dvd photo scanningThe familiar DVD became the standard format for storing media in the 1990s and has seen several improvements since then.  We built our company with the DVD as our main delivery device – you send pictures, slides, and video to us, and we return them to you digitally on a DVD.  It sounds like a simple proposition, but the reality is a little more complex.

When the DVD came out in the mid-1990s, personal computers were not the fixture in homes that they are today.  So DVD players dominated the landscape for more than a decade, and tens of millions of consumers dove in and purchased one.  Along the way, they made sure to get their favorite movies on DVD as well, for superior visual display and lack of degradation of quality over time.

Now we are in the middle of yet another format shift, moving away from DVDs and towards larger storage devices such as USB flash drives, external hard drives, and cloud-based delivery systems.  Consumers don’t purchase DVDs anymore, they simply use WiFi to stream their content on demand.  Many computer manufacturers have stopped putting DVD drives in computers at all. Within ten years, it will be difficult to purchase new DVD players in any form in stores or online … ALL of the DVD activity will be on eBay or other second-hand websites.

This brings us directly to the point:  Which format should hold all of your memories?  Let’s look at a few stats, straight from the Memory Fortress accounting files.

  • 90% of all customers choose to receive at least one USB flash drive.
  • Nearly 10% choose the 1TB (one terabyte) external hard drive.
  • 25% receive at least one DVD as a part of their order.
  • About 5% choose the cloud-delivery option via Dropbox.

These numbers add up to more than 100%, because many customers choose multiple delivery formats. We can see a few patterns that have developed; these insights should help you to make your decision more easily.

  • ALL (100%) of the large video orders (more than 50 tapes) in the last 12 months have received the 1TB external hard drive.
  • Fewer than 40% of these same orders also chose to receive DVDs.
  • For non-video customers (photos/slides/negatives/scrapbooks), over 90% received at least one USB flash drive, regardless or order size. Of this same group, only about 15% chose to receive a DVD with those memories.

The trend is clearly moving away from DVDs and towards data devices with higher storage capacities.  If you choose DVDs as your delivery option, you definitely need to think about how you are going to view your memories BEFORE we finalize the processing, especially with video.  If you plan to watch your movies primarily on a DVD player hooked to a TV, then we will give you a DVD format that works well for that situation (mp4).  One the other hand, if you plan to watch them primarily on a computer device, you will need a different format of DVD (mpg) so you can easily share and edit them. This is a discussion we at Memory Fortress will initiate early in the process.  And some people want to receive BOTH formats!  Maybe that’s you … you should ask us to help you figure out the best solution for your situation.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section!

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