Balfron Designs: Digital Imaging Services
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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

video tapes
film reels
slides_photos

Q How much will fit onto a single DVD?
Q How do I know how many minutes of video is recorded on my tape?
Q How do I work out how much my DVD or mp4 transfer will cost?
Q Can I include a mixture of video, slides, film and photos on the same DVD?
Q How do I place my order and what do I send to you?
Q How long will it take for me to receive my transfer?

Q What payment methods do you accept?
Q I have relatives who live over in the United States, will my DVD work on their TV?
Q Will my slides be scanned at a quality that will allow me to print them out later at a Photo Kiosk or on my printer at home?
Q Is there a minimum order requirement for my DVD transfer?
Q Can I include captions for my slideshow DVD?

Q Is there background music on my film transfer?
Q How do I get my tapes and films to you?
Q My tapes were recorded on a camera purchased in the United States (NTSC format). Can you convert them to DVD?

 

Q How much viewing time can fit onto a single DVD?
To provide you with the best possible viewing result (one that maintains the original image quality of your tapes) we choose to transfer 2 hours per DVD (120 minutes). Extending a single DVDs capacity beyond 2 hours reduces the orginal audio and video quality. Therefore we only transfer up to 2 hours per DVD and span larger transfers onto sequential DVD's (as required).

You can easily identify how much video is on your tape by rewinding back to the beginning in your tape/camera, resetting the counter to zero then pressing fast forward. The numbers on your readout will continue to increase until it reaches the end of the tape, or it detects a blank unrecorded section of tape. Always continue to run the tape through to the end to ensure your counter has detected all recorded sections on the tape.

Example: A full VHS E-180 video tape (180 minutes/3 hours) will need to be spanned over two DVD’s, If the same tape has been recorded in LP mode (long play/6 hours) it will need to spanned over three DVD's.

As spanning requires additional production time and materials, our video transfer fee structure is based on the number of DVDs (120 minute time chunks) required to hold the content of each tape. If a tape has less than 120 minutes the standard per tape fee still applies, but we can combine video from other shorter tapes onto the same DVD for your viewing convenience.

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Q How do I know how many minutes of video is recorded on my tape?
The capacity of the tape is usually printed on the outside cartridge (eg E-180 means 180 minutes). However, this does not mean you have 180 minutes recorded video on the tape. If you still have your VCR or camera, you can easily confirm how much is recorded by rewinding the tape back to the beginning; resetting the counter to zero then press fast forward. The numbers on your VCR/camera counter will continue to increase until it reaches the end of the tape, or it reaches the blank unrecorded end of the tape. Always continue to run the tape through to the end to ensure your counter has detected all recorded sections on the tape. Do not worry if you no longer have your VCR or camera, as we check each tape to provide you with a confirmed quotation based on the tapes recorded footage rather than the tapes capacity. We also check for any TV content (from any previous tape use) that may run on after your family recording has finished so this is not included in the recorded length for your quote.

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Q How do I work out how much my DVD or mp4 transfer will cost?
Based on the quantity of original media (eg numbers of video tapes or footage of film) you require to be transferred to DVD or mp4, you can obtain a quick cost estimate from our pricing page.  We also recommend you call (or email) us with your requirements and we will be happy to provide you with an obligation free quote. We can then advise you of next step.

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Q Can I include a mixture of video, slides, film or photos on the same DVD?
Our STANDARD and DELUXE transfer packages have been designed to include transfers from a single type of media only (i.e. all videos, or all slides or all filmstrips etc).  However, we can creatively mix any combination of transferred video/film, slides and photos into a customised DVD project.  We call this our MIXED MEDIA (SPECIAL PRODUCTIONS) package.
Please contact us for more information and pricing.

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Q How do I place my order and what do I send to you?

