There are a lot of memories on the old VHS tape standards. Just like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays, it was the go-to standard of its time, and there weren't many other choices. Like any standard, it's just not what industries promote and the standard isn't getting any easier to use. VHS tapes need to be safeguarded regardless of their status as old technology because of the precious information stored, but you need to go about it the right way to avoid losing everything in an instant. Here are a few considerations and options if you want to preserve for video tape information for the future.
VHS Technology And Its Legacy
Nothing lasts forever, whether you're talking about video tapes or any of the modern replacements. Just as VHS tapes/cassettes are beginning to deteriorate, CDs and DVDs can begin to fade from usefulness as scratches and simple degradation of the materials begins.
The lifetime of magnetic tape (the material inside video tapes) wasn't suspected until a while after certain products started falling apart after being obsolete. This isn't about VCRs snagging the tape and eating it up--although that is a real and massive risk to be avoided--but rather the decaying point of magnetic tape.
Floppy disks used in computers in the 80's and 90's are beginning to rot away, although not in an epidemic fashion. The biggest problem of tape and diskettes failure is being exposed to open air, the elements, and sunlight. Still, as time passes, even the protected tapes and diskettes can be weakened to the point of being torn if your reading or recovery device isn't clean.
What Does "Clean" Mean For Reading?
One big damaging factor for tapes is the device doing the reading. VCRs can destroy tapes because of dust accumulated on the reading head/assembly or on the rods used to spin the tape into action. A bad VCR may simply jumble and pull out the tape of a new VHS cassette, but older tapes can be completely torn and made brittle enough to make recovery a massive challenge.
The best thing to do for a clean recover environment is to contact a video tape conversion services professional. These experts are using more than just a really good, clean VCR; conversion professionals have customized reading and writing systems that allow real-time diagnostics and quick stops to make the reading and restoration easier.
From there your information can be saved into many different formats. Image and video can easily be recorded and saved, so be sure to have multiple copies once your service is successful. Contact a video tape conversion professional and be ready for the future--and for the future after that to make it obsolete. For more information, contact a business such as Prime Time Video Digital Productions.