Put old home movies on DVDs

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: Not too long ago, a Sun Spots reader talked about converting home movies into VHS and/or DVD versions. How do I find out more about this process and where to get this done? — Christine Swain, cristng18@yahoo.com

ANSWER: Sun Spots doesn’t know if turning home movies into VHS is a good idea, as that technology is rapidly disappearing, and you may have trouble finding a VCR.

But she does have a few entries in her Rolodex for putting film on DVDs:

* Al Ibarguen, Wilton, nascar810@earthlink.net, 645-4250: transfers VHS and camcorder tapes to DVDs.

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* Francis Gagnon, Via-Vision, 18 College St., Lewiston, 783-2550, www.viavisionproductions.com; transfers old videos, 8-mm to DVDs.

* Bruce Mitchell, 12 Webb Ave., Wilton, byinbyan@myfairpoint.net, 645-2674.

Sun Spots thanks Christine for pointing out the misspelling of Sun Spots on the website submission form.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In response to No Name in Lewiston who is trying to find out about a thing called YouTube to get free TV stations (Feb. 20), she may be thinking of an infomercial that was on TV selling a special “antennae” that would pick up any TV station that was required to broadcast their signal for free.

I don’t remember what it was called, but I disregarded it because it sounded too good to be true. Perhaps it works in a very populated state, but I would have doubts about it working in a state like Maine, where the signals have to travel so far.

Thank you for a great column. — John M. Beatrice, johnancy04210@gmail.com

ANSWER: Sun Spots didn’t see that ad, but Aereo is one company that provides a similar service. She does agree with John that it is unlikely to be very useful in Maine.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: You published my question about the Russia Today channel being dropped by Time Warner Cable. However, in your answer I think that you confused the independent Russian TV channel Dozhd with RT. I don’t think that Dozhd has anything to do with the RT Channel. — Steve Swan, jingles999@gmail.com

ANSWER: You are probably right. In her too-quick read, Sun Spots didn’t look up Dozhd. She “assumed” it meant “today,” but it actually means “rain” (a strange name for a television station). It looks like rt.com was writing about another cable channel being dropped.

To follow up, Sun Spots contacted Joli Plucknette-Farmen, public relations manager at Time Warner. She did not explain the decision, but offered this:

“As of Dec. 31, Russia Today is no longer offered on Time Warner Cable. We do offer other international news channels such as BBC World News, Al Jazeera America, CNN International and CCTV-9.”

It doesn’t sound like the Russia Today channel has much chance of returning soon, but hopefully you will find something to round out your viewing.

For a look at the world from the far left, you might check out www.democracynow.org. It’s programming is not available on radio or television locally, but you can watch or listen to it online.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Our special education alternative school in Auburn is in need of either stationary bikes or treadmills that have a speedometer and/or odometer for student challenges. Our kiddos need a lot of movement.

Our playground equipment was deemed unsafe and torn down this past summer, so our students are in need of exercise equipment. We hope for donations but can pay a very reasonable fee. Donations can be used as a tax write-off.

Please contact me or any staff at RETC/SOS at 207-786-4498. Thank you in advance for caring for the health of our youth. — Aleta DeChiara, adechiara@auburnschl.edu

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com.

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