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Of all the methods used for storing images, sound, and moving pictures- video tapes are probably the worst for longevity. I’ve seen 70 year old 8mm movie film have more image clarity than a video tape that’s just 10 years old. Environmental factors are much more strenuous on video tape than on other common image capturing methods. Video tape was the last true analog method for capturing images and movies before the digital age of DVD camcorders, digital cameras, HD cameras, and mobile phones. Sad though, video tape is a medium that is deteriorating away faster than any of its predecessors. It’s a fairly recent generational gap in time where memories are simply fading away, and if you’re not careful, they will be gone forever.

Movie film, slides, picture negatives, and even pictures themselves are firmly printed images on a physical medium. Video tape images however, are just magnetic data imprints on a strip of magnetic tape. Our environment eats away (erases) pieces of those data imprints continually until they are all gone. Even tapes that are kept in good conditions such as a dark climate controlled closet for many years, are susceptible. Obviously high heat and extreme cold make matters worse, but other things impact those old tapes. Appliances, motorized devices, metals, electrical fields from power sources, and many other things in our environment gradually remove those magnetic imprints from your tapes. The result is a video that has lost its quality, or worse- can no longer be viewed. Over time, as long as your video tape tracking data is still intact, you may see videos that are more grainy or not as clear as the original. This becomes amplified when video was taken in a dark setting or at night.

The moral of the story is to not wait around to get your tapes converted to digital. While you may have older tapes that aren’t as crisp as they used to be, get them converted before they are gone forever. At IN-A-BLINK Productions, we remove and do not charge for tapes (or portions of tapes) that are no good. That’s why we only charge for good video on a per foot basis. Why pay a flat rate per tape if half the tape is bad?

If we can help you with your video conversion needs, email us or give us a call today.

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