  1. First you need to clearly identify the media you wish to transfer to DVD or mp4.
  2. Look at our pricing page for a quick cost estimate based on numbers of tapes, slides or feet of film.
  3. Contact us by email or phone, to discuss the details of your transfer and receive a preliminary quotation.
  4. Sequentially number your tapes/films and send to us by registered post, please include your full contact details. You are welcome to drop-off your media to us in person (by appointment only). We are conveniently located at Red Hill, Brisbane. We understand you have busy lives therefore appointments are also available after hours and on weekends.
  5. For mp4 transfer, you will also need to supply us with a USB portable Hard Disk drive (or USB memory stick with sufficient space) to store your mp4 files. Please call us and we can advise the best media option given the estimated size of your transfer. Alternatively we can supply USB storage media for you at additional cost.
  6. Upon reviewing your media we will send you the confirmed quotation for your transfer project.
  7. Once we reciever your approval to proceed, we will commence work on your project.
  8. Once your project is completed, and full payment has been made via bank deposit, your transfer and media will be returned to you via Signature On Delivery service. Alternatively you are welcome to pick-up in person, and make your payment in cash or cheque.

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Q How long will it take for me to receive my transfer?
Generally, there is a2 week turnaround on videotape transfers and a 4 week turnaround on film transfers from your acceptance of our written quotation.  In the case of memorial DVDs for Funeral services, we will endeavour to slot your project in earlier (where possible) to reduce this timeframe.  For extra security and tracking, we recommend you post your tapes (inc. full contact details) to us by Registered post.  The cost of return delivery by Registered post will be added to your invoice.  If you live locally in Brisbane, you may wish to drop off and pick up your tapes (by prior arrangement).  Please contact us for details.

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Q What payment methods do you accept?
We accept Direct Bank Deposit, Australia Post Money Order, PayPal and Business/Personal cheque (pending clearance).  Credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) can ONLY be accepted via PayPal, we do not have merchant credit card facilities.

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Q I have relatives who live over in the United States, will my DVD work on their TV?
PAL (Australia & UK) is the default video format for our DVD projects.  However, we can produce a version of your project in NTSC format (US & Japan); thus making your DVD compatible on players in the United States.  Additional charges apply for this service.

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Q Will my slides be scanned at a quality that will allow me to print them out later at a Photo Kiosk or on my printer at home?
Yes, this BONUS service is included in both our STANDARD and DELUXE slide packages.  To produce a quality photo print resolution output file (1200 - 2880 dpi) we scan your slides at an image resolution 300 ppi. This results in a physical print size of approximately 4x6 inches. Our professional quality scanning equipment is capable of scanning up to a huge image resolution of 6400 ppi. If you wish to print larger format photo prints (eg 8x10inches) from your slides, we can scan at a higher rate upon request (extra charges will apply). You will recieve your high resolution scanned files in jpg format on a Bonus CD/DVD.

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Q Is there a minimum order requirement for my transfer?
Our minimum requirements for each media type are as follows:

Videotapes: There is a $28 per tape minimum charge for all videotape transfers to DVD or mp4. However in some circumstances, discounts may apply to shorter tapes (see our pricing page for details)

Film: There is no mimimum order requirement for film transfers, but orders of less than 300ft of film (e.g. fewer than six 50ft reels), attract an additional a Set-Up fee (please see pricing). Note: This Set-Up fee is waived for all film transfer orders over 300ft.

Slides/Filmstrips/Photo prints : We have a minimum order of $30. All images in your selected DVD package will need to be of the same media type (i.e. all slides, or all filmstrip frames or all photo prints). We recommend you split large collections into smaller themed slideshows of around 100 images for ease of viewing. Quotations can be provided for mixed media productions.




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Q Can I include captions on my slideshow DVD?
Captions are available as an option on our DELUXE Slide&Photo packages only and if required will attract an additional fee.

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Q Is there background music on my film transfer?
We include complementary royalty free backing music for your film transfer package (DVD and mp4). However, using commercial recordings requires licensing from the copyright owners of the original tracks, and is therefore not included in our packages. 

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Q How do I get my tapes and films to you?
We are located in Red Hill a short five minute drive west of the Brisbane CBD. If you live or work close by, you are quite welcome to drop off your tapes and films and collect them once the conversion is complete (by prior arrangement). Please contact us for more information about our exact location.
Most of our clients are located in regional areas of Australia and the Australia Post registered postal service is the recommended delivery method.  By using a Registered service, a tracking number is issued and all deliveries require a signature upon collection, making it a very secure service.
Your finished DVD and original tapes or films will also be returned to you using the Registered post service.

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Q My tapes were recorded on a camera purchased in the United States (NTSC format). Can you convert them to DVD?
Yes, we have the correct equipment that enables us transfer video from NTSC tapes in either VHS, VHS-C, miniDV and Hi8 format. Extra fees apply.

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