A standard DVD Video disc holds around 2 hours of good quality video footage. If you have four or five tapes with 15 to 20 minutes on each one then they will all fit onto a single disc. You’ll benefit from having access to all the tapes from a simple menu plus one disc on the shelf takes up less space than four or five.
Are compilation discs cheaper?
The short answer is no – it costs the same for a compilation as having each tape copied to an individual disc. The reason there’s no cost saving is that the workflow for a compilation disc can require more labour.
Here’s the long answer…..
Our video to DVD service is already great value. One way we can keep our price low is by making best use of our time and the equipment we have. We run multiple transfer systems at once to complete jobs quickly and efficiently.
If we take an example of 5 short (20 min) tapes to disc the most efficient workflow is to copy all five tapes simultaneously to separate discs. The entire job can be completed, including the free extra copies, in around 30 minutes.
To make a compilation DVD each tape has to be run sequentially to a hard drive recorder (at least 100mins) then trimmed, titled and burned from the hard drive to disc (another 20 mins incl. the free extra copy). The time required to make a 5 tape, 100 minute compilation is therefore around 120 minutes.
The compilation takes four times longer to make than individual discs, two hours versus half an hour. The 5 disc example represents an ideal where all the tapes were indeed 20 minutes or less. However, experience tells us that not many people know exactly how much footage is recorded on each of their tapes so we have to check them to find out. Typical camcorder tapes be anything between a few minutes and 120 minutes each (more if recorded in LP mode). There isn’t quick way to work out the actual duration – it takes time to wind and rewind tapes to discover exactly how much is on them. If it turns out that couple of the tapes are the full 120 min then they will only just fit onto single disc and cannot go in a compilation.
The additional time spent checking durations and calculating what will fit etc incurs more labour than separate transfers which is why we can’t give a discount for copying multiple tapes onto a single disc.