Most of us have fond memories of our childhood. If you are between your early twenties and your mid 40s, there is a good chance that many of these memories are kept on VHS tapes. Released in the USA in 1977, these VHS tapes quickly became a popular way for families to record memories of everything from birthday parties to family reunions.
Unfortunately, these VHS tapes can deteriorate and degrade over time. This can be slow at first, but will eventually speed up until the tapes are unrecognizable. This means you could lose those fond childhood memories and precious family heirlooms. Thankfully, there are some ways to keep these VHS tapes (and the memories on them) alive for much longer, and even forever.
The best way to keep your VHS tapes alive is to simply digitize them. Today, it’s possible to take the video content from these VHS tapes and put it on a USB stick so it can easily be added to any computer.
In addition to preserving your memories, digitizing them is great for other reasons too. Doing so can ensure you can easily send the home videos around without having to actually mail the tapes. Also, there can be far more than one copy, which ensures everyone in your family can check out the old family videos whenever they want.
If the videos are on your computer, you won’t have to worry about them being wrecked or damaged, as long as you don’t wreck the computer or accidentally delete the video. While this digitization can be done yourself in some cases, the process can be quite lengthy.
It also takes a variety of different pieces of equipment, and if you mess it up, you may have to start over and spend hours and hours getting everything digitized. Instead, consider working with a company who can digitize home movie films for you.
They have all the latest equipment, and can ensure your videos look incredible and come out flawlessly. These are your precious memories, so it’s best to leave their safety in the hands of professionals.
Store and Handle Them Correctly
While digitizing your VHS tapes is the best way to keep memories alive, if you decide against it, you want to be sure that you are storing your old VHS tapes correctly. Many of these tapes will sit stored for months (or longer) at a time.
As a result, if they are stored poorly, they could wear and deteriorate faster. To preserve the VHS tapes as best as possible, you need to be very careful about where and how you store them.
VHS tapes should be kept in a cool and dry place, with consistent temperature and low levels of light. Store them vertically, and ensure they are completely rewound before storing them. Keep them in storage that keeps them safe from moisture, dust and critters, as well. Humidity is also a problem to be aware of, too.
In addition to storing them well, you also need to handle these tapes correctly. When transporting them, be sure to do it safely and ensure the tape doesn’t get scratched or rubbed up against a rough surface. Also, be careful about dropping them and try to keep dust, dirt, debris and grease off of the tapes, as well.
We hope this article has helped you learn how to keep your VHS tapes alive and in good quality for years to come. The last thing you want to do is lose these memories, so consider being proactive here.