the single file into the many discrete scene files as directed by you.