Starting on January 28, 2023, Costco began transitioning their photo center services to Shutterfly, which means they no longer offer video transfer services. For Costco Members who used these services for the past 15 years, this may come as a surprise, but we’ve compiled a list of the top five alternative options comparable to Costco’s previous services, which should make the transition easy for you.
While Costco video transfer service was a great option for turning your memories into digital copies that future generations could view and share, there are plenty of good options left to consider.
Capture has over 20 years of experience with video transfer and digitization, so we wanted to provide you with all the best pros and cons of each alternative including DIY digital converters, online services, and other options to choose from.
Whether you don’t have a membership to Costco, want to compare services, or simply planned on using Costco but discovered they no longer offer the services you need, this guide will help you find the best alternative for your precious memories.
- What was Costco’s Video Transfer Service?
- How to Choose the Top Alternative to Costco Video Transfer Service?
- 5 Alternatives to Costco Video Transfer Services
- What is the Best Alternative to Costco Video Transfer Service?
What was Costco’s Video Transfer Service?
Before the transition, Costco used to be able to convert your home videos into digital formats, like downloadable videos on a Cloud account or via USB and DVD.
For 15 years, you could use Costco to digitize a wide range of videotape options, including standard VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, S-VHS-C, Hi8, Digital8, Video8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC, and Betamax.
Costco used to charge $19.99 for each videotape on their dedicated website CostcoDVD.com, but that website is no longer available.
How to Choose the Top Alternative to Costco Video Transfer Service?
Choosing the right alternative to Costco's video transfer service is crucial. When comparing different options, make sure to ask these three essential questions:
- Can they handle your video format?
- What digital format will they provide?
- Do they offer a quality guarantee that matches Costco's 90-day money-back guarantee?
Types of Videos
You want to turn your home videos into digital format, but not every service of equipment will work for all video types. Some options only work for standard VHS tapes while others work for all VHS types including VHS-C, S-VHS, and S-VHS-C. You also want to consider if they will work for PAL formats and other types of videotapes like MiniDV, DVCAM, DVC, Betamax, Hi8, Digitla8, Video8, and more.
You can also keep in mind if the option might work for photo transfer or film transfer for Super 8, 8 mm, and 16 mm film formats.
Digital Format Options
You want to digitize your videos, but there are multiple options for the type of digital format you receive. In addition to a digital copy on a hard drive or in the cloud (like Google Photos), some Costco alternatives offer DVD, USB, and other digital formats.
Think of what you plan to use your digital videos for and select an alternative that can offer that digital file type.
Your videotapes hold irreplaceable memories, and it's important to choose a product or service that will not only preserve them, but also deliver high-quality digital versions.
The very best options not only keep you informed of order status throughout the entire process but also offer satisfaction guarantees and repair services for the cassettes or magnetic tape. \
5 Alternatives to Costco Video Transfer Services
Based on these factors, we’ve reviewed the following alternatives to Costco’s video tape transfer services including services from Capture, do-it-yourself options, other retailers, online services, and more.
This way you can decide which option is the absolute best for your home videos so you can enjoy, share, and preserve your precious memories forever.
Capture Video Transfer Service
You may not have heard about Capture, but we’re the company that provided Costco’s video transfer services for over 15 years. While we’ve been the long-time trusted video transfer company for Costco as well as other major brands like Walmart, CVS, and Sam’s Club, many customers didn’t know us.
One reason for that is that YesVideo, Capture’s parent company, was the brand seen on CostcoDVD.com.
Even though costcodvd.com is no longer available, Capture offers the same exact deals at csb.capture.com.
For expanded digitization options, a different pricing structure, and access to exclusive services like Capture’s patented touchless photo album scanning, you can order directly from Capture.com.
You will get the same professional video transfer with either choice, including our 100% satisfaction guarantee and less than 30-day turnaround time. However, the pricing structure for video transfer is different.
Here’s a chart to simplify the differences:
Pricing for Digital Download Only
$28.99 for the first 2 hours of each tape ($28.99 for each additional 2 hours)
Pricing for DVD Copies
$6.99 for 1 DVD (up to 2 hours per disc) in addition to digital download pricing
$19.99 total for each tape and includes 2 DVDs
Pricing for USB Copy of entire order
$14.99 in addition to digital download pricing
$24.99 total for first tape and $16.99 for additional tapes
Pricing for DVD + USB
Digital download + $14.99 + $6.99 per DVD disc
$29.99 total for first tape, $22.99 for each additional tape (2 DVDs and 1 USB)
Capture always treats your memories with exceptional care and uses a revolutionary multi-million-dollar tracking and security system to monitor your memories every step of the way.
We also do repairs for your videotapes including cassette box repairs, cleaning, and other services. However, we do not enhance videotape quality, so any editing will have to be completed on your own.
- Professional results and support
- Digitized in less than 30 days (with shipping)
- Security and tracking every step of the way
- Can convert many video tapes formats including VHS-C, S-VHS, S-VHS-V, and PAL format as well as MiniDV, Betamax, and even film formats
- Offers 60-day Memory Cloud backup and your choice of DVD or USB flash drive
- 100% Satisfaction guarantee or we’ll reprocess it for free
- Capture has backed Costco's 90-day money back guarantee for over 15 years, a testament to their commitment to quality.
- While we may be a bit biased, it's hard to think of any downsides to using Capture as the brand behind CostcoDVD's digitization service. The only minor issue to note is that the pricing options may present a challenge, as customers need to choose the one that best suits their needs.
