VHS/VCR Tapes Rot – DVDs Don’t

If you have not converted your old home videos to the digital formats, your VHS and VCR tapes may already started to degrade. Video tapes such as VHS, VCR, Hi8, mini-DV are made of magnetic media. With time, the iron particles shift as they are pulled by the earth’s magnetic forces. The shifts are so microscopic there is no impact visually for many years. Ten, twenty years later, however, what you see when you play it may shock you.

Sound starts cracking up, the images are not as sharp, and you may see horizontal static lines going across the screen. Magnetic media is sometimes called a ribbon of rust, and degradation is only a matter of time.

There are two main options for you to preserve those precious family memories.

The more common method is to transfer your VHS tapes to a DVD. Most VHS tapes are up to 2 hours long, so they will fit on a DVD – which also holds up to 2 hours of video – nicely. DVDs are convenient, you can make copies, you can take the DVD to grandma’s house, you can store your entire collection of DVDs compactly in binders if you transferred a lot of video tapes.

You should know there is another vhs to dvd converter service Perth option which is to transfer your degrading VCR tapes to digital files stored in your computer. You can edit the video files, put them on YouTube for sharing, or upload it to your mobile device. Transferring to digital files is a more versatile way, but most people do not have time or experience video editing and burning the edited video on discs for distribution after so it’s a more time-consuming option.

Whether you transfer your home movies to DVDs or to computer files such as Quicktime (.MOV) or AVI files, you’ve stopped the degradation process. Your tapes will continue to degrade but the digital files will not.

If you can’t convert your VHS or VCR to disc right away, there are some things you can do to delay the degradation of your magnetic media.

 

  1. Store the tapes in conditions that are cool, dry and stable. The room where the tape is stored should not be humid, hot or dusty
  2. Store the tapes in its cassette tape case to protect it.
  3. Never place the tapes near magnetic fields. Did we say your tape is a ribbon of rust?
  4. Place the cassette or tape on its side (as opposed to flat like a book). This allows the tape ribbon to rest on the flat side on not on its edge.
  5. Rewind the tape before putting it back into the shelf. Here’s why: when you haven’t played your tape for a long time, the part of the tape that is exposed is stretched and the video on the section of the tape is affected. If you rewind to the beginning, only the first few seconds of the beginning video – usually when you are just warming up – will be affected.
  6. Keep the tapes out of the reach of kids, this is along the lines of handling your tape with gentle care, avoid banging, dropping, and children’s hands.

 

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