Videotape Stock Policy
In this document we will try to clarify some myths and state our policy on customers supplying videotape stock. We highly recommend transfer direct to hard drive; however, if you require output to tape, the following policy applies in all cases.
• We do not allow customers to supply their own video stock.
• Should our tape prove to be defective, we will replace the tape and re-record your material for no extra charge. (Please note that there is a 10-day return policy in effect.)
• We will record your material to the shortest length tape that we determine to be appropriate. When the running time is very close to the maximum of the tape, we will choose the next increment in tape length for the format you have chosen.
• The manufacturer of any particular format will be chosen based on the performance of their tape in our calibrated and well-maintained machines. All videotape products are manufactured in Japan.
Rationale and background: Our professional industry grade decks are calibrated and maintained to record the best possible video signal for the appropriate format. One substandard tape provided by a client could clog a head (s) and render the deck inoperative. In cleaning a clogged head there is a manual procedure followed by a head grinding (abrasive cleaning tape) procedure. These procedures shorten the effective head life and reduce the optimum video signal over time. For these 2 reasons alone we insist on certain grades and manufacturers' tapes. Repeated head clogs from inferior tape stock simply ruin heads and cost us increased maintenance. Each deck is initially setup with an alignment tape that is manufactured by Sony in most cases. A highly trained video electronic engineer with a whole array of test equipment performs this alignment procedure. The procedure performed properly is very time consuming and tedious. During this procedure the service manual instructs the technician to adjust the different settings for optimum signal conditions. It does not give choices for different configurations based on manufacturer’s different tape stock. We receive calls saying, “My engineer said our deck is calibrated to only use Sony tape.” This is not a correct statement. The kernel of truth in this statement is that the deck was aligned using a Sony alignment tape. The tape itself might not have been manufactured by Sony Electronics. We do acknowledge the test signals were produced and recorded by Sony.
There are three major tape manufacturers:
We have chosen Maxell for most of the formats based on Maxell's trouble free performance and tested video signal here in our facility. Sony tapes have given us the most trouble followed by Fuji in some formats. We use Maxell digital beta cam, beta cam SP, Panasonic mini DV, Sony DVCAM. We do not provide duplication to VHS; the format is obsolete. By using our own tapes we do guarantee the signal and this also eliminates problems in our deck performance.
We hope this document has been both helpful and informative in explaining why we do not accept client videotapes. There is, obviously, a fair markup on the tape stock sale. This markup combined with the low transfer cost makes it possible to offer our customer a very competitive high quality transfer. We invite your business but if you insist on supplying your own tapes you’ll have to transfer elsewhere. Just remember the bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of a bargain is forgotten.
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