UPDATE: Preserving Love & Memories with Legacy Box
My sister Bonnie, and I have been researching ways to have our family home videos transferred from their current formats (8MM, VHS, audio cassettes) to more modern and stable formats (digital, DVD, etc.) We have a box of over 35 movies and recordings that we wanted to be able to watch without having to hook up the old camcorder to play the videos. We also were worried that the quality of the cassettes would be compromised as they aged. I have read that temperature, sun, dust, and other environmental factors can shorten the life of older video/audio formats.
After a great deal of research, I came across a new company called Legacy Box. They had a simple message. They advertised that they could take essentially ANY format of old video/audio and transfer it to DVD or digital formats. To be honest, at first, this sounded too good to be true. I had a bunch of questions. What if our tapes were too old? Would they send the originals back? Is it safe to mail them?
After reading reviews and reading information on their website, my concerns were eased. So, we ordered the Family box which allows for 10 video/audio/picture formats to be sent in and transferred to digital formats. I decided that I wanted a thumb drive version as well and paid the extra $16 for that. You can also pay extra to receive online access to your videos early (we did not pay for this service). Legacy Box currently has four different options to choose from:
· Starter (3 tapes, 3 films, or 3 sets of 25 pictures)
· Family (10 tapes, 10 films, or 10 sets of 25 pictures)
· Closet (20 tapes, 20 films, or 20 sets of 25 pictures)
· Trunk (40 tapes, 40 films, or 40 sets of 25 pictures)
I received the Legacy Box in the mail. In the main box is the actual Legacy Box (see pictures), the Welcome Guide, and the Shipping Label & Barcode Stickers.
At this point it’s really easy. You fix the individual barcode stickers onto each video, cassette, or set of 25 pictures (put the pictures in a plastic bag and place the sticker on the bag).
You package your items into the Legacy Box, put the Legacy Box in the original large brown mailing box, put the free shipping label on the box, and safely tape it up. That's it.
I had some leftover bubble wrap that I used to ensure our videos wouldn’t shift in transit. These videos are really important to us; the shipping part is my biggest worry.
UPDATE: We received our 10 home videos back in DVD format and on a thumb drive (costs $16 extra).
All along the way I received email updates from LegacyBox about the stage they were at with preserving our home movies. On their site you can enter your order number and zip-code and see what step they are at. It took about 3 weeks for the process from start to finish and I really don't think it could have been any easier. The updates really helped ease my anxiety about the process---I was very worried about losing the videos we sent!
Overall, I am very satisfied with the process. As I mentioned we only paid to have 10 videos converted to test out the process (not to mention it is quite pricey). We plan to have the remaining 25+ videos processed this summer using LegacyBox. A few of the videos we sent had some damage that resulted in some loss of quality, but that was to be expected. The DVDs function in a DVD player and on the computer. I loved having the files on a thumb drive so that I could send the DVDs with my sister.
Below are a few snippets from the videos!