Magic Memories


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Top 6 Ways to Keep Old VHS Tapes in Great Condition

Oh, how times have changed… gone are the days of gathering around the television with your family to watch a good film on VHS. We have now been launched into the Netflix era where watching a film is only a few clicks away. Many of us, though, still have home-video-style tapes hanging around somewhere.

These old media formats were great in their days but given they are hardly being used anymore and potentially over fifty years old, they will be in danger if not stored and kept properly.

Here are the top 6 ways to store your VHS to preserve them a long time into the future:

Rewind after watching

After you finish watching the tape, remember to rewind every time as it keeps the tape tight and responsive, as well as to avoid any sagging. 

Store the tapes in a cool, dry place

Keeping your tapes in a cupboard should be just fine. Avoiding places that are humid and moist will give your tapes a long life. Be sure to keep them away from any direct sunlight and any kind of heat.

Place the tapes upright vertically 

Please do not be tempted to squeeze all of your tapes into boxes for ease of storage. Although this may sound like the best thing to do space-wise, the tape can sag on the reel if they are lying flat for a particularly long time (months or years) and can result in a poor-quality picture. 

Use plastic cases to store the tapes

If you have a particularly valuable or sentimental tape, consider buying an airtight plastic case for it. The case will keep dust and moisture out of the tape which can reduce sound and picture quality and cause damage in the long term.

Do not keep near magnetic devices

When you are not using your tapes, avoid placing them near speakers or magnetic devices (even your ceramic refrigerator magnet!). Tapes are made up of lots of small magnets themselves and having them close to loudspeakers or magnetic devices can damage your tapes and even erase them in some cases.

Convert your tapes to digital format

Old VHS tapes can be incredibly meaningful and hold a place in our hearts: whether it’s a home movie or an old film, there are many reasons why you should convert VHS tapes to DVD as soon as possible. Converting your videotape will extend the life of the original tape significantly, given that it is kept safe and used rarely. 

You can also choose to have the footage transferred to digital, which means you can copy and edit it on your own computer or another device.