What exactly do I get?
An MP4 file. MP4s are digital video files. They are a breeze to view, edit, and share. They are way more versatile than DVDs, but we can make those for you too if you like.
What’s the current processing time?
Turn-around for most orders is 10 business days. Orders of 50+ tapes may take an additional 5 business days.
We offer Rush Processing for an extra $3/tape if you would like the tapes processed in 2 business days.
What resolution will the output be in?
640 x 480 for videos. Photos are scanned at 600 dpi.
Is there a storefront where I can drop off my stuff?
12819 SE 38th St.
Bellevue, WA 98006
Simply complete the local drop-off form, and drop it off during the UPS store business hours.
Can I also pick-up my order after it has been processed?
Local orders can either be mailed back (we offer Economy or Priority return shipping options), or delivered via local Courier Service for $20. The courier service delivery radius is 20 miles from Bellevue, WA.
How and when do I pay?
We’ll send an invoice after the work has been completed that can be paid with a credit or debit card. There is no need to pre-pay.
How much will my project cost?
For orders of fewer than 10 tapes, simply multiply the number of tapes by $15. (Example: 8 tapes x $15/tape = $120 project cost, including Cloud Delivery, tapes recycled after processing). Please refer to the order form for additional information about pricing and upgrades.
For orders of 10 tapes or more, please check out our Shop to calculate the order total.
Is there a price break for tapes shorter than 2 hours?
Nope. The same flat rate applies to tapes up to 2 hours. Tapes over 2 hours in length incur an Additional Footage fee of $8 per 2 hour segment. We do offer a volume discount for orders of 10 tapes or more.
What about blank tapes?
Yes! If the tape turns out to be totally blank it will be billed at just $5 bucks.
Are my photos and videos enhanced or cleaned in any way?
If the tape is broken and doesn’t play, we can repair it for $10.
A quick note on negatives and slides. As noted above, our digitization process doesn’t enhance/clean-up the images, which some folks don’t love. To be on the safe side, our suggestion is to start with a few slides (or negative film strips) to ensure you are happy with the results before pulling the trigger on the entire archive.
Do you offer a “premium” encoding option?
We do not. All videos are processed at 640×480. Photos can be scanned at 1200 dpi for an addition $.50 per image.
How will the video files be named?
Each tape will be a separate MP4 video file, and the file name will contain what’s written on the label/box. File names will look something like this:
Bob S. – 1 of 12 (Katie’s Birthday, Nov 1986).mp4
We suggest numbering the tapes 1-x with a marker if you would like them processed in a specific order.
Are you able to scan scrapbooks / full photo album pages?
We sure can! Full page (12×12) scans are $2 per page for 600dpi.
What exactly is Lifetime Back-up?
Lifetime Back-up is a great options for keeping your videos safe long-term. For just $1/tape we keep a permanent, off-line copy of your videos and can restore them at any time (you just cover the delivery fee). Without Lifetime Back-up all videos are removed from our servers after 30 days.
How big of a flash drive should I provide and what kind?
An hour of footage is roughly 1GB. To be on the safe side, budget 2GB per tape, and keep in mind that most drives have slightly less capacity than advertised (i.e. a 32GB drive only has about 27GB of usable space). Delivery Options chart.
Should I order direct or via Amazon?
For orders of ten (10) tapes or less, the pricing is identical either way. For larger orders, you’ll get a better volume discount by ordering direct.
Do I need to rewind my tapes before mailing?
You do not, but we sure would appreciate it if you did
I’m not sure what’s on these tapes, some might be duplicates. Can you provide a preview?
Sorry, we do not offer a sample/preview service. If you have a VCR/camcorder at home, we suggest previewing the tapes before mailing them in to ensure the content is worth preserving. Any tapes that are mailed in will be run end-to-end.
My tape is stuck inside the camcorder. Can you help with that?
We sure can. Tape extraction is treated as as tape repair, and costs just $10. Please keep in mind that the camcorder will likely be damaged beyond repair following the extraction.
What happens to my files after 30 days of Cloud Delivery? Is there a way to get them back if I forgot to download them?
Videos delivered via Cloud Delivery are removed from our production servers 30 days after delivery. If the videos were encoded in the last 180 days, we may be able to restore them from our staging environment.
There is a non-refundable $20 fee for us to attempt the file recovery. If successful, the video restore fee is 80% of the encoding cost (example, if you paid $10/tape for encoding, video restore will be $8/file). Please note that while we make every effort to restore expired videos, in many cases we are not able to recover them.
To avoid this scenario, we strongly encourage purchase of the Lifetime Back-up service ($1/tape). With Lifetime Back-up we keep a permanent off-line copy of the files, and can restore them at any time to Cloud, USB, or DVD. You just cover the delivery cost.
Can you re-scan my media if I believe there were sound/video issues introduced as part of the digitization process?
Our process does not improve or enhance the video quality. With that said, we can re-run a tape for a base digitization rate of $8 per 2 hour segment (delivery and additional footage fees apply). If re-processing the tape remedies the issue, meaning it was caused by our equipment, we’ll refund the payment.
We can re-process 8mm film, photos, and slides for $8 per 50 ft and $.35/image respectively, however the payment is non-refundable.
Do you offer Gift Cards?
We sure do! There are two flavors to choose from.
1. Fixed $ Amount. Pick a denomination, and the gift card amount will be applied to the recipient’s final invoice.
2. Digitization Units (aka tapes). If you know the number of tapes to be digitized, you can pre-purchase digitization “units” for $20 each. Each unit includes digitization of the tape (up to 2 hours), cloud delivery, lifetime back-up, and economy return shipping.
To order a gift card, simply complete the online form, and indicate what type of gift card you wish to purchase in the “Notes” filed on the order form.
Lotus Media provided an excellent service converting my obsolete but timeless Hi-8, miniDVs, and VHS tapes into modern day mp4 files. What really stood out was his promptness to completing the order. I had 23 tapes that I had to be converted. Kirk did that within three days of receiving them. AND we live in different states. AND he answers my questions, AND calls me back when he can’t get to my previous calls. This sure beats having to buy a 400+ dollar hi-8 tape converter and then have it sit around the house when you don’t need it anymore. I will for sure be coming back when other tapes need to be converted.
These guys are the real deal – they’re very responsive and do the work quickly (even more quickly than promised!), with excellent results. They always offer to help if something didn’t go as expected and even go above and beyond to help troubleshoot or fix any glitches. Everything came back as promised with no issues whatsoever!
I highly recommend Lotus Media! The service was fantastic, the prices were good, and the options for conversion were great. The big selling point for me was that they would convert right to MP4 and could deliver via USB or google drive. Most conversion places I looked up went to DVD, which if you ask me is converting from an already dead medium (VHS/tapes) to one that is already dying anyways (DVD). Putting it in MP4 format was big for me, and if I want a DVD I can burn that from the MP4 (or they do offer DVD service if that’s what you want). In terms of the process they did 35 tapes for me in around 1 week and the people were all so nice. Just all around great.