The lockdown imposed for the current Covid-19 Pandemic has led to a lot of spring cleaning, and one of the benefits of that is the discovery of old mementos such as photographs and videos.
For the young cellphone generation, photos used to be printed on thick paper before they were put in photo albums or boxes and then forgotten, while videos used to be recorded on the VHS tapes before they were shoved into a cupboard.
While people have been enjoying their old photos, the memories stored on videos have become a source of frustration for thousands of people, simply because many have become unplayable. Video machines are a rare commodity, replaced by DVD players or smart TVs which play a file off a memory stick.
However, the footage stored on those videos is not necessary lost for ever. There are ways to convert a VHS tape to DVD or memory sticks and flash disks. The process is time consuming and can be tricky if the tapes have not been stored in the proper cool and dry conditions, and there is a good chance the quality of the footage has deteriorated, but as old photographs prove, faded memories are still worthwhile memories.
VHS (or VHSc, Video 8, Hi8, Digital 8, Mini DV) lose quality over time until eventually they are unwatchable, so it is a good idea to convert your analogue tapes into a digital format as soon as possible. According to the V2DT.co.uk website there are four ways tapes will lose quality over a period of time: Loss of magnetic charge; demagnetisation; moisture and generation loss.
The same website says “. . . you might experience significant picture degradation within 10-25 years.” In humid tropical and sub-tropical climates, such as Durban, the deterioration may be quicker and mould can also cause the tapes to be irreparably damaged.
Digital formats are less likely to deteriorate and can be copied without any generation loss, which makes it much better for storing valuable family footage.
At Look Video we have become experts at saving family footage and have hundreds of satisfied customers who once again have access to their videos of children, important functions, parents and grandparents, and many other old memories.
We can work with a wide range of formats and recently have also just invested in software to save mini DVDs which customers cannot play. This may be because the DVD has not been formatted correctly in the camera, not finalised after recording, corrupted in some way, or created in a camera that has now broken and cannot be played.
We also offer a service to clean and repair tapes before converting to digital formats.
- If you want to discuss how Look Video can preserve your old memories, get hold of Louisa from Look Video via the contact details on the contact page of this website.