The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Last week I wrote about converting 8-millimeter home movies to modern digital formats. (The Plus Edition article is still available at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=19805.) This week, I thought I would write about the conversion of VHS videotapes to modern formats.
Indeed, VHS videotapes are deteriorating. VHS tapes are analog tapes, not digital. Analog tapes are susceptible to noise induced by playing the tapes again and again. In fact, even leaving a VHS videotape in the box and not playing it at all will cause some loss of signal.
Videotape has an expected life of about ten to twenty years if not played back too many times, although that number can vary quite a bit, depending upon the quality of the videotape itself plus the quality of the recording equipment used to produce the recording. Whatever the quality, magnetic instability, tape deformation, and chemical breakdown will eventually cause major problems.
If left long enough, the VHS video eventually will become fuzzy and may roll and/or flicker somewhat during playback.
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