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Home movie transfers

Dan Baxter

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I'm taking Robert Houllahan's advice and making a separate topic for this.

It's unfortunate, but still in 2022 the market for this service is dominated by companies doing a poor quality service and outrageously misleading their customers about it at the same time. Would love to hear about people's experiences.

The difficultly with this as I see it and articulated in the other topic is that the technology to do this properly at an affordable rate is still quite young, and therefore most of the companies doing it are using systems designed 15-20 years ago that were filling a gap in the market that's since been filled by more modern equipment that can do a proper job. I also tend to think that many of the companies are run by people with opinions and assumptions about film that they took into their business and won't change (e.g. you shouldn't clean film). But whatever the case, it's really inexcusable that they make claims that are just plain false, and I have always held the opinion that you should never mislead your customers about your products or services just to make a sale. It's incredible to think about how expensive professional equipment can be for other industries, yet in film so many of these companies refuse to spend $30-200K on a decent quality machine for the work! There are companies that have been in the home media transfer business for 30+ years that to this day continue using Tobins, Retroscans, or other similarly low-end scanners.

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I've remembered the company that charged £2.5K for the 16mm mag audio last year, and happy to name them if people want. But there's not much point IMO because clients like that are hardly going to read this forum first. I know an archive in London that can do mag audio transfers for a fraction of that cost and would appreciate the business.

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