U-matic to DVD

U-matic tapes are an old semi-professional and studio format which has remained in use for decades.  Announced in the late 1960s it is still occasionally used today making it much the longest lived video cassette format in the world.  It has been extensively used in the advertising industry and there are vast archives of material on these tapes.  Early machines were simply U-matic, often known as U-matic lo-band.  Later an enhanced U-matic hi-band was developed, and then the ultimate U-matic SP.  There are two tape sizes, and my equipment can take both, as well as international recordings.  I've carried out dozens of Umatic transfers recently and people have been very impressed with the quality of the results.

Large Umatic tapes (left) and small ones (on the right) are both covered.

Tape transfers for any of the Umatic formats are 17 per tape, making me one of the cheapest transfer services for these tapes.  Furthermore, note that other UK transfer companies cannot take all of the High Band or SP variants and international TV systems and so may well let you down.  We are probably the only transfer service in the world who support essentially every kind of Umatic recording.

Basic Menu, 17 per tape:  The menus are limited to just a title, but you get a chapter point every 5 minutes so it is easy to move around the DVD.  Extra copies of these DVDs cost just 3.50 each and are recommended.  Discounts for quantity, especially if many tapes are short.

Deluxe Menu 22 per tape:  Nice menu icons showing what is on that part of the recording, and if you email me with titles I will put them on the DVD for you too.  I place the chapter breaks at points of interest or new recordings.  These menus look like professionally recorded DVD films.  Extra copies are very cheap, just 2.50 each, and well worth taking. 

DVD-ROM 20:  Up to 1:30 hours on one DVD-Rom in top quality MPEG2 video files or up 20 minutes of DV-AVI files for short recordings.  

Umatic to hard disk DV-AVI files are just 15 per hour for 10 tapes or more (or less for for very large orders), minimum charge per tape applies for short tapes.  Ideal for further editing on PC or Mac.

For more complex assemble editing of many short items, email me and I'll work out a price for you.  You can also request Umatic to miniDV or Umatic to DVCAM.

Note: Ampex branded tapes.  Unfortunately Ampex used a tape formula which does not last well.  It is very rare for an old Ampex branded tape to work first time, they always require extra attention.  For this reason, be aware that there is a restoration charge of 15 per tape for any Ampex branded Umatic tapes.  If by some miracle, an Ampex tape does not require restoration work, this would be refunded if you have paid in advance.  In some cases however, Ampex tapes may give degraded results for part of the recording or in rare cases may be completely unrecoverable.  Please check and tell me if any of your tapes are made by Ampex.  Other brands such as Sony, Kodak and BASF do not generally have these issues if they have been stored properly.


Television systems explained

Umatic recording type PAL NTSC SECAM
High Band YES (YES)=SP NO *

* Umatic Secam High Band is technically possible but very rare, whereas Umatic Secam SP is believed not to exist.  NTSC recordings are handled in Low band and SP recording types here at video99, but few (if any) other transfer companies in the UK fully support these.  NTSC High Band recordings are actually SP, we have specially imported equipment for them.  NTSC recordings cost 5 extra due to the extra setup time, but it's a small price to pay for the only known fully capable Umatic NTSC transfers in the UK.

How to request a Umatic video transfer.

We have a new and easy order page, just select what kind of tapes you have and supply your details.  I will then confirm the price, or best guess at the price, and let you know the address to send the tapes.  Umatic recordings sometimes require particular personal attention, just let me know of any particular requirements.  Usually I transfer to video-DVD but options include transfer to computer file, miniDV tape and more.

If for any reason you get stuck filling out the form, just email me and I'll help you personally.  It's a personal service I offer, not like some of the big video editing houses.  I understand that in many cases you will not be able to tell how much material is on the original recordings.  

If recorded on equipment from another country, see the Television systems explained.  I can handle low band, high band and SP recordings for the PAL television system.  Recordings in NTSC or SECAM foreign television systems can be accepted on either tape size but only for low band recordings at present.

If you want your tapes back after you have the DVD copies (recommended):

Not everyone needs their tapes returned once they have the DVDs, but if you do, please remember to include postage costs. For a single (small) video tape in the UK, this is just 2.50 For larger quantities, and tapes from outside the UK, I will let you know.  Ideally can you ensure you send the tapes in a package which is sufficiently large and robust for me to use to send back your original tapes. Usually I will send the DVDs to you ahead of returning your tapes, then when you've confirmed you are happy with the DVDs, I will return your tapes. This way I can help you further if necessary - for example you can now see you want a different part of a tape transferred on its own or you want extra copies.

Please read our Terms and Conditions, which form part of the agreement.

Back to the main www.video99.co.uk page.

Also see the video99.co.uk Questions and Answers (FAQ)


Some previous testimonials for www.video99.co.uk Umatic video transfers

We are listed on the independent Freeindex service, you can read and add to reviews there too.

If you have any questions, just email me and I'll reply promptly.   Also see the video99.co.uk Questions and Answers (FAQ)  All material on this web site is copyright www.video99.co.uk and www.colin99.co.uk though trade marks remain with the manufacturers.

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