AUDIO / VIDEO
VIDEO TAPE FYI
VIDEO PROBLEMS: It may be too late to store and archive your video tape collection to minimize video tape DECAY. Storage environmental conditions such as heat, humidity, and usage have created conditions that may already changed your VHS, HI8, MiniDV, Beta’s video and so on.
Magnetic particles chemically lose their charge (“remanence” decay) causing color shift in hues and detail.
Magnetic particles may be become demagnetize.
Binder lubricant, a portion of the tape’s top & bottom layer is consumed in each playing of your video.
Polymers, of the binder layer, becomes a sticky mess, absorbs water and ultimately, layers can delaminate.
Over playing / rewinding can cause stretching of substrate leading to tracking errors.
Over recording also can lose information and synch signals.
An addressable issue is the water hydration. Using a commerical food dehydrator, we do an overnight dehydration to remove much of the stickiness. This treatment is especially needed for Legacy video tapes from Sony like ¾” Umatic and ½” Beta. The second part of the problem is that sticky tapes gum up the equipment. These machine are older and require frequent upkeep.
HOW LONG DO VIDEO LAST?
There is no shortage of claims that video tapes "won't last 10 years," almost always from services promoting VHS transfer to DVD! The truth is more subtle and a considerable body of longevity research was specifically done on a wide range of video tapes by the National Media Laboratory, Jet Propulsion Labs at Cal Tech, the National Bureau of Standards, The Advanced Development Corporation, and manufacturers Sony and Fuji. First, the risk of hydrolysis, which is potentially catastrophic, is substantially related to how well you store your tapes (see below). Second, the research generally indicates that magnetic tapes (like VHS, VHS-C, etc.) stored well, will experience 10-20% signal loss, purely from magnetic 'remanence decay', after 10-25 years. While losing 20% is not losing the entire picture it may well be the difference between enjoying a memory and simply displaying it. So the sooner your video tapes are digitized, the more signal can be preserved.
(courtesy of scan café)
"The video I see on TV is much better than using my old camcorder." Customer T. R.
And, it may be. TV transmissions and TV's today generally play HI DEF (2018) and you personal video my be playing in 480 dpi or 720 dpi. Comparison is not favorable to your tapes.
The solution is to upgrade the videos to today's DVD. While the upgrade will not remove jitters, interference & camera recording issues, the video (s) can play on the big screen.
BACKWARDS, WRONG SPEED, BREAKAGE...
Often film can be spooled "backwards" onto the reel. Sometimes, reel to reel tapes are recorded at multiple tape speeds. Music files are often presented with different volume levels.
Many consumer devices are recorded in mono (1 recording channel). If your recording devices captured both your voice and the wind, we really can not do anything with a lot of work.
It is difficult for someone outside your family to say who is Aunt Susie and Aunt Jane!
Often, we ask our customers to come in and listen to the audio. We speak only English, not Greek, or Russian ...
Live concert recording are continuous in sound. We really do not know when "your stopping" point occurs.
Similarly, our memories often are frail when need to remember back in time ... it is best to have confirmation!