How long do VHS tapes last?

Discussion in 'Cafe toonzone' started by Squall, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Squall

    Squall Calm Before The Storm

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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?
     
  2. Frank Castle

    Frank Castle 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. :)
     
  3. Sandoz

    Sandoz 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.
     
  4. Storm Eagle

    Storm Eagle Power to the peaceful

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    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.
     
  5. Knightmare

    Knightmare New 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.
     
  6. JDuncan

    JDuncan New Member

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    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.
     
  7. EinBebop

    EinBebop Kneel Before Zod

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    I hear they found some betamax tapes in some of the old Egyptian tombs that still play.
     
  8. Ssrn53

    Ssrn53 New 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. Courage-Bagge

    Courage-Bagge ''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 :eek:
     
  10. Thad Komorowski

    Thad Komorowski undecided

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    I have a VHS tape that was recorded in 1979... It's pretty faded, but it works...


    -Thad
     
  11. KRnut82

    KRnut82 The Knight Rider nut.

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    Yeah, it's supposed to be about 20 years max.

    I have a prerecorded tape of Iron Man (and Spider-Man) cartoons that's around 18 years old that plays well and a prerecorded tape of Camelot that's almost as old which only started giving me problems recently (I take pretty good care of my tapes). I'm gonna replace the latter sometime this year because I know a DVD version came out.

    As for stuff I taped myself, my oldest tapes are between 12 - 14 years old. That reminds me, I need to go through and see if there's anything I really wanna keep and transfer over to new tapes before the old tapes start breaking down*.


    *I don't have the equipment to transfer them to DVD or VCD or know anybody off the boards who does. [​IMG]
     
  12. ComicPhanatic

    ComicPhanatic New Member

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    Unfortunately, my VHS collection far outweighs my DVDs. Nevertheless, I noticed that VHS tapes stay around in good shape for years, as long as they are treated with care (remain inside the box, and not rewind outrageously). I think it depends on what time of VHS it is (meaning what year the film came out, that has alot to do with what the quality is). Some do better than others, it depends.
     
  13. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy New Member

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    My two oldest tapes are from the early '80s and they still work fine, but they are more dusty than the recent stuff I have.
     
  14. RobochangerEX

    RobochangerEX "Yes sir ! Keroro Keroro."

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    My old G1 Transformers Eps ( recorded '84-'86 ) are in horrible condition.. but then again I watched them repeatedly as a kid.

    Tapes from '88 up seem to be okay... but not great. Not sure how much of that is due to my current high standards though. I've been spoiled on DVDs.
     
  15. guinaevere

    guinaevere agent provocateur

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    I remember reading that every tape is supposed to be be played at least once a year to prevent the tape from sticking to itself over time. I don't understand how that works magnetically, and I've plenty of tapes that don't get played but once every three or four years, and they seem to be okay. ::shrugs::

    Back in the early/mid 80s I bought one of the first four-head vcrs available. It was a Toshiba, not stereo, but mono, and the thing weighed about four million pounds. I used Kodak tapes I purchased for a dollar a piece at the drug store, and those old recordings on EP speed look FAR better than any recording I get out of the new VCRS on the most expensