Videotapes have been in use for a long time. A few decades ago, they felt like a novel, cutting-edge technology that let you capture precious moments and replay the footage later on. Reminiscing over old home movies is always fun, especially when the whole family is present. What a sweet memory it is to remember your kids’ first steps and words! Then there are movies jam-packed with giggles, your kids’ antics, and even some of your own that were caught on camera.
Are such videos not worth their weight in gold, in your opinion? Most definitely! From your favorite childhood movies to the family home movies you watch together, those VHS cassettes can bring back a lot of wonderful memories.
VHS tapes are no longer relevant due to advancements in technology. Since the last VHS player was produced in 2016, the most recent blockbusters have not been released on VHS. The era of the tape has passed with the advent of DVDs and Blu-rays.
Although that is the case, what are you supposed to do with all the cassettes you have piled up in storage?
Given that VHS players are no longer readily available in case yours breaks, the question of what to do with all those old VHS tapes you have lying about arises. You can transfer your home videos to a more dependable DVD format without losing quality by converting VHS to DVD.
Consider hiring the service of a professional VHS to DVD converter if you ever find yourself in this situation. Below are a few benefits of converting all your VHS cassettes to DVDs.
- Easily Shareable
It is not convenient to lend someone a VHS, and it’s rare that your friends and family will even have a VHS player in their home. However, almost everyone has a gadget that can play DVDs. Your family films can be easily played in their homes by having them converted on DVD so you can share the recordings with the entire family. DVDs are also compact and easy to ship, making it as easy as possible to share your videos. You could even burn them to a computer and transmit the data over email.
- Protect Quality
When you convert old VHS tapes to DVDs, you won’t just copy the footage but also protect against future degradation. Since DVD stores video as digital information it doesn’t deteriorate with each playback by being converted to this format.
So you won’t have to be concerned about the recording being affected by repeated use, and you can continue to enjoy your home videos for many years.
- Easier To Operate
The need to rewind a VHS tape to the beginning after each viewing was possibly its most annoying feature. That can be annoying, time-consuming, and potentially harmful to the tape. This issue will be resolved once you convert your VHS video to DVDs.
Instead, a digital laser scans the disc and allows you to have chapters and menus so you can watch the video whenever you want.
Thus, you can repeatedly watch your favorite scenes at any time. Also, you can choose where to start watching each time you put on a DVD from the menu, eliminating the need to keep watching anything you don’t want to see. Simply put, using DVDs is much easier than using VHS tapes.
- More Compact
A DVD requires less storage space due to its smaller size. You could make two DVD copies of each tape and discard the original VHS if you wish to preserve a backup copy while saving space.
VHS tapes are usually big and heavy. They occupy too much space in your home, and they take up too much space in boxes or bags when you want to lend any tape to a friend or family member. You can store a DVD anywhere when you convert old VHS tapes to DVDs. A single case can hold several DVDs, making room for far more compact storage.
- More Durable Videos
Most of us believed that the precious memories we had stored on videotape would be safe forever during the 1980s and 1990s. However, a lot of people have come to realize that this is just not the case. When we want to revisit our favorite memories or a momentous occasion quickly, magnetic tape is the best option. Video cassettes deteriorate over time, even if you never see them.
The last thing you want when making a home video is for it to deteriorate over time to the point where it can no longer be played. VHS cassettes, regrettably, are susceptible to that. It’s one of the primary reasons a lot of people choose to convert their old VHS tapes into DVDs, as this format was designed for continuous playback and won’t experience the same problems as the VHS. Tapes can be damaged, and they can also deteriorate with time while being played on a VHS player.
Most VHS cassettes can last up to 20 years with proper care. This means that time is limited, as VHS cassettes have been out of production for more than ten years. You should start the VHS to DVD transfer of your favorite videos as soon as possible if you still need these videos.
- Better Appearance
Beautiful labels that completely cover the upper surface make it easy to improve the appearance of a disc. The exterior of your video collection is improved by using this form of recording medium, which is more fashionable than thick, rectangular tapes.
- Reunion With Old Acquaintances And Relatives
Without seeing that video, you might not have ever questioned what happened to this person. Where are they now? These days, it is much easier to find and recognize people and share information! Occasionally, all that’s needed is a polite reminder. This is where DVDs come in! Converting your VHS to DVD helps to preserve your old memories for a long time, and it also helps to remind you about your old acquaintances.