Total Score: 9.8/10
As the brand behind CostcoDVD's digitization service, Capture is the no-brainer now that Costcodvd.com is no longer available.
While there may be some pricing choices to pick an option, Capture's quality and security features, including a multi-million-dollar system, fast turnaround time, and satisfaction guarantee, make it a reliable and trustworthy choice to preserve your priceless memories.
Video to Digital Converters
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Converter-Amazon-Exclusive-Windows/dp/B07TWN55VV
This is a great DIY option to turn your videotapes into digital format. Many different options work in different ways. Some plug directly into your camcorder, VCR system, or another video-playing device. Others work through a computer in addition to using the videotape player.
The ClearClick capture device is a popular option that doesn’t require a computer because it has a built-in screen that allows you to view your videotapes during the entire process of digitizing.
Another option is the Elgato Video Capture which produces fantastic results but requires you to use your computer as well as a videotape player for conversion.
While these options work well and produce quality results, they are very time-consuming and targeted toward tech-savvy users. That's because you have to digitize your videos in real-time and learn how to use the different options, programs, and platforms to properly preserve your home movies.
- Produces high-quality outcomes
- DIY convenience
- Time-consuming with real-time conversion
- Made for technologically inclined users
- Still need a VCR, Camcorder, or another device to play videos
- Does not enhance the colors or quality of the video
Total Score: 5/10
We like this option for tech-savvy users who don’t mind spending some time to digitize their videos because the quality is good, but since it takes a lot of time to learn and digitize, we had to lower the score.
Record Videos While Playing
If you just want to quickly and easily preserve your home movies, then you can simply record them while they are playing on your television screen using a mobile device or digital camera. This saves them as digital files that you can easily share or even enhance with your own video editing software.
While this option is super convenient and very cheap, the quality will not be very good. The result can show glares and include outside noises. Plus, it may look jittery because of the difference in frame rate between the VHS or other video tape recording and the digital copy.
- Affordable if you already own a digital camera or mobile device
- Fast way to create digital copies you can share online
- Very easy for anyone to do on their own
- Poor quality with glares, outside noise, jitters, and poor focus
- You must have a quiet and dark area as well as a good television set
- You still need a VCR or other videotape player
Total Score: 2/10
We never recommend this option unless you are just trying to quickly preserve your videotapes before they degrade. The outcome is poor and takes a lot of time. In fact, the result will likely be lower quality than the original home video.
Online Video Transfer KitsImage Source: https://www.amazon.com/LG-Recorder-Combo-Remote-HDMI/dp/B001U6PUKI
These online services will send you kits or boxes that you can pack your videotapes in and then ship it back for processing. These companies will digitize the home movies professionally so you will get good results. Plus, many offer protection including satisfaction guarantees and protective shipping boxes.
While many of the reviews for these companies are superb, other negative feedback indicates that they may not care for your memories as much as you would if you were to digitize the memories yourself.
However, Capture now offers our own online conversion kits! You can check these out on Amazon ((add images and links)). Our kits not only let you mix various types of media, including videotapes, but also come with our satisfaction guarantee, advanced security system, and speedy turnaround time.
We believe our conversion kits are the best option out there.
- Convenient with protective boxes sent to your home
- Professional quality
- Mix various media formats for digitization
- Digital format and original media options for video transfer
- Some reviews show that these brands sometimes lose videotapes
- Can be very expensive, especially for large orders
- Most services don’t improve the resolution of home movies
- Could take 10 to 12 weeks to digitize memories (except Capture)
Total Score: 6/10
While this option is fantastic for professional results and convenience, the exorbitant prices and discrepancies in the reviews mean you should do plenty of research before deciding on the specific company.
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/iMemories-SafeShip-Conversion-Reimbursement-Digitally/dp/B07P19TMZP
While Costco no longer offers a video transfer service, many other retailers can still digitize your videos including Sam's Club, CVS, and Walmart.
YesVideo fulfills these video transfer services so you can expect the same results that Costco video transfer offered, but with some, you will not need membership.
Walmart and CVS even offer store drop off and pick-up options for local convenience.
The pricing structure will vary from one retailer to the next, which means you may pay extra for the convenience and local photo center. If possible, we recommend going through YesVideo, Capture, or another specialty service directly for the fastest processing, more affordable prices, and reputable support.
Still, if you prefer to do your business locally with in-person transactions, this option is professional and convenient, and you won't have to ship your home movies through the mail yourself because the store will do it for you.
- Professional digital formats are probably fulfilled by YesVideo
- Retailer customer service and guarantees.
- No need to ship the home movies on your own
- Walmart and CVS offer store drop off and pick up options
- Pricing depends on the specific retailer and can vary greatly
- Processing times may change with seasons depending on how busy the store is
- Not every retail location has a photo center or offers video transfer services
Total Score: 7/10
We like this option because it offers professional results and exceptional customer service, but the unique pricing structure based on different retailers as well as possible delays prevents us from scoring it higher.
What is the Best Alternative to Costco Video Transfer Service?
While Costco video transfer services used to be a good choice, it’s no longer an available option. You still have plenty of alternatives to choose from, each one offering its own pros and cons. If you’re looking for deals similar to what Costco used to offer, visit the Capture website created specifically for Costco fans: csb.capture.com. Alternatively, you can check out other options like digital converters and other online services.
We may be biased, but we think our services provide the most value and security for your memories. If you want to learn more about Capture, we’re here to answer any questions you have.