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View Full Version : How long will the vhs tapes last ?



rednova
08-01-2014, 04:43 PM
Dear Friends:

I have a small collection of beautiful VHS tapes (from desktop images).
They are all in great condition and kept stored in a nice, cool space.
Will these tapes last long ?
Will they go bad due to short shelf life?
I keep the tapes in mint condition, but i am afraid they will not live long.
Please help me to know !!!

ernpchan
08-01-2014, 04:51 PM
I think as long as you keep them out of extreme temperatures you should be ok. You might be able to get them digitized though not sure that violates some copyright/licensing issue.

saranine
08-01-2014, 05:14 PM
You should also play the vhs tapes every couple of years. I am told that this stops the threads overlapping and breaking.

hazmat777
08-01-2014, 05:21 PM
In my experience, it depends on the stock they were made on. I have some old tapes that still look good and others that fell apart visual quality wise. I'd back-em up as soon as you can.

danielkaiser
08-01-2014, 08:02 PM
Sometimes you have to learn to let go.

shrox
08-01-2014, 08:20 PM
Be sure to clean and prep then by placing in the microwave for three minutes. The sparking and smoke is just the dirt and oxidation being released to leave a very clean tape surface...

spherical
08-01-2014, 08:30 PM
While some of us may "get" that, others may not.

saranine
08-01-2014, 09:02 PM
Be sure to clean and prep then by placing in the microwave for three minutes. The sparking and smoke is just the dirt and oxidation being released to leave a very clean tape surface...

That will be a sight to behold - a ** blockbuster ** outcome.

spherical
08-02-2014, 02:33 AM
That perhaps burns down the whole block...

Vong
08-02-2014, 12:35 PM
No matter how well you take care of and maintain the tapes, eventually they will die. They are after all magnetic based media.

So... Keep them away from magnets too! :thumbsup:

Surrealist.
08-02-2014, 12:47 PM
There is an entire technology to archiving magnetic recording media. I would research it fully if it means something to you. Otherwise digitize soon.

sandman300
08-02-2014, 01:25 PM
In my line of work, I've dealt with literally thousands of tapes. As I have seen there a 4 basic things that happen to tapes (I'm including all tape based media).
1. The tapes dry out, meaning that the binding that holds the magnetic media to the tape degrades and the tapes flakes apart.
2. The tape stretches, I've only seen this on very long tapes (my copy of "the 10th Kingdom" did this).
3. Magnetic transference. since the tape is basically a week magnet, the electrons from one part of the tape transfer to another part that is up against it for too long. This happens if the tapes sits too long without being played. The results of this is a kind of ghosting image.
4. The tape begins to loose it's magnetic resonance. This is the most common reason for video degrading and the most noticeable. video becomes more grainy and begins to loose brightness and contrast.

All of these things can happen regardless of how well the tapes were taken care of. Time is the enemy. It will eventually destroy the video no matter what you do.

My suggestion is to archive the video on a hard drive as soon as possible or even better in the cloud. Then if you want to, make a DVD or Blu Ray from it.


They are after all magnetic based media.

So... Keep them away from magnets too!
It always struck me as odd whenever someone says this, It's true but you need a fairly powerful magnet to do any damage.

I would imagine that outside of home movies, most video that is still marketable (that is people are still willing to pay for) have already been transferred to new media, whether it be DVD, BluRay or streaming media. But old training videos for way out of date software, likely won't ever be.

Things that I've found over the years, from videographers, is that the freshness of a tape makes a difference in the recording. Also to always play the tape to the very end before rewinding.

sublimationman
08-02-2014, 03:31 PM
What's a VHS?? (jk)

pauland
08-02-2014, 04:49 PM
The problem with these old tapes is that they are using old dated software and it quickly becomes somewhat tedious to try and decide what is relevant and what is not these days.

If you really want to keep the content, consider transferring them to a computer or DVD.

hrgiger
08-04-2014, 05:15 PM
Be sure to clean and prep then by placing in the microwave for three minutes. The sparking and smoke is just the dirt and oxidation being released to leave a very clean tape surface...

+1

I'm surprised that anything on any of the desktop series of VHS tapes would be at all relevant to any type of work being done today. Of course, if its dealing with modeler, then nothing has changed.

steve0077
08-04-2014, 10:45 PM
My question is How long can you keep your VHS Player working?

Danner
08-05-2014, 02:16 AM
I was doing a historic piece and went to a tv station that had 1" magnetic tape of news and presidential acts of the late 70's, the material was kept under very controlled conditions but it was very deteriorated, much more than they themselves expected, as we were transfering the material the magnetic dust was flaking off from the tape, it was very sad to see, I truly hope they have all this backed up by now (at the time they didn't!). Older material was in much better shape as it was stored on film.

