3 Ways in Which VHS Tapes Deteriorate Over Time
Many people hold on to old VHS tapes for various reasons. They may contain family videos or wedding videos. Or they may just have old shows or musical performances that you can’t find anywhere on a digital format. However, the fact is that VHS tapes degrade over time in various ways. In 10-25 years, you’ll find that there’s a 10-20 percent degradation. Here are some of the ways in which VHS tapes degrade:
- Charge Loss: A VHS tape uses a magnetic charge to store the information that is recorded on them, both video and audio. But as time goes on, some of this magnetic charge is lost. As a result, the picture deteriorates. Of course, if you keep your tapes in a climate-controlled environment, there is less charge loss but most of us don’t have climate-controlled rooms just to keep old tapes.
- Magnets: If for any reason, a VHS tape is kept near a magnet, they may get destroyed. And you may not know it but many of the devices we use every day have magnets in them. For example, refrigerators, microwaves, fans, computers, and printers all have magnets. Depending on how close to these devices you have kept your VHS tapes, there will be different degrees of deterioration.
- Moisture: We all know that moisture is pretty bad for electronic items in general and VHS tapes are no exception. There is a “binder” layer in the tape which stores all the information. If this layer is exposed to moisture, that can damage or destroy the tape. So if, for example, you live near a beach or in a place where it rains a lot, your VHS tapes are more likely to suffer.
The best way to store your memories then is to have them transferred to DVD or a digital format such as MP4. DVDs don’t suffer from deterioration to the same extent that a VHS tape does. If stored correctly, DVDs can last up to 50 years—more than enough time for everyone in your family to enjoy your memories. Contact us for more information about transferring your VHS tapes to DVD.