- More Play Options
VHS cassettes are played on VHS players, which are no longer manufactured and are, by and large, out of general use. DVDs can be played on desktops, laptops, and gaming consoles. Therefore, even if someone doesn’t own a DVD player, they probably still own a device that can play DVDs. You will have a lot more alternatives for playing your footage if you convert your VHS tape to DVD.
- DVDs Last Longer
The tape used in VHS tapes might become problematic over time, as was mentioned above. The VHS tape will stretch and possibly even shatter after you have watched it several times. Naturally, this implies that the video on that cassette is permanently lost. However, DVDs don’t have any of these issues because there isn’t any tape to break or warp. They will survive much longer than a VHS tape because they rely on a laser to read the data on the disc.
- Unique Features
The ability to encode old tapes with unique features is another excellent reason you should convert them into DVDs. This might be anything from distinct DVD chapters to various language settings. This might make the video even more unique and captivating for your entire family to watch.
VHS, on the other hand, can only play back the recorded footage in its original form. The added features on a DVD are also more practical since, unlike a VHS, they can be manually rewound to the beginning if necessary.
Common Problems With VHS To DVD Transfers
While transferring from a VHS tape may appear very easy, even a short VHS to DVD transfer might cause several issues. Before transferring any tape, carefully look over it to check for any visible signs of mold, dirt, cracks, splits, or anything else that could seem wrong. When transferring a VHS tape, even the slightest anomalies can be a big problem. Even a tape which looks perfectly fine on the outside could suffer from sticky shed syndrome which can cause damage on playback. (Learn more here: https://www.twosquares.com/our-process/magnetic-tape-restoration/)
You should only put the tape in the deck and start the video transfer procedure after determining that it is in good enough shape to be transferred.
The kind of deck you use can significantly impact the success or failure of your video transfer. Numerous issues can arise while using most of the cheap decks made for home use.
Poor tracking or video stabilization is one of the most annoying and challenging problems with older video recordings. This is often the result of tapes that are getting older or tapes that were recorded from defective or misaligned recording channels. Buying a deck with highly regarded video stabilization or tracking functions is the best approach to prevent this kind of deterioration.
No matter what you do, a tape will sometimes refuse to play on one deck while playing normally on another. When this happens, having a backup or extra VCR can be useful. To account for the possibility that some cassettes won’t play on the first VCR you try, it would be advisable to acquire a second VCR if you have intentions to convert a lot of tapes, especially older recordings. By doing this, you can avoid having several tapes that can’t be transferred.
Color degradation can be another issue with older tapes. Depending on the type of tape and how it was preserved over time, the colors frequently change to blue, red, and sometimes green. Almost all tapes older than ten years will show signs of color degradation, albeit to different degrees.
Using a color correction unit or filter that connects your VCR to your monitor is the best way to cancel out this color shift and restore the original colors. These filters can significantly improve the overall quality of your video transfers at a minimal cost.
Generally, many problems are associated with transferring your VHS to DVD on your own. To avoid any of the problems listed above and several other issues, it is advisable to hire a professional VHS to DVD conversion service. They are more experienced and equipped to perform the transfer, and they will make the whole conversion process safe and simple, so you won’t run the risk of losing your precious memories while doing it yourself.
Hopefully, the points stated in this article should have convinced you to make DVDs out of your VHS cassettes. However, accidental erasure or damage from a do-it-yourself transfer could lead to lost memories.
Therefore, whenever you’re converting VHS cassettes to DVDs, always hire professionals!
Frequently Asked Question
Over time, videotapes lose their magnetic signal, the quality and color of your memories suffer from friction between the VCR head and tape, and the tape eventually becomes weak and breaks – even when it’s just lying on a shelf!
Why Are DVDs Better?
DVDs are superior because they represent the next wave of media. Although we used to believe such about video and audio tapes as well, it is expected that a high quality DVD will sustain video quality for more than 50 years. The subsequent media development will have access to your saved digital photographs on DVD for future archiving.
How Long Do VHS Tapes Last?
Videotapes have a limited lifespan. Videotape is significantly more delicate than DVDs, which can last for decades. Every magnetic tape that is more than 15 years old is really in danger!
The biggest issue with videotape is that it will deteriorate over time. The adhesive holding the magnetic particles to the polyester base of the tape breaks down. The tapes are much harder to play as the breakdown process goes on. If the issue persists, the magnetic material may literally fall off, leaving the tape damaged.