Digital Video Archive

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It was a relatively slow day in the studio today. So I spent the time catching up on the video transfers in my queue. I find that more and more people are requesting transfers of videotapes to computer files on usb drives instead of getting DVD disks. And we are happy to do that for them. And we still process a large number of DVD disks. And we are happy to do that as well. But we do have a third option – developed specifically for us. We call it DVA, Digital Video Archive.

Last year, during our corporate getaway, a few of us teamed together to do a western tribute to our DVA product.  I have it posted below. DVA brings the best of the DVD features (chapter markers, authoring capabilities) to a streaming technology. It allows you the ultimate flexibility to watch and share your home movies – wherever you are, whenever you want.  Call us for more information.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here’s the award winning short film: The DVA Kid.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

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What’s Coming Next?

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Many of the videotape transfers that I do are actually 2nd generation transfers. They contain footage of family memories that were previously on 8 mm, Super 8, or 16 mm film. As videotapes became more popular, families would move their memories onto them so as not to lose them.

Now, as the videotape market has given way to the digital age, more and more people are realizing that to keep those same memories safe, they have to be transferred once more… this time to a digital format.

What people may not know is that there are choices as to what kind of format to use.

In my area, people still seem to be most comfortable receiving DVDs and we produce quite a bit of them. We use archival quality disks, complete with menus, chapter markers, and titling on the face of the disk. They look and sound great as we only use professional encoding equipment. But there’s no guarantee that the DVD market will not go the same way as the videotape market did. In fact there are signs that the transition is already underway.

It is our business to provide memory loss prevention for families and we are prepared to offer our clients an alternative to the DVD. We call it DVA – Digital Video Archive. We can convert your memories (whether they are on film or videotape) to a digital format to be stored in your account on a server. This enables you to stream your memories directly into whatever device you have… wherever you are. It works across all platforms: you can watch on your computer, your smartphone, your tablet, or your smart tv. And, because it was designed to be a sharing platform, it is the best and easiest way to share those memories with anyone on the planet.

We still produce DVDs for anyone who desires them, but we also offer DVAs for people who might want to avoid the need to save their memories once more should the DVD technology ever become obsolete. Here’s a little explainer video we put together to introduce our newest service.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories though the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio tapes, photos or slides.  For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

The DVA Kid

I always like to know where my customers heard about me or what brought them to my studio. A lot of time people mention a Facebook post or my link from a Google search. Sometimes they were just driving by and noticed my sign on Donnelly St or they clipped out my ad from the Daily Commercial. But yesterday was the first time that a new client simply said, “I saw that western you did.”

Last summer at a convention for Home Video Studio owners, we were challenged to craft, shoot and edit a small movie under 3 minutes using techniques and skills we had developed. The only other limitation was that it needed to be centered around a western theme as the convention was being held in Tucson Arizona.

I teamed up with John Montgomery of Home Video Studio in Newark OH and Peter Galluzzo of Home Video Studio in Apex NC and we decided to make a western commercial for DVA, our cloud-based streaming solution for home videos. Armed with our love of spaghetti westerns and using a western ghost town belonging to the El Conquistador Hilton Hotel, we set out to do just that.

Here are some trivia facts:

  • Shooting this little two and a half minute mini-movie required a day and a half of production (shooting in front of the camera) and more than two days editing the footage we shot.
  • We used a Canon EOS C-100 DSLR as our primary camera and edited on a laptop using Adobe Premiere Pro software.
  • The actress playing the saloon keeper, Stella, is my wife, Kate.
  • The actor playing The DVA Kid is Vernon Walker, a local actor and horse trainer who made himself available for our project as well as other projects that were in development that week. He’s included The DVA Kid as part of his demo reel on IMDb. 
  • The uncredited voiceover at the end of the film belongs to Jay Carneal of Memory Box Archives, Richmond VA.
  • The DVA Kid won for Best Backlot Video at the 2017 Hanley Awards. The trophy is on display at our studio.

I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

Countdown to Christmas VIII

#It’s just five days till Christmas… I hope my true love gives to me…

D…V…A…!!!#

The home movie world continues to evolve… and we would be remiss if we did not evolve with it. Which is why we developed Digital Video Archive (DVA). It delivers cutting edge technology to consumers looking to preserve and share their family memories for the next generation.

Think of it as a Netflix for your home movies.  Here are some of the benefits:

  • Instantly accessible. All you need is a wifi connection and the device of your choice. DVAs can be viewed on all popular platforms: smart phones, tablets, computers, smart tvs.
  • Has the best features of a DVD. DVAs are fully authored and come with chapter markers pre-installed.
  • Easy to share. DVA was created primarily as a platform to share videos with anyone, anywhere. And it is a private network – the only people who can see your videos are the ones you invite.
  • Versatile. Not only can you watch your videos and share your videos, DVA comes with a built in video editor so you can shape your videos to your liking.
  • Once you establish your DVA account, you can continue to add to it with videos taken on your phone by directly uploading them to your account.

It’s a new world and there’s a new kid in town. Take control of your memories with DVA.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories and are committed to staying current and relevant in today’s technologically advanced world. For more information, contact 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd

The Future is Now

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The following has been floating around the Internet for a year or so.  I’ve heard it attributed to a Singularity University Summit that took place in 2016. While it certainly doesn’t claim to accurately predict what’s going to happen, it does present a few logical assumptions based on informed observations:

In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they got bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years – and most people don’t see it coming.  Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again? Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law.

So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superior and got mainstream in only a few short years.

It will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

Welcome to the Exponential Age! Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.………

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years…  Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world.  Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans.  In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

Autonomous automobiles: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public.  Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You won’t want to own a car anymore.  You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 100,000 km, with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year.

Most car companies might become bankrupt. Traditional car companies will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. Engineers from Volkswagen and Audi should be completely terrified of Tesla.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear. Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

Electric cars: Electric cars will become mainstream by 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all cars will run on electric. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can only now see the impact. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. The price for solar will drop so much that all coal companies will be out of business by 2025.

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.

Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year.  There will be companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and your breath into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease.  It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medicine, nearly for free.

3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster.  All major shoe companies started 3D printing shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past. At the end of this year, new smartphones will have 3D scanning possibilities.  You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they already 3D printed a complete 6-story office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.

Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.

Technology continues to advance at a next to unbelievable exponential rate. In my lifetime, family home movies have gone from being stored on 8mm/Super 8 film to videotape cassettes, to DVD, to SD cards and memory chips. And there is no indication that we’ve reached the end of innovation. This is why we are so pleased to be able to offer our DVA service. Streaming technology has been around for commercial movies and music for a while now. We are pleased to offer this same cutting edge technology tailored especially for the private individual as a way to preserve, play and share their recorded memories.   The future is already here and it is DVA.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories and is committed to expending every effort to protect our pasts from being technologically obsoleted. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.