If you’re middle aged or a senior and want precious family memories currently stored on old home movie film brought back to life and preserved, or if you’re rummaging through a deceased family member’s belongings and wondering just what’s on those old films you’ve found, the folks at Soo Video TV Sales & Service will be happy to help you out.
They’ll take those old films and digitize them to DVD.
The well-established locally owned and operated shop specializes in many aspects of home entertainment, including conversion of old-fashioned home movies, Beta and VHS tapes to DVD.
“We do every type of conversion,” said George DiBerardino, Soo Video TV owner/operator, as we presented he and his wife/administrative assistant Julie with a pair of complimentary SooToday coffee mugs.
“Old radios and turntables are the oldest things we repair,” George added.
“We’ve had three of these brought in for conversion this week,” Julie said, pointing to a Super 8mm home movie film and reel dating from the 1960s/70s.
Depending on your age, “if your parents videoed you, you’d be on one of these,” Julie said.
George said customers are thrilled he’s able to preserve precious family memories for them, converting them from old technology to digital format.
“We did conversions of a whole bunch of 8 millimetre films for a lady, and she came in a week later with chocolates and a thank you card,” Julie said.
“I said ‘oh, what’s this for?’ and she gave us a thank you note saying ‘thank you for preserving my family memories.’ That was really nice of her to take time and stop in and do that, and for us to know that it’s appreciated.”
“It does bring out emotions in people,” George said.
“There are a lot of folks whose loved ones have passed and they find the old film reels when they’re clearing their houses out, and they don’t know what’s on them (until they’ve had them converted to DVD).”
Those same customers bring the old films in to Soo Video TV and discover (and are able to preserve, thanks to George) precious images.
“That becomes a joyous thing to watch, to bring that joy into somebody’s life,” George said.
Soo Video TV Sales & Service is of the good old ‘Mom and Pop’ sort of business, established by George’s father Mike DiBerardino in 1962 at the corner of Albert and Blucher Streets, relocating to its current location at 84 Albert St. E. in 1966.
George was born the same year, the DiBerardino family residing on the building’s second floor at the time.
“I’m 52, so I’ve been in the business for 52 years,” chuckled George, who now resides elsewhere with his wife Julie, who works in administration at Soo Video TV with a staff of four.
“I do everything but fix TVs,” Julie smiled.
“But she’s the boss,” George added with a grin.
“I enjoy being part of providing the good old fashioned customer service we give, and I also like the fact you never know what the day’s going to bring you, who’s going to walk in the door. Every day is a new adventure,” Julie said.
“I grew up in it and it’s all I’ve ever known in terms of a livelihood,” George said, his business clearly near and dear to his heart.
“I never stopped advancing with the technology. I diversified into whatever was the latest thing, going from VHS to DVD, from tube TVs to transistor TVs to flat TVs, when satellite TV came out I jumped into that...we’re the Shaw Direct satellite designate for all of this area from Batchewana all the way to St. Joe’s Island and Desbarats, and that’s a nice diverse part for our company.”
“There were a lot of other shops in town that are no longer here. Diversification kept us going. We’re happy to still be here to service the public, save their memories for them (while still keeping up with the latest technology),” said George, Soo Video TV also having installed digital signage for Galaxy Cinemas, local bank branches, Mark’s and McDonald’s.
Soo Video TV will also go to a customer’s home and install a TV system and/or stereo (the Sault’s Ontario Finnish Resthome Association being an example of a Soo Video TV commercial/institutional customer).
George graduated from Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in 1986 and came on board Soo Video and TV the same year, his father Mike retiring in 2000.
“We’re easy to get to (in the city’s downtown core)...we’re not Big Box and there’s parking available,” George said.