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Changing Home Videos to DVD a Breeze

YesVideo Offers Service at Popular Retailers

By Dean Takahashi

Looking for a personalized Valentine's Day gift?

Think about YesVideo, which charges about $25 to convert any kind of home video to a DVD. I used the YesDVD service by sending in an old camcorder tape. The company sent me back a DVD in a case with the video converted into the DVD format.

I put the disk into my machine and there were months' worth of home videos of my kids. I hadn't seen these on my TV before because I'm too technically challenged to get my aging Sony camcorder to work with my TV. The images of the kids were crisp and the sound was great. I didn't have to deal with the hassle of dubbing at all and there were the images of my eldest daughter building a snowman on our trip to Emigrant Gap last year.

The YesDVD technology uses patented algorithms to automatically convert the video. It can detect scene changes so that it can insert chapter breaks into the video. Since each chapter starts out with one of the first images in the scene, you can quickly scroll through all of the scenes to find the appropriate birthday party or trip to the snow. The company also offers YesPix, which captures the best 100 images from the 108,000 images available in an hour of video tape and converts them into still slides for you to view on a disk. You have to order YesPix along with YesDVD and pay an extra $9.99.

This also allows you to skip the embarrassing scenes when you've left the camcorder on accidentally for 10 minutes, pointing at nothing. If you're thinking of converting your tapes to DVD, always use the original source if you can. YesVideo can hand le 8mm, 16mm, VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, Digital 8, Hi-8, Super 8, DVCAM, Betamax, DVC Pro and just about any other format.

The turnaround time is two to three weeks. So if you want it in time for Valentine's Day, you better put your order in now. To locate a store near you that offers the YesDVD service, visit . Participating retailers include Albertsons, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens, Kmart, Fry's Electronics, CompUSA and Longs Drugs.

Prices vary among the retailers and depending on what kind of format you are converting. Additional DVDs cost about $15.

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