ACTON, MASS. — LifeClips has started a new videotape-to-DVD transfer service that will enable customers to have home videos placed on DVD discs that can be played in DVD video players and DVD-ROM-enabled PCs.
The company, which was founded by former Polaroid senior executives, started offering the service two months ago in a handful of Eckert Drug chain outlets in the Tampa/Clearwater, Fla., marketplace. The early activity was so promising, LifeClips said, that the service was expanded to a total of 80 stores in the region.
LifeClips is now courting retailers for a variety of retail channels, including consumer electronics accounts. Marketing will be supported with in house point-of-purchase kiosks, as well as through the LifeClips website (www.lifeclips.com).
Additionally, LifeClips is "throwing around" the idea of cross-promoting the service with manufacturers of camcorders and DVD players.
The website will also allow customers to register for conversion service on-line.
The cost of the service is $29.99 for two hours of video. After five discs, the rate can be discounted as content is condensed to fit more tapes on fewer discs, a company spokesman said.
As a special incentive, LifeClips will store videos on a server where owners can stream the video clips on-line using their PCs or make links to the personal video archive accessible for friends and family to access from remote locations. Currently, LifeClips has no limit on the amount of time it will make the video accessible from its servers but this is expected to change as usage builds.
Offering ease of use, convenience and the ability to give somewhat perishable video recordings a greatly extended life span in disc format, the company said it sees a potentially explosive target audience. Video files are stored using MPEG 2 video compression. With a few unusual exceptions, LifeClips will accept most videotape and videocassette formats.
LifeClips executives estimate that 13 percent of U.S. households have DVD capability and an additional 39 percent of have a camcorder. The company estimates that between 5 and 10 percent of the U.S. population has both.