If you want your family tapes back as a playable archive that you can use on a normal under-the-TV player then you will need a disc format such as DVD or Blu-ray.
I only use Verbatim “DataLifePlus” Thermal printable discs, these are industry standard, the best you can get and you cannot buy them in the shops. I use these because I NEVER want one of my discs to fail and I am prepared to pay for the best there is. I always create beautiful labels using the title of your choice, the dates of the tapes and cropped, photo-shopped stills from your footage so that the pictures look their best. To do this I use the brand new and superb Rimage Everest Encore Thermal Disc printer.
I NEVER over-compress the images to squeeze more than 100 minutes onto a single layer disc or 180 minutes on a dual layer DVD. There would be no point in using the best equipment there is, only to compress all of the quality out of those images.
If you want to create your own archive by doing your own editing, I can supply films in just about any computer file format.
If you have a particular requirement I can create files in just about any codec you want. I can also create a smaller MP4 files if you feel that is all you need; these will run at 4GB per hour Please check out the “Hard Disk Drive” section for further details on HDD supply.
I capture using a Pure DV connection for digital tapes or a Matrox MXO2 box for analogue tapes.
Under 3 hours / 4 tapes
If you have a small archive then There are several ways to get your archive back to you.
a) On a USB key. In Standard Definition 1 hour of film is 13GB so for two hours a 32GB USB Key will do fine.
b) Using “wetransfer PRO” system where I upload your files for you to download at your leisure. This is viable for smaller archives of up to about 3 or 4 hours (about 40 to 50GB total).
c) You can also send a passport sized Hard Drive if you wish.
I can supply either 1TB Hard Drive or any size USB key if you prefer.
Over 5 hours of recordings The easiest way to get a large self-edit archive safely back is on a Hard Disk Drive. A USB passport sized drive is perfect for this as they do not weigh that much. A brand such as HGST, WD, Verbatim, Seagate, Toshiba, Buffalo or Samsung are readily available.
You can either:
a) Buy one and put it in with your films
b) Order one off the internet and get it sent direct to me
c) Ask me to supply one for you.
d) Bring your HDD with you when you deliver the tapes in person