VHS players are all but gone, yet millions of tapes exist in home video libraries. Family memories recorded on camcorders, old movies or important historical information are examples.
VHS tapes are sensitive to sunlight, heat, water or a hungry VHS player with a taste for precious tapes. Storage is another concern; VHS boxes and tapes require much greater space than slim DVDs and jewel cases. Further, VHS tapes are difficult to search, forcing a watcher to fast-forward, stop and watch, fast-forward, etc.
A Business Solution:
Transfer VHS tapes to DVD or Blue-Ray using an VCR, software, cables, and a computer with a DVD burner. The computer you probably own; if not, an inexpensive computer with DVD burner costs around $500. Software packages with cables included can be purchased at Walmart, Costco or other retailers for around $50. Roxio has a solid reputation as a software vendor; Honest Technologies is another option.
The process is simple: Install the software, hook up your VCR to the included connectors, then plug the connectors into your computer. Copy your VHS tapes’ images to the computer’s hard drive and then burn the images to a DVD. Customize the DVD and add Hollywood style menus and chapters for impressive results. The same process may be used for transferring videos to iPod or PSP too or LPs and tapes to CDs. Make the product unique by labeling songs automatically with title, artist and genre information.
Market the Product:
Develop a clever name and tag line, order free business cards through VistaPrint, start a blog or web site, and get some free or low-cost publicity. Finally, do some market research and price your service accordingly.
People will pay you to provide this service: For some it is a major time saver, for others the technical challenges are too great. This is a inexpensive and desirable business opportunity. Price and advertise the business correctly and you will be successful!
– By Dion D. Shaw
Dion Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs.
** Dec 8 Update **
I’ve successfully used the Roxio product to record multiple DVDs from older VHS tapes. These are VHS tapes I purchased years ago and have the legal right to make a single (backup) copy for personal use.
I thought I would also share some tips:
– Additional cables (either RCA or S2 video) are required and are not supplied with the software package. Do not open the box and expect to instantly play and record.
– To set pricing of your service, calculate the capital costs – software, hardware, hourly wages – and price accordingly. Remember you are providing a service and should be cost-competitive.
– The basic process is simple: load the software, connect the cables, follow the instructions, and start recording. Advanced features such as editing or scene setting are more complex and require experience.
This is a good side business to consider. It is relatively simple and generally uses equipment you probably own. Buy the software and cables, get free business cards, market your service and instant business!