Oldcode
08-05-2014, 04:08 AM
Even if you store the tapes under the most ideal conditions, and take all of the precautions mentioned above, the Earth's magnetic field will eventually erase the tapes. The sooner you convert to digital, the better.

Silkrooster
08-06-2014, 11:56 PM
My question is How long can you keep your VHS Player working?

For quite a long time, especially if it is not used. The main culprit is dirt. Before using, especially if it was in storage for a long time, is take the cover off it and use rubbing alcohol to clean the heads and rubber wheels. Then use light oil and lubricate the wheels. Just don't over do it, a few drops should do.

Even though it is still possible to get parts for most vhs players, by the time you add in shipping, it probably would be cheaper to just by a new one. Today a player is more important than a recorder. As you want to get the media onto a computer rather than the other way around. Unless the person your dealing with is 60+ odds are they have a dvd player.

sandman300
08-07-2014, 12:23 AM
Besides having a VCR, you'll also need a good digital /analogue converter and a TBC (time base corrector). I've seen some of the cheep D/A converters they sell at Best Buy, they don't do that good a job. I have a couple of different ones at work, one is a Grass Valley ADVC-300 another is a Black Magic. The both do a fantastic job. The ADVC-300 has a TBC in it as well as a software interface that can adjust the input signal. For the Black Magic I use an external TBC unless I'm using one of the VCRs that have an internal TBC.

Oedo 808
08-07-2014, 09:04 AM
I wonder if a tabernacle would be any good for storing video, it would make for an interesting experiment, though I guess it's the subject matter that would be key to preservation.

zapper1998
08-07-2014, 09:16 AM
zip lock baggies, in a box, in a cool place.
Is where I store my VHS, And Beta tapes, a couple hundred of em, and have taken a few out and they still play really good..

unplug the VHS and beta tape players..
or..
I store mine in there box..

sandman300
08-07-2014, 04:30 PM
I wonder if a tabernacle would be any good for storing video, it would make for an interesting experiment, though I guess it's the subject matter that would be key to preservation.
Funny,:ohmy: Just imagining the 11th commandment now; "Thou shalt be kind and rewind."

sculptactive
08-07-2014, 11:45 PM
one is a itensity Shuttle USB 3.0 another is a Black Magic.

The Grass Valley ADVC-300 seems to be discontinued. Can you recommended a current version?
If not which Black Magic and TBC do you use?

Cheers

sandman300
08-08-2014, 11:55 AM
I use the Intensity Pro, But if you are on a mac or a laptop, I'd go with one of the Intensity Shuttles, You just need to make sure you have either thunderbolt or USB3.

I have one of these DataVideo (http://www.ebay.com/itm/DataVideo-TBC-1000-Time-Base-Corrector-4-2-2-Frame-Synchronizer-Untested-/311039738796?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item486b69c3ac) and a bigger one that has a multiple in and out. I have that one hooked into a I/O matrix for easy routing.

The ADVC-300 is the only unit that I know of that know of that has a TBC built in. If I had to guess why the ADVC-300 was discontinued it would probably be because it lacked any sort of copy protection (something that would prevent the unauthorized duplication of copyrighted material). There are still some around.. I saw 2 today on ebay. The newer devices with HDMI I/O recognize the copy-protection signals.

Edit: I found the other one http://www.evsonline.com/datavideo-tbc-5000-time-base-corrector-matrix-switcher.html

sculptactive
08-09-2014, 12:20 PM
I use the Intensity Pro, But if you are on a mac or a laptop, I'd go with one of the Intensity Shuttles, You just need to make sure you have either thunderbolt or USB3.

I have one of these DataVideo (http://www.ebay.com/itm/DataVideo-TBC-1000-Time-Base-Corrector-4-2-2-Frame-Synchronizer-Untested-/311039738796?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item486b69c3ac) and a bigger one that has a multiple in and out. I have that one hooked into a I/O matrix for easy routing.

The ADVC-300 is the only unit that I know of that know of that has a TBC built in. If I had to guess why the ADVC-300 was discontinued it would probably be because it lacked any sort of copy protection (something that would prevent the unauthorized duplication of copyrighted material). There are still some around.. I saw 2 today on ebay. The newer devices with HDMI I/O recognize the copy-protection signals.

Edit: I found the other one http://www.evsonline.com/datavideo-tbc-5000-time-base-corrector-matrix-switcher.html

Thanks for the links.