I don't even think I've touched a VHS tape in 10 years.
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Quoted from John1210:
They are meant to degrade and go to shit after around 7 years.
They aren't designed to disintegrate or self-destruct after 7 years.
However, with excessive use, a tape will slowly wear out.
On the other hand, I've had 25-year-old tapes which worked fine. They can easily last longer than 7 years, so long as they aren't kept in extreme environments or aren't attacked by a swarm of angry magnets.
Quoted from Magic_Mike:
How did you make the transfers compatible for all NTSC players?
I can't find a good player to guarantee this.
Back in the day, I used an analog capture device from Pinnacle for about $60, and capture the footage with video editing software (I'm pretty sure it was with the software that Pinnacle provided with the device, though it may have been an old copy of Adobe Premiere).
I took a quick look around, but it looks like Pinnacle stopped making them. It looks like it was superseded by this: http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/products/dazzle/dvd-recorder-hd/
Quoted from bayoubilly70:
Do you have one of those VHS tape rewinding machines?
I certainly had one of those back in the day, lol
Quoted from chucktee:
VHS/DVD players are still available and they're not usually too hard to find; everyone should have one for just such situations-you'd be amazed at the good stuff on VHS that's still around. Be sure to get a machine that's VHS/DVD-R/RW capable-that way you can dub (transfer) tapes to DVD and DVD's to tape.
Sony combo units tended to have a high failure rate when I was working with them. I would avoid those. Samsung combo units with the upconverting feature were much more reliable, though in the $75-$100 range.
Quoted from John1210:
Just making a comment on what I've heard on media threads and thought it was a decent enough and true enough comment on this thread that the tape is meant to degrade over time. One significant reason why that technology was put out to pasture. If your going to throw a negative on someone's post maybe give a reason why.
VHS was never "designed" to degrade or become obsolete. At the time, VHS was cheaper, more reliable, and easier to use over older film technology (8mm/super-8). VHS got pushed to the wayside as a playback media because newer technology (ie, DVD) offered better quality, was more reliable, and the price point became competitive. As for home recording media, it went from VHS to MiniDV to flash memory simply because the technology kept improving along the way, got cheaper, smaller, and easier to use.
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