** Note our new address: Greentree Audio Video, 13 Parkview Drive, Elizabethtown PA 17022

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

What kinds of damaged media can be repaired?
We have been successful at recovering damaged tapes including: wrinkled, creased, broken magnetic tapes of all types. Wet, moldy, ‘sticky’ magnetic tapes, mechanical problems, jammed spindles, broken case, broken tape.  Repairs should be viewed as a temporary measure and most repairs cannot restore media to its original strength and condition. The original should be kept and safeguarded, and not played unless necessary.    www.GreentreeAV.com
What are "sticky" tapes?
"Sticky" tape syndrome is fairly common in 1970’s vintage magnetic tapes due to absorption of moisture. "Sticky" tapes will leave a sticky, gooey deposit in video heads and on all mechanical parts it comes in contact with during playback. This condition cannot normally be identified by visual inspection of the tape.  Baking tapes will reduce the symptoms long enough for transfer but the effect is usually  temporary.   www.GreentreeAV.com
Can you record onto media other than CD and DVD?
Yes; most requests are for files on USB Flash (Thumb) drive.  We still produce CD/DVDs when requested but they represent about 10% of requests.  CD/DVDs are pretty much obsolete. www.GreentreeAV.com
My new CD/ DVD won't play?
Computer writable media such as CD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R will play in most CD/DVD players made after about 2002. Some CD/DVD manufacturers were slow to support these media standards. To prove that a CD/DVD is not defective, try it in several players, especially newer ones.   www.GreentreeAV.com
Are you environmentally responsible?
We strive to be. We reuse shipping containers and packaging. This also keeps our shipping costs affordable and reduces waste.  Parts from old media may be re-used for customer repairs.   We strive to minimize our environmental impact and promote responsibe uses of resources.   www.GreentreeAV.com
What are the run times of various media?
DVD: 2 hours with standard MPEG2 encoding.
VHS T-120: 2 hours SP mode. 4 hours LP. 6/8 hours EP, SLP mode.
VHS-C: 30 minutes. SLP 1hr, 30 min.Hi8-120: 2 hours SP mode. 4 hours LP mode. Other lenghts available.
Digital8: 1 hour SP. 1 1/2 hour LP mode.
DVD holds approx 1600 feet of 8mm film (approx 32 fifty foot reels).   www.GreentreeAV.com
What should I do with water or flood damaged VHS, audio, or other magnetic tapes?
Many wet tapes can be saved.  Do not dry wet tapes. Gently rinse it in a bucket of clean water (not tap water which contains chlorine) to remove oils, surface mud, etc. Then gently rinse in Distilled water to further clean and dilute contaminants that may have been in flood waters or sewage. 
Seal in two clean ziplock bags while still wet and store in the refrigerator until arrangements are made for professional help. Number the tapes in the order you wish them recorded using a permanent ink pen of hard plastic parts.  Most tapes can be recovered.   www.GreentreeAV.com
Can you save fire damaged movie film?
Charred film is not recoverable.  However, often times the outer layers can be removed to find recoverable inner layers.   www.GreentreeAV.com
How do I read Panasonic Datecodes from the machine serial number?
Panasonic machine serial numbers can tell you the date the machine was made.  
Digit 1= month of the year. Digit 2 = last digit of the year.
For example: B8TC01108, tells us: 'B' = February. '8' = 1998.   www.GreentreeAV.com
Can you make still photos from video tape or movie film?
Yes, still photos can be 'captured' from video tape or movie film and printed on paper, electronic files save on a USB flash drive, or files sent for download.   www.GreentreeAV.com
What media technology is next?
What technology is next?  Many computers no longer have DVD players/ burners since CD/DVD usage has declined and Windows 10 does not support them since 2015.  CD and DVD disks have mostly been replaced by online internet download streaming services and cloud storage for music and video delivery and for consumer and commercial data storage.  

Shipping FAQ

How much time after I've shipped my package will it take to complete the work?
Work is normally completed within 3 weeks from the time materials are received. Return shipment may be held until payment is received and personal checks clear the bank (approximately 10 days).  There is a $25 returned check fee.   www.GreentreeAV.com
How do I pack records, tapes, and media for shipment?
Congratulations, your old media has survived through the years. Pack it well so it is not damaged now! There are 3 basic concerns:
  1. Waterproof. Not just from water, but moisture absorption from the air. Seal your media in zip-lock bags.
  2. Shockproof. Not necessarily from nuclear attack but just the normal handling during shipment. Provide at least 2 inches of packing material on all SIX SIDES. The most important function of packing material is to assure that spacing from the walls of the box does not change. Packing material also provides cushioning against drops. When using packing peanuts for heavier items, be sure to provide a cardboard barrier on top of the 2 inch bottom layer; this will assure that this layer does not shift up during shipment. (we often see the contents arrive sitting directly on the bottom of the box and all of the peanuts on top). UPS provides a great website and additional information about packing at www.ups.com
  3. Use the preprinted ADDRESS LABEL on a tab at the top of this website to eliminate errors. Attach to your package and cover it with clear packing tape to protect it. Attach your Return Address Sticker (so we can clearly read the address).   www.GreentreeAV.com
How can I protect my valuable media from loss?
  1. Our best advice is to USE OUR ADDRESS LABEL above so that way there cannot be an error. Even when shipping by UPS/Fedex, give them the label above to copy. Problems can occur when the address is incorrect.
  2. PACK VERY WELL in a corrugated box in good condition. Do not use non-standard containers such as shoe boxes, foam picnic baskets, loose bags. The most common packing problem we see is using a box that is too small for proper padding around the contects. Material can be double boxed.
  3. USE TRACKING. UPS, Fedex, and some Postal services have full tracking to know exactly where the parcel is at all times (if it should become misrouted, it can be located). Buying insurance or delivery confirmation may help.
  4. SPLIT THE SHIPMENT. Send your material in 2 shipments on different days. We can ship your new media (DVDs, etc) first and then once you confirm receipt, we can ship the original tapes, etc. There is normally a $4.50 shipping charge for EACH shipment made. Sometimes when the DVDs are received and agreed to be correct, the original tapes are requested to be recycled here at no cost; when this is done- we recommend having a duplicate set of DVDs (or other media) made and put in a safe storage place (you can make them or we can make them).
  5. ENCLOSE the bottom part of the GreentreeAV.com information sheet with your name, your return address sticker (or clearly written address) and your contact information IN THE BOX. 
  6. On the return trip to you, we have an additional safeguard. We have the digital files recorded from your media which we keep for several weeks after shipment. DVDs can be remade/ files recovered if necessary.
    We REUSE shipping boxes in good condition to be environmentally responsible and to keep costs affordable.   www.GreentreeAV.com