Quantcast Fast winding through VHS tapes? - digitalFAQ Forum
01-24-2021, 07:19 AM
joonas joonas is offline
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Recently I got an TV-archive of about ~1400-1500 VHS tapes. Mostly unnamed. Are there any solutions how I could loop through tapes fast in order to prioritize them before capturing them to digital?

Looking forward to your suggestions.
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01-24-2021, 11:34 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Never do this.

I've come across too many one-and-done tapes in past years. You get one chance to play it, before it self-destructs. With FF/REW before PLAY, you wasted your chance. If tape already at end, you didn't "be kind, rewind", then no choice, but realize the tape may be destroyed on that REW. I often REW just a piece, eject, scan the tape, and hand rewind if I see flecking.

REW/FF does nothing to help a tape. Any tape that is "sticking" (reason for the REW/FF) need slow winding anyway, not abusive fast deck rewinding.

Moving this to public forums, so others can read this important message.

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01-24-2021, 02:39 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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For 1500 tapes you're going to have to fast forward through them in my opinion since they are not family important tapes, You can get a cheap VCR for just viewing and search through them with fast forward in preview mode, Never fast forward more than few seconds in the capturing VCR. The worst that could happen is if some tape has dry rotted sticky layers it will snap so it needs repairing anyway.
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01-24-2021, 05:31 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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On rewind, but only if necessary:

As I recall, many camcorders had much slower FWD/REW speeds than typical VCRs. Perhaps that translates to a more gentle tape handling.

As I recall from audio tape days the issue with FWD/REW of tape was more to get a more uniform tape wrap in the supply reel (and thus improve speed stability/uniformity) rather than to un-stick stuck tape, although it can help to free-up sticking reels (not tape).
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