CLASSROOM: Digitising Your Old VHS Tapes

28 February 2019


CLASSROOM: Digitising Your Old VHS Tapes

There is an entire generation of memories currently trapped in VHS and unless we act to rescue them, these may continue to languish there. Years of video footage are stuck in these old tape formats that are usually relegated to a bookshelf somewhere in the house or stored in a box in the basement. They remain largely forgotten until moving time or a major spring cleaning operation.

There’s a problem with this neglect, however. VHS tapes were designed to be a recording format and not a long-term video preservation medium. They are fragile by design and will deteriorate even if boxed up carefully. By most estimates, VHS tapes have a shelf life of approximately five years but most people let them sit for at least fifteen or more before they decide to do something about them. By that time, the tapes are well past their safe life cycle.

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Image credit: Fstoppers