Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Pacific Video Repair?
We've been in business since 2003 and have seen quite a few competitors come and go. To the best of our knowledge we are the only firm that focuses on video tape repairs while other companies primarily offer DVD transfers and might do an occasional repair job. Our specialty is repairing broken video tapes and we do it all day, every day.

We've observed a wide range in pricing structures proposed by other companies over the years, from charging over $100 for a repair to advertising "free" repairs with an overpriced DVD transfer and hidden return shipping fees. We charge a flat rate for tape repairs and we believe that it is a fair price for our experience and knowledge.

If your tape is important enough to you to have it professionally repaired you can be confident that when you send it to us it will be treated with care and respect, just as if contained our own priceless footage.

What problems can you fix?
Specific tape issues that we repair can be found on the What We Will Fix page.

How are repairs for 8mm, Hi8 and Digital8 tapes handled?
Unfortunately new video cassettes for these formats are no longer being produced and the cost for blank tapes that can be used for parts has risen dramatically, forcing us to change our goal for some types of damage from repairing the tape so that it works mechanically to footage recovery. Ideally, your tape can and will be restored to working condition without issue and most tapes can be fixed without needing replacement parts, but if there is an internal or external problem with the cassette/shell of your tape the repair and recovery process can be handled in one of three ways:

Repair Charge only - If you would like a DVD or data file copy of your footage on your tape and you do not need to play the tape in your equipment we can recover the footage by placing the tape in a temporary cassette for playback. After we have recovered the footage from your tape the physical media will be returned to you safely and securely- depending on the issues with the original cassette the reel might be placed back in the original broken cassette for safety or the tape itself may be re-spooled and packed up for storage. With this option you will still have the original source material and it would still be able to be placed in a new cassette for playback if needed at some point in the future.

Repair Charge + Your Parts Tape - If you need to be able to play the tape itself you can send a blank or unwanted tape with the damaged tape to use as parts (the parts tape will be returned if it is not needed to get the desired tape back into working order).

Repair Charge + Market Price for Parts - The third option if you need the tape to work in your equipment is to pay for the cost of replacement parts in addition to the repair charge itself- as of now parts are still available for purchase but the market price no longer allows us to cover the cost with the repair charge; if you choose this option when placing your order we will contact you before completing the repairs to make sure the additional cost will be appropriate for your project.

When you place your order you will have be able to choose which of the three options is best for you, please contact us if you have any questions!

How likely is it that my tape can be repaired?
Our specialty is the repair of physically damaged videotapes and our experience enables us to fix many problems that other companies cannot or do not work with. Of the thousands of tapes that we have received, 98.4% have been successfully repaired to our standards. The overwhelming majority of the unrepairable tapes were found to have issues with the original recording itself, not a physical problem that could actually be fixed.

Should I be worried about shipping my tape?
We have sent and received many thousands of packages through the Post Office, UPS and FedEx over the years and not a single tape has ever gotten "lost in the mail". With tracking IDs and Delivery Confirmation that enable you to track your package at every step of the way, shipping your tape to us is safe, secure and cost-efficient.

What if my tape can't be salvaged?
Unfortunately some badly damaged tapes are beyond repair. Usually this only happens when a great deal of the tape itself has been crunched, stretched, or otherwise maimed. There is no foolproof way for us to be certain that a tape can be salvaged until we have seen it. To guarantee your satisfaction, if it turns out that your tape is damaged beyond repair we will ship it and your payment back at no cost to you.

How do I send my tape?
Sending in a tape is very easy. Simply fill out the Order Form that matches the service you want. You will be sent an email that will include an order reference number, our mailing address, and your contact information. All you need to do is include a printout of the email with your tape and payment (if you aren't using a credit card).

Should I be concerned about my private footage?
Absolutely not. Unless your footage is being edited there is no need for us to view your footage. While we have many different tools and machines at our disposal, at no point is your video tape ever inserted into a device that is attached to a T.V. while in our care if it is being repaired or being transferred to DVD unedited. We respect your privacy, and it simply isn't necessary to watch a tape that has been or will be repaired.

What will be different about my tape after you fix it?
That depends on what was wrong with it when we received it. If the shell was damaged in any way, your tape will be in a clean, new shell. We can usually transfer any labels from the old shell to the new but if we can't we will relabel it for you. If the tape itself needed repairing, you may notice two things when you play it in your VCR or camcorder. First, we will have trimmed the damaged portion of the tape so that the rest could be saved. This will cause the image on your screen to jump a little at the area of the splice. Also, on many VCRs, when the splice is reached you may have a small amount of static or noise on your T.V. This is normal and due to the fact that your VCR is trying to adjust the tracking, which will be slightly different before and after the splice.

