U-matic tapes are an old semi-professional and studio format which
remained in use for decades. Announced in the late 1960s it is
occasionally used today making it much the longest lived video cassette
in the world. It has been extensively used in the advertising
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
ultimate U-matic SP. There are two tape sizes, and my equipment
both, as well as international recordings. We have a great deal of
experience with this format and a whole multitude of players.
Being a professional format, I recommend taking video files rather than
DVDs, since video files are higher quality, easier to edit, share and
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, or £15 in larger quantities, 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
all customers take video, which can be uploaded, put onto a USB stick
or hard disk, depending on quantity and running times. Typically
we provide DV-AVI files of 13GB per hour, ideal for all PC and Mac
video editing software, and also smaller MPEG4 files of 4GB per hour,
ideal for uploading, sharing and playback on portable devices.
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 £15per 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, though Scotch/3M tapes are
known for poor magnetic retentivity (self erasing) which can
occasiobnally cause problems.
* 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.
PCM 1610/PCM1630 digital audio recordings on Umatic are supported
too. These are played back on a specially designed Sony DMR4000
Umatic player connected to PCM1630 decoder which supports RAR (read
after read), to give greatly reduce the chances of tape defects
affecting the sound. (Even so, tape condition is very critical to
format). Costs £30 for one tape, discounts in quantity.
Very few businesses can support this obscure format, even less so with
the RAR functionality. Digital audio ecordings made on the PCM100
and PCM-1610 encoders are also supported.
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 transfers (recommended):
needs their tapes returned once they have the transfers, but if you do,
please remember to include postage costs. For a single
(small) video tape in the UK, this is just £3.40 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 work to you ahead of returning your
tapes, then when you've confirmed you are happy with the transfers, 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.
We are listed on the independent Freeindex service, you can read and add to reviews
Many thanks to Colin for the care he has taken to guide us through
transferring our historic U-matics into the digital age. A service
involving skill and great patience.” –– MICHAEL RODD (presenter, of Tomorrow's World fame) lipfriend-rodd.co.uk Some challenging Umatic tapes transferred to hard disk for Mac. 29.09.13
Whilst trawling for possible companies to carry out some tape to DVD on
the internet I came across video99. There was something about the
video99 website which set it apart from the rest. Clearly the
proprietor was an enthusiast with a great deal of experience and I
decided this was the kind of company we needed to sort out some
historically important tapes of various formats and transfer them to
As as there was no telephone number [It is actually on the web site: 01752 881652],
I dropped them an email requesting a call back.and within hours I had
an encouraging personal reply and a contact number. Suffice it to say
that our tapes received prompt and meticulous attention with clear
recommendations of what Colin believed the best route forward. The
work was completed in an amazingly short time; the complete turnaround
of a dozen or so tapes from the time I mailed them to the time I
received the copies on hard drive (by special delivery) was less than a
week. I cannot recommend video99 too highly. I can guarantee based on
my experience that Colin will give you a prompt and professional
service at very competitive prices. Unreservedly recommended!" Mark
Boulton, Elsa Conservation Trust (Born Free, Joy Adamson). Umatic, BetacamSP and DVCAM tapes transferred to hard disk. 12.03.15
“ I have been involved with
broadcasting and video most of my career including senior positions at
the BBC, Sony Broadcast and Avid and have been at the forefront of
video recording technology for most of it. So I believe I am well
qualified to say that Colin did an excellent job from start to finish
in a difficult Umatic transfer. Not only was he technically excellent
but his communications and service were exemplary. Very many
thanks.” Umatic tape to video file. 26.02.15
"Hi Colin, Just to let you know they came this morning and
wonderful! Thank you so much for doing them so quickly and
professionally. My Mum died in 2000 and I had no video of her at all,
so to find my Mum, Dad and little brother on them is just
amazing. I am completely made up to have found you to be able to
old tapes to DVD, as I have tried University media centres, archivists
and even the Bradford Film Museum in the past, to no avail. Your
service has been really brilliant from start to finish and I will be
recommending you to anyone I know with old formats. To have posted the
tapes on Wednesday afternoon and be watching the DVD on Saturday
morning surpassed all my expectations. Thank you so much Colin,
you have given me something so precious that I thought I would never be
able to see. Thank you again. Very kind regards, Jodie" Umatic
tapes to DVDs and video files, 14.02.15
"Speedy, professional and courteous service. I'll certainly go to
Colin again. Jonathan" Umatic to video DV-AVI file
"I'd just like to say thanks again for the prompt and
helpful service you supplied. The quality of the conversions are
excellent and I will most definitely use you again.Clive." Umatic
tape to DV-AVI file on USB stick for customer in Italy. 23.04.13
" I recently had the need to transfer old umatic tape
footage onto dvd and was surprised that a few machines still exist.
