Quantcast Can I wear out a VHS tape? - digitalFAQ Forum
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01-25-2015, 11:55 PM
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I was wondering about my VHS tapes from the early 1990's, I always used the High Grade/Pro tapes to film important events, (I learned to use high grade audio cassettes for audio back then,they still sound great!)...I have heard that a Pro-sumer/High Quality VHS can retain good video for a long time, when kept away from magnetic equipment and heat. My masters have barely been played, except maybe 15 to 20 times?, mostly to test capture set-up, and using an almost new 2001? Mitsubishi D-VHS deck I found (still sealed!) at a small TV dealer a few years ago...So assuming using a clean VHS player, and HQ Tapes, would it take Tens,Hundreds or (thousands?) of passes b-4 video starts to degrade?
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01-26-2015, 05:16 AM
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No simple answer - too many variables involved, such as original tape, storage conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, air quality), and playback equipment condition.

With good well maintained gear, substantially more than your ~15 plays, but each playing adds the risk of mechanical problems (machine decides to eat the tape) and wear.

http://www.amianet.org/sites/all/fil...t_sheets_0.pdf provides some qualitative information.
Best approach is to convert original to other media that can be reproduced without further losses and play the copies
I have tapes from as much as 36 years ago that play OK, considering the quality of recorders and off-air source material back then, but I do not play then very often.
And for multi-play testing purposes, use expendable tapes, not material you want to preserve. Play the important original stuff only when you really need to.
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01-26-2015, 05:20 AM
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Q: Can I wear out a VHS tape?
A: Yes.

But the answer is more complicated, as stated above.

Quote:
too many variables involved, such as original tape, storage conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, air quality), and playback equipment condition.
Can it? Yes.
Will it? Also yes.

What varies is how long, and how many times before that happens at a noticeable level.

Probably not what you wanted to hear -- but needed to.

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  #4  
01-27-2015, 07:07 PM
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Yes, I do have tapes filmed in the same areas/conditions with same camera, to use as test tapes.
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