What is your mailing address?
Pacific Video Repair
19689 7th Ave NE #362
Poulsbo, WA 98370

Please, do not send your tape to us without placing an order and including a copy of the confirmation email in the package. Our ordering system alerts us to tapes that we should expect to arrive and allows us to track our customers' tapes while they are in our care; we will have to return your tape to you without repairing it if you send it without placing an order first.

How long will it take for my tape to get back to me?
We ship every Tuesday and Thursday and on average our customers find that it takes three and a half weeks from the day a tape is shipped to us to the day they receive their completed order: two to eight business days for the tape to get to us, two to fifteen business days in our office to fulfill your order, and two to eight business days in shipping to get back to you.

Tapes that have been affected by mold, flooding, lubrication deterioration or fire/heat will likely require extra time depending on the extent of the damage; we will keep you updated if your order will take longer than fifteen business days to complete.

Will my new DVD work in my player?
We guarantee that a DVD we create will work for you. There are many different DVD players available with many, many different combinations of hardware and software and because of all the variations every once in a while the first disc that we create will not work as well as it should. If you ever have a problem with a disc we've made simply return it and we will work with you to find the right solution for your equipment.

Can you duplicate PAL format tapes?
Once your PAL VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Hi8, Digital8, miniDV or miniDV HDV tape has been repaired to our standards we guarantee that it will work properly in the right equipment, but we do not offer PAL to NTSC conversion or PAL DVD transfers.

Is it absolutely necessary to have you make a copy of the repaired cassette?
With the exception of tapes that have been affected by lubrication deterioration it is not necessary to order a copy of a repaired tape. After a tape has been repaired it is put through a strict series of tests before being returned and the repairs for a tape are guaranteed for a lifetime of use. It is not necessary to make copies of tapes that we have repaired, but we offer our duplication service as a convenience for you, in case you would like copies to give to friends and family, or want to convert your tapes to DVDs or data files.

How should I package and ship my tape?
We've found that the best way to ship a tape is in a slightly oversized "bubble mailer" or padded envelope. If you will be sending the reels of a cassette by themselves make sure that they will not shift around in the package as the tape might be crinkled. Based on the size and weight of the average package we receive, you will probably find that the Post Office is the best and least expensive service to use to send your tape.

What are my return shipping options?
Return shipping and handling via USPS Media Mail is our standard, free option and has an expected delivery time of two to eight business days within the contiguous United States. Optional delivery methods are USPS Priority Mail with an expected delivery time of one to three business days and additional cost of $6.45 per tape, and USPS Priority Mail Express with a delivery time of one to two business days and an additional cost of $23.75 per tape.

You will be able to select your shipping method when you place an order, all packages are sent with tracking and you will be emailed your tracking information on the day your package is shipped.

We are happy to use any alternative shipping method you prefer, please select the option in the order form and the additional cost will be calculated once your order has been completed.

How do I pay for the service?
You may send a personal check or money order with your tape, we can send you an online invoice so you can pay with a credit card once we have completed your order, or you can send a check or money order once we have completed your order and we will ship your order on the business day after your payment arrives.

Do you work with any other formats?
Specializing in the repair of VHS, S-VHS, 8mm, Hi8, VHS-C, Digital8, miniDV and miniDV HDV tapes alone allows us to offer our service to you with our fast turnaround and low price. Adding other formats would drive up cost and service time, so we feel that it is best to stay with the aforementioned for now and the foreseeable future.

What happens if the repair does fail?
Our lifetime guarantee on our work ensures that once your video tape has been repaired to our standards the repair will continue to function for as long as you need the tape. In the unlikely event of a repair failure, we will reimburse you for your shipping costs and will amend or correct anything that went wrong.

Are you affiliated with any other businesses?
No. We are an independent firm with one office located in Pouslbo, WA. Some out-dated web pages that we cannot edit may list our previous address in Santa Rosa, CA so please make sure you use our Poulsbo address when sending your package. We are aware of two businesses with similar names: "Pacific Video" in Escondido, CA and "pacificvideorepair(s).com", operating out of the United Kingdom; neither company has any association with us and in no way are they a representation of our standards and practices.