If you’ve ever gone back to view and enjoy old VHS tapes and other videotapes, then you may have been disappointed by grainy image quality, discoloration, skipping scenes, blurry videos, saturation, and other problems. The good news is that there are video restoration options that can improve video quality.
Capture offers over 20 years of experience preserving memories, so we understand how important it is to you that you can view and share high-quality home movies over social media and preserve your legacy for future generations. That’s why we put together this guide with 5 options to restore old video formats like VHS.
Keep reading to learn more about these options and discover how to enjoy your memories the way they were intended.
- Professional restoration services
- DIY restoration tasks
- Video transfer services
- Video restoring software
- Online video restoration options
Professional Restoration Services
Professional video restoration services use the highest quality equipment and techniques to restore VHS quality. This includes everything from repairing damaged cassette boxes and cleaning and splicing the tape to reducing tracking lines, enhancing the color, and more.
These services will do everything they can to improve the resolution and video quality of your videotapes and they know how to do so without putting your memories at risk. Not only can they lubricate the reels, repair mold and mildew, address humidity, and more, but they can even repair tangled or snarled magnetic tape. In addition, they can usually accept all videotape types including VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, Betamax, MiniDV, and more.
Companies that offer these types of videotape repair and restoration include Pacific Video Repair and local analog electronics stores. While prices range a lot, you can often get a single videotape repaired for less than $50, even with significant damage.
You can also perform video restoration and repair yourself by cleaning the tape, repairing damage, replacing the cassette components, untangling magnetic tape, and more. In addition, you can transfer to digital format, which makes it possible to use video editing software for video and film restoration, which we cover as option number 3.
While the DIY restoration process can be effective for reducing blurriness in video frames and repairing damage that impedes real-time playback, there are some downsides to consider. First, this process can be complicated and requires you to manually deconstruct the tape, which could further damage your memories.
Additionally, it typically involves complexities and requires a long processing time, especially if you don’t have access to specialized equipment and expertise. While you can find replacement parts and VHS cleaning equipment online, it can be expensive, take time to learn how to use it, and may not be professional quality.
However, if you do decide to do it yourself, check out Capture’s comprehensive guide on how to repair a VHS tape. You can also find restoration tutorials online and can typically find replacement parts on eBay or specialty stores like SMC Electronics.
Video Transfer Services
A video transfer service will digitize your VHS tapes and many of these services will also perform basic videotape repair and case replacement. Using professional and specialized equipment video transfer companies create high-quality digital copies of your memories, which preserves them in their current or better condition.
The result is not only a repaired and restored VHS tape, but also digital copies that you can effortlessly share, enjoy, and store on computers, phones, CPUs, and in the cloud. Then, you can use simple video enhancement software and apps to restore frame rate, perform noise reduction, upscale videos, and achieve super-resolution that was impossible without creating a digital version.
Capture offers professional video transfer services as well as basic repair for your old videotapes. Plus, we include automatic MemoryCloud storage and integration with Google Photos to make sharing and enhancing your videos as easy as possible. Plus, we protect your memories with a state-of-the-art tracking and security system that monitors your VHS tapes through every hand and all the way back to you.
Video Editing Software
While you will need a digital copy of your videotapes first, you can use video editing software for video restoration. These advanced software tools can help with denoising and deblurring and can even improve frame rate and maximize pixels with deinterlace capabilities. The possibilities are virtually endless and even allow you to address low resolution, combine old memories with new interpolation algorithms, AI models, and anime functionalities for coloration.
While the enhancement to video resolution and ability to repair frames and perform countless improvements are impressive, the best of these software tools is not only expensive, but also complex and designed primarily for tech-savvy users. Many of them require a high-performance GPU as well, which is the graphics card on your computer.
While minor editing is easy using basic apps, it will only do so much like coloration and reduced graininess, advanced video recovery and editing is a skill that takes time to learn. If you are tech-savvy and have good computer vision and understanding, more advanced tools may be an option.
There are some fantastic tools available like AVClabs video enhancer AI that uses deep learning to offer super-resolution upscaling and multi-frame enhancement to create high-definition videos. It costs $299.90 for lifetime access or $39.95 per month and can help you edit many file types including MKV, AVI, Mp4, and more.
Online Video Restoration Services
Online video restoration services will perform many of the same actions as video editing software, but do so with expertise and professional equipment. While you will end up paying more, they will perform all the video restoration services for you including using transformer AI and machine learning to improve video quality, reduce graininess, enhance color, and more.
Similar to video editing, you will need to digitize your videotapes first. After that, you simply provide them with the video and tell them what you want to improve, and they will do it for you and return your enhanced video.
While many of these services focus primarily on marketing content and not home movies, their services can also improve the quality of your digitized VHS tapes. Some, like Hale Channel Films, focus primarily on home movies and offer color correction, HD video quality, and more.
As you can see, there are plenty of video restoration options for your VHS tapes. Some, like DIY restoration, are affordable but risky. Video transfer services preserve your home movies and make it possible to use video editing software if you’re tech savvy. If not, you can pay a little more for online or professional restoration.
Regardless of your choice, VHS tapes degrade so it’s important to create digital copies that will last forever. Learn about Capture video transfer services and how we can repair and digitize your memories for easy sharing and enjoyment, or how we can help transfer your VHS to DVD.