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Good Housekeeping

Put Your Old Home Videos on DVD — Fast!

iVillage - (Good Housekeeping, savvy consumer, Electonics & Photography) – August , 2006

VHS tapes don't last forever. Here's how to preserve your memories.

Service* How It Works Cost & Wait Time Comments
YesVideo Drop off and pick up your footage at a participating local store (find one near you with the online store locator) $24.99, 14 days Our pick for best value. Bonus: Special software takes highlights from your home movies and pairs them with popular tunes to create three music videos for your DVD.
Apmstudio.com Send your tapes to the address provided at the site. Your old footage and new DVDs will be returned to you by mail. $38.20, 11 days It's more expensive than YesVideo, but it produces better picture quality than its competitor.
Pictureal.com Ship them the tapes (on their dollar). The company will cut dull footage and add a soundtrack for Hollywood flair. $101.98, 30 days You wouldn't pay this much to convert just any video, but the impressive finished product is perfect for a special occasion. You can prescreen and make changes before you buy.

*Data is based on GHI tests, in which two one-hour videotapes were converted to a single DVD by each service. Where applicable, cost includes shipping.

Make the Switch Yourself

If you have a lot of tapes to transfer, consider buying a machine to do the job. In our tests, the LiteOn LVC-9016G ($229) got high marks for quality. The practically goof-proof machine is also easy to use. And it will do more than just convert your videotapes - you can also use the LiteOn as a DVD recorder.

Tips for Making Great Home Movies

With their special effects, image stabilization and powerful zoom lenses, modern video cameras are fantastic. But they're even better if you know how to use them correctly. Here, filming advice from Tony Pagano, a video pro whose work you've seen on network TV for years - and possibly in Good Housekeeping's TV news stories: Do your home movies have some of these flaws? Consider fixing the flubs with a simple video-editing program. Some computers include the programs for free.

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