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  1. #1
    Squall's Avatar
    Squall is offline Calm Before The Storm
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    How long do VHS tapes last?

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    I remember reading somewhere that a VHS tape is supposed to have a shelf life of 15 - 20 years (the range depends on how well it's taken care of, and how often it's watched). The same applies to audio cassette tapes, since both media are magnetically stored data.

    DVDs and CDs, on the other hand, are permanant and digital, and will in theory last forever if they are properly cared for and stored.

    My question is, how is your VHS collection holding up? Do you have any really old, or often watched, VHS tapes that are showing signs of deterioration? Are the above numbers realistic, or are VHS tapes capable of lasting much longer than this if properly cared for?
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  2. #2
    Frank Castle's Avatar
    Frank Castle is offline Sic vis pacem, para bellum
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    My VHS collection is still holding up well. My oldest tape is about 12 years old and it still runs fine.
    "If the thought of it seems crazy, you were never crazy enough to begin with." -The Punisher

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    Sandoz's Avatar
    Sandoz is offline Thin Man Fan
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    My collection's in pretty good condition. The oldest of my tapes, a Jem video that I've had since I was six, is still watchable and hasn't suffered a serious drop in quality.
    "As I bit into the nectarine, it had a crisp juiciness that was very pleasurable, until I realized that it wasn't a nectarine at all, but a HUMAN HEAD."
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  4. #4
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    Storm Eagle is offline Power to the peaceful
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squall
    I remember reading somewhere that a VHS tape is supposed to have a shelf life of 15 - 20 years (the range depends on how well it's taken care of, and how often it's watched). The same applies to audio cassette tapes, since both media are magnetically stored data.

    DVDs and CDs, on the other hand, are permanant and digital, and will in theory last forever if they are properly cared for and stored.

    My question is, how is your VHS collection holding up? Do you have any really old, or often watched, VHS tapes that are showing signs of deterioration? Are the above numbers realistic, or are VHS tapes capable of lasting much longer than this if properly cared for?
    I think you may be incorrect about DVDs and CDs being immortal. Eventually they can suffer from disc rot, from what I'm told. I think it has something to do with some kind of bacteria on the material.

    As for my VHS collection, I guess they're holding up quite okay. That goes for things that I've recorded on VHS myself. I'd still like to have them transferred to DVD-R though.
    The artist formerly known as PRdude.

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    Knightmare is offline Senior Member
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    My VHS collection is holding together really well, I think that one of the things that goes into it is how often you play your tapes and what condition your VCR is.
    Who knows what is really real..... that's the true question in life.

  6. #6
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    JDuncan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRdude
    I think you may be incorrect about DVDs and CDs being immortal. Eventually they can suffer from disc rot, from what I'm told. I think it has something to do with some kind of bacteria on the material.
    I think your talking about laser rot, an LD lamination-related defect. Some dual-layered DVDs do have lamination problems, but it's nothing to be worried about.
    Risen like a Beth Phoenix!

  7. #7
    EinBebop's Avatar
    EinBebop is offline Kneel Before Zod
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    I hear they found some betamax tapes in some of the old Egyptian tombs that still play.
    "He lived hard and died stupid."

  8. #8
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    Ssrn53 is offline Member
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    I heard approx 20 years but that depends on how well they are managed. In an airtight vault they can last much longer. Vhs tapes like audio tapes are prone to decomposing when exposed to air and moisture over time..

  9. #9
    Courage-Bagge's Avatar
    Courage-Bagge is offline ''Unbelievable!''
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    My oldest tape is 13 years old, and the film is coming out. I also have a 11 to 12 year old tape with the film snapped inside. One time in a video store, I saw a tape that was completely melted

    "I always feel very patriotic after O.R. My whites are covered in red and it gives me the blues." ~ Hawkeye Pierce


  10. #10
    Thad Komorowski's Avatar
    Thad Komorowski is offline undecided
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    I have a VHS tape that was recorded in 1979... It's pretty faded, but it works...


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    If evolution happened, then why are there still monkeys?


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