Replay old home movies and recorded moments. From video to DVD, perfect for the family.
We know just how precious your records are, so we take every bit of care and detail when we handle them. For over 30 years, by real people, we have transferred real memories, to make something really special.
Video Tape Formats We Transfer
(Please select the video tape format you would like digitised)
How it works
Visit our Belfast Studio or one of our partners and drop in your assortment of videotapes and film. You can organise one or two-way direct delivery and collection with us! Leave your details and we’ll handle everything from there.
Once we receive your order, our team of experts and technicians work hard to transfer your memories. From quality checks, restoration, and digitisation. Choose to receive a physical copy, digital copy or both!
Receive your original media back with your digitised copies either through our Belfast studio, partner outlets or straight to your door! Bring family and friends together and replay all your favourite recorded memories and moments!
Video tapes to DVD
Transferring VHS tapes to DVD is an excellent way to preserve your memories for the future. The Video Home System (VHS) was a popular analogue video recording device. It used tape that was originally developed by Victor Company of Japan (JVC) in the 1970s. From then on, this method was used to record video for commercial and domestic use.
Most homes had a VHS player to play films and home movies. In 1997, the DVD was introduced, and by 2008 it was the preferred format for watching and recording movies. The DVD is of better quality and can hold larger file types. Furthermore, it has its own advancements thanks to HD and Blu-ray.
SVHS tape or, Super-VHS tape, is an advanced version of VHS Tape. It has more picture detail for a better resolution. SVHS tape can record and output up to 400-420 lines of resolution. Standard VHS tape, on the other hand, offers only 240-250 lines of resolution. SVHS tapes can only be played on standard VHS VCR players that have a feature known as Quasi-SVHS Playback.
HDV is a format for recording of high-definition video on DV cassette tape. It was initially developed by JVC and supported by Sony, Canon, and Sharp. HDV was an affordable high-definition format for digital camcorders. It quickly caught on with many amateur and professional videographers. Due to its low cost, portability, and image quality acceptable for many professional productions. HDV was a step up from mini DV. It used a 16:9 widescreen format, with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. This is a substantial improvement over Mini DV, which recorded video in a 4:3 format, with a maximum resolution of 500 horizontal lines.
Camcorder Tapes to DVD
(various format to DVD or digital conversion)
VHS-C tape is the compacted version of the VHS tape format and was introduced in 1982 to be used primarily for portable camcorders. The format is based on the same videotape as is used in VHS and could be played back in a standard VHS VCR with an adapter that the VHS-C fitted into.
Three different types of 8mm tapes were released that all look identical to each other. Many manufacturers had the sense to make their products backwards compatible with older versions of the tapes. So if you had several original 8mm tapes, you’d be able to play them on your Hi8 or Digital8 camera.
To offset the introduction of the Super-VHS tape format, Sony introduced Video Hi8 tape. Like S-VHS, the Hi8 tape was used to increase the recorded bandwidth of the luminance signal to 400 lines. Hi8 cassettes were widespread throughout the 90s because of their compact size and quality especially because they could fit into a camcorder for home video recording. Unfortunately, Hi8 players are not in the mainstream anymore consequently, it is increasingly difficult to watch movies in this format.
In 1999 Sony developed the Digital8, or D8, which is a consumer digital videotape design. It is a combination of the older Hi8 tape with the DV codec. The Digital8 equipment uses the same videocassettes as analogue Hi8 equipment. However, they differ regarding the fact that the audio/video signal for Digital8 is encoded digitally, using the industry-standard DV codec.
As the Digital8 format uses the DV codec, this means they have identical audio and video specifications and as a result, the quality of Digital8 to DVD transfers is excellent.
MiniDV is a digital video tape format that uses the same compression as DV. It was very popular for recording home movies. Most small camcorders sold after 2000 used the MiniDV digital videotape format. MiniDV tapes were 65 x 48 x 12 mm and the record time was 60 minutes (13gb standard play) or 90 minutes (extended/long play) as well as 80/120 minute tapes were available.
Beta Tape Formats to DVD
Betamax Tape is a video cassette recording technology that uses magnetic tape 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) in width. It was originally developed by Sony in Japan. The Betamax cassette was physically smaller than a VHS cassette and had less recording time than VHS cassettes. The format is now virtually obsolete. However, the television industry still uses an updated version called Betacam. Greater wear occurs on a Betamax tape compared with VHS which shortens the life of the cassette.
As Sony was being humiliated in the VHS vs Betamax war, a similar battle was being fought in the professional video arena with very different results. Betacam, launched in 1982, was a great success in the professional market for its quality and reliability. The difference was that Betacam used component video rather than composite, and recorded at a much higher tape speed. Betamax and Betacam tapes were interchangeable. The Betacam tapes came in two sizes: S (small) and L (large) and the Betacam cameras used the S size. The tape decks could use either size.
The successor of Sony’s Betacam is the Betacam SP which was launched in 1986. It went on to become the most successful general-purpose professional video format of the 20th Century. The “SP” stands for “Superior Performance”, which was achieved by using a metal-formulated tape instead of oxide. The horizontal resolution was increased to around 360 lines. Tape sizes were the same as Betacam.
Sony introduced the Digital Betacam in 1993, also known as Digibeta or D-Beta. Digital Betacam was superior in performance to DVCam and DVCPro. Cassette sizes are the same as other Beta versions: S (small) tapes record up to 40 minutes, L (large) tapes record up to 124 minutes.
Vintage videotapes to DVD
The U-Matic tape was first released to the general public in 1971. It was one of the first video formats to contain the videotape inside a cassette compared to the open reel style of the other systems. Unlike most other tape formats, the supply and take-up reels in the cassette turn in opposite directions during playback, fast-forward, and rewind as one reel would run clockwise while the other would run anti-clockwise.
Helical Scan was a method of recording information onto magnetic tape. It was used to record TV programs in the 1960s, and by several storage sellers in high-end tape backup products. The helical scan is the same technology used in digital audio tapes and began in the VCR arena. It uses a spinning read/write head and diagonal tracks.
Find your Nearest Location
With over 200 outlets across the Island of Ireland that offer our services, Happy Ireland Productions is never too far away from you!
If you are worried about the longevity of any of your tape formats, then bring them to Happy Ireland so that we can transfer them to DVD. We will also restore and repair the film where possible while cutting out any blank scenes. Contact us today:
Please call us on:
UK: 02890 200229
ROI: 1800 84 84 88
Alternatively, you can send an email to:
If you are in Belfast then please feel free to drop in and see us at our studio!
Happy Ireland HQ: 439 Lisburn Rd, Belfast BT9 7EY
We look forward to hearing from you!