How to Fight Video Tape Deterioration

How to Fight Video Tape Deterioration

As our last article put forward, videotape deterioration is inevitable. Your goal, therefore, should be to transfer your video to a digital format, such as DVD, before the deterioration process begins.

Ideally, you should take action before your tape is 10 years old. In the meantime, here are a few things you can do with your tapes to postpone (or slow down) the deterioration process:

  • Place videotapes in a plastic container with a lid that seals tightly.
  • Store your tapes in a cool dry place, such as a closet in the main portion of your home. Attics and basements are generally not good places for tape storage. –
  • Exercise your tapes by periodically fast forwarding them, this reduces reel-tension and makes tape adhesion less likely.
  • Do not leave tapes on top of your TV or VCR for an extended period;magnetic fields are emitted from these devices and damage to your tape is possible.
  • Store your tapes, especially VHS, in an upright position, similar to how a book is placed in a shelf.

While the above steps may seem unnecessary and inconvenient, remember what is at stake – the preservation of something that could very well be irreplaceable.

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