Colin's service was fast, reliable and efficient, plus he was promp
& informative with any questions i had. I will use his services
again in the future - that's for sure! " Umatic to DVD with
"Dear Colin It is not enough to include in few words
my gratitude for the job you have done concerning the transformation
from umatic tapes data to dvd. Your job is characterized from high
standards of professionalism consistently, accuracy
I am looking forward for further cooperation and again and again loads
of thanking. Dimitri, Athens" Umatic to DVD for customer in
"Dear Colin – the DVD arrived this morning and it is
perfect. I can’t thank you enough for getting this done in time – it
means a great deal to our family. Many thanks and best wishes
Emmax" 15.10.11 Four Umatic tapes turned around in 24 hours for
customer who needed them urgently to show after a funeral.
"I am very pleased with the transfer from tape to DVD.
The quality, considering the unusual format, was excellent and the
turnaround by Colin was exceptionally quick. I will definitely be using
Video99 again and will recommend to friends and family. Helen"
Several Umatic tapes run to DVD. 26.08.11
"Dear Colin Thank you so much for all your expert
assistance on the recent transfer job you did for me. I wasn't really sure
if there was anything worth salvaging from our twenty three year old Umatic
video tape but due to your persistence and hard work you've really come up
trumps. We're not sure if we'll be able to manufacture a short run for our
bands first gig in twenty one years, but if we do, I have already written
your credit into the titles. Thanks again for your sterling work and rest
assured, if any of my friends need similar assistance, I shall have
absolutely no reservations in recommending you wholeheartedly. Very best
regards Steve Crittall, The Name" Band gig tapes made to DVDs and
DV-AVI files. 28.07.11
"Dear Colin I have received the DVDs and am really
pleased with what you have managed to do with them - they were lost in an
attic for 20 years and now i've got great DVD copies. I hadn't seen them for
a long time. They have brought back many happy memories of my time at Art
school - The service you gave was excellent and you kept me informed all
along with developments. I like the way the menu works and you used the
descriptions and titles i supplied - the quality is as I expected and
remembered from when i made them but they are more than watchable Thanks
once again for all your work on this I'm very happy" Mixed Umatic
and VHS tapes assembled to DVD, 16.07.11
"Dear Colin The DVD's arrived safely this morning -
thanks for doing them so quickly. So you can return the original U-matic.I
have some other tapes (Digibeta and Beta SP) to be transfered and will send
them off to you in a day or so. All best John" Umatic to DVD with
5 extra copies, turned around same day. 30.04.11
"Colin Fantastic job! Looked and sounded as good as
when it was shot 24 years ago. Your tape backing process that fixed the
"sticky shed" syndrome brought my U-Matic tape back from the dead
miraculously. Many thanks Bill" 16.04.11, pulled off a small
miracle and made an unplayable Umatic tape run properly, at no extra charge.
"Dear Colin Yes, arrived safely and with some fear I
would be disappointed, not in your skills but what to expect after 33
years!! I played it. Works perfectly and brought back so many wonderful
memories. I think it is marvelous that it is possible to view again old and
previously obscure films from the past. I am sure I have other film that I
shall be sending to you to seek the same treatment." 16.01.11
"Colin - Many thanks for ‘rescuing’ one vintage (32
Yrs) Umatic tape. The DVD version is excellent. I couldn’t have asked for
more by way of timely, helpful and personalised service. I know where I will
be pointing anyone else I know in need of tape to DVD conversions. Service
as it should be. A real pleasure it was." NTSC Umatic tape to
"Hi Colin I would just like to thank for a very speedy
and professional job, especially as it was a bank holiday weekend. Couldn't
believe my luck when I found out you converted old Umatic tapes to DVD.
Thank you for advising me of the different formats for conversion and the
best way to convert for editing on my computer. Once again a great job, keep
up the good work. If I find anymore tapes they will be in the post to you.
Regards Simon" Umatic to DVD-Rom. 02.09.10
"This is what I love about the internet, finding guys
like you who can do the business, I stumbled upon this old tape (as you do),
in the loft on Monday by Thursday I have got them transferred to DVD and I
am playing them at home...! you can’t get much faster than that. Thanks
for a quality service mate, and a good price too, all is well they are all
great sound tracks good as well. Regards Chris" Umatic SP tape to
DVD with special Deluxe Menu for easy track selection.
"Great, DVD all appears to be all ok :-) Thanks again
for all your help. Kind Regards, Jenny" Number of TV adverts for
a well known chocolate brand, assembled to one DVD and also video files on
DVD-Rom and web, for the manufacturer of the delicious product. Urgent
job: Customer requested work on Friday afternoon, I received tapes on
Saturday, customer had viewable video files waiting on Monday morning with DVDs on
"Many thanks for your first class service in
transferring the very old but very precious content of my Umatic tape to
DVD. I was amazed to receive the final copies back within 3 days of sending
them to you, and so beautifully presented. I had trouble finding someone to
copy a Umatic tape, and those I found were far more expensive, so your
service was a real 'find'. I would definately recommend you to anyone
looking to get tapes converted to DVD Thanks again Wendy" Wedding
video on Umatic, copied to DVD and made up with boxes showing colour shots from
the tape. 28.02.09
"Hi Colin, WOW! How’s that for service? The Post
Office guaranteed delivery by Monday and you tell me the work is complete
before we even get to Monday. I assume you are a small business. We worked
in a similar way ourselves in a different field so we appreciate this level
of service and attention to detail. Joy. " 28.07.09
"The DVSs have just arrived and work well. Thank you.
Don't bother to return the tapes. I am very impressed by your service.
Speed, technical competence, sensible arrangements and a very competitive
price add up to excellence. I will certainly use you for any other transfers
and would recommend you to my friends. Thanks. GP" Umatic tapes
to DVD, 23.02.09.
"Hi Colin, I received the dvds today, thankyou very
much, i'm very happy with the transfer and will most definatley use you
again if i have tapes to transfer in future. I apreciate your great service.
Thanks, Pete" NTSC SP band Umatic tape run to PAL DVD, turned around
next day. This customer told me how another company based in Glasgow
failed to run this tape and held onto his tape for 6 weeks. Some
companies think they can run NTSC Umatic tapes, but video99 has imported SP
Band NTSC Umatic equipment for the purpose.
"Hi Colin, I now understand why people have such a high
regard for you. The 25year old umatic to dvd transfer was really quick and
superb! You even sorted my mess up on paypal at no extra charge! I only hope
a lot more people find your website and enjoy the results as I have.Well
recommended. Thanks Colin Regards Mike" Umatic to DV-AVI files on
DVD-Rom and also viewable video DVD. 04.10.08.
"for sure I am recommending you all over the shop!
-) Sue". Umatic tapes to DVD for a renowned TV programme
"Video 99 showed considerable patience and skill in
recuperating material almost lost forever on old nsc tapes. I thoroughly
recommend their professional service and personal attention to detail.
Excellent customer service." NTSC Umatic High band tapes restored
and put onto DVD. 22.04.08.
"Hi Colin, Just a note to say thanks for the splendid
job you did transferring the tape to DVD. This footage is over 10 years old
and looks great. Cheers Dave" Umatic high band to
"Again thanks very much for pulling out all the stops
to help us with this at such short notice, it really helped me out of a
tough spot and I’m sure we’ll be requiring your assistance in the
"Dear Colin, Many many thanks! ... will certainly
reccomend you to others. Coco" Quantity of Umatic low and high
band, PAL and NTSC systems, and also some N1500 format tapes. 29.09.07
"Good morning Colin I had a look at a DVD last night and was very
pleased with the results. I had previously copied to DVD from a VHS tape
from the same period but your results are much better, especially the sound
quality. Many thanks. ... Again, thank you for a very professional service.
Stephen" Umatic high-band to DVD. 25.09.07