FAQs 
What kind of audio and video formats can you transfer to DVD?
Can you transfer VHS video tapes from PAL (or another broadcast standard) to DVD?
Can I put clips from different tapes onto one DVD?
Can I add music to my scenes and/or menus?
Can you edit my movie for me?
Do you use a fixed or variable bit rate when encoding my movies?
How many minutes of video can fit onto one DVD?
What kind of case will my new DVD have?
How do I place an order?
Can I change my order once it's been placed?
Will my video be kept confidential?
How long will it take to process my order?
How much does it cost to transfer video to DVD?
What forms of payment do you accept?
Will I need to pay sales tax on my order?
What is your return policy if my new DVD does not play properly?

 
What kind of audio and video formats can you transfer to DVD?

We currently accept VHS, VHS-C, Beta, 8mm, Hi-8, Digital-8, DVCAM, HDV, and MiniDV.  If you want to include still images, we currently accept film photography, 35mm film strips, and 35mm film slides (via scan), as well as Compact Flash™, IBM Microdrive™, SmartMedia™, Secure Digital™, MultiMediaCard™, xD™, and Memory Stick™ memory cards.  We can use audio from audio cassette, 1/4" × 5" and 1/4" × 7" open reel audio tape, digital audio tape (DAT), MiniDisc™, vinyl/LP (33-1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm), CD Audio, MP3 files, and WAV (Windows) files.

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Can you transfer VHS video tapes from PAL (or another broadcast standard) to DVD?

Yes.  We can transfer VHS video tapes recorded using the PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N, SECAM, and MESECAM broadcast standards to NTSC DVD.  Under certain circumstances, however, we also can convert video and audio from NTSC to PAL DVD.  Please contact us for more information.

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Can I put clips from different tapes on one DVD?

Yes.  You can combine multiple tapes into one DVD with any of our DVD packages (except for DVD - Bronze, which is an unedited tape-to-DVD conversion package).  You can take a segment of video from one tape and a segment of video from another tape and put them together with chapter points on one DVD.

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Can I add music to my scenes and/or menus?

Yes.  You may add background music (from our music library or your own) to the menus on the DVD - Gold and DVD - Platinum packages.  The DVD - Diamond and DVD Yearbook packages allow you to add background music to any menu, scene, or title you choose.

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Can you edit my movie for me?

YES!  Our DVD - Diamond package was designed for you to take advantage of our studio's post-production services.  We can mix and edit the audio and video, including adding titles, transitions, and other special effects that you desire.  You can customize the menus and background music on your DVD.  You can even customize the labels on your DVD and its case!  If you have requirements that go beyond the DVD - Diamond package, please call to discuss your needs.  (For example, we recently completed a project where we converted video and audio, scanned over one hundred still photos, and then mixed and edited all the material with special effects.  The finished product was then authored to PAL DVD and mastered back to NTSC VHS!)

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Do you use a fixed or variable bit rate when encoding my movies?

We typically use a variable bit rate when encoding your videos.  Encoding your video in this manner increases the bit rate during "action" sequences and reduces the bit rate when screen motion is not as intense.  By increasing the bit rate only when it is needed, we are able to fit more minutes of your video onto a DVD without sacrificing its quality.

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How many minutes of video can fit onto one DVD?

The capacity of a DVD varies with the quality of video and sound (called the bit rate), the time base (measured in number of frames per second), and by the number of lines of resolution (typically 720 lines by 480 lines of resolution for a DVD). To convert a two-hour video to DVD, using the North American standard time base of 29.97 frames/sec, our studio believes that the best quality video (MPEG-2) and audio (Dolby 2.0 Stereo) is an average bit rate of approximately 5.0 Mb/sec.  If you have more than two hours of video, reducing this bit rate would allow more of your video to fit on a single DVD, but the quality of the DVD might be compromised.  Please call us if you would like to discuss alternatives.

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What kind of case will my new DVD have?

We use standard plastic DVD cases with a clear plastic sleeve (for standard or custom labels), which are the same dimensions as the commercial DVD cases available in stores.

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How do I place an order?

To place your order today, please call us at 703-690-0171.  We will provide you with instructions for preparing and shipping your audio and video source materials to us.

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Can I change my order once it's been placed?

If you decide that you want to select a different DVD package (or a special order) after you have ordered, or if you would like to make fundamental changes to your DVD order (i.e., changing the order of video clips and/or photographs), please notify us as soon as possible.  If your order has not been processed at that time, we will allow you to make additional changes.  We will use the most current edits at the time of processing.  

Once the video has been produced, it will be published on your secure page on our web site, where you will be able to preview your video online or download it to your computer's hard disk.  You may then use this video preview in conjunction with our online customization forms to select the look and feel of your DVD.  Once you are satisfied with your selections, you may submit the customization form to us by clicking the submit button at the bottom of the form.  If you wish to make changes to your DVD's look and feel after you've electronically submitted your customization form, please contact us immediately.

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Will my video be kept confidential?

Yes.  We take great pride in our service to you and our belief in your right to privacy.  For your convenience and confidentiality, your videos are published on the secure portion of our web site.  You alone have access to your own account via a password, which you may change whenever you wish.  Once we have completed our work for you, your secure page on our web site will be purged, and all project material will be encrypted, archived, then deleted from our system.  All source material you send us is returned to you.  Your video will be processed with total confidentiality.

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How long will it take to process my order?

Once we have received the source material for your order, we will send you a confirmation e-mail and should be able to process your order in 1 - 2 weeks.  Depending on the amount of customization requested on the DVD - Platinum and DVD - Diamond packages and certain special orders, delivery of your order may take longer than usual.

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How much does it cost to transfer video to DVD?

DVD packages start at $35.00 for the DVD - Bronze.  The price includes encoding, authoring of your home video to a DVD (up to 120 minutes), and the chapter interval of your choice.

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What forms of payment do you accept?

We currently accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, cash, money orders, and personal checks.  

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Will I need to pay sales tax on my order?

Most states require that taxes be collected on sales transactions between residents and merchants that are both physically located in that state.  Since Sundial Video is located in Virginia, we will charge all Virginia state customers the appropriate sales tax.  If it becomes necessary to collect sales tax for other states, we will inform you of the change and add the appropriate amount of sales tax to your order.

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What is your return policy if my new DVD does not play properly?

If your DVD is found to be defective upon viewing, Sundial Video will replace it at no cost.  We do ask that you please provide us with the manufacturer, model number, and serial number of your DVD player so we can continually update our compatibility list on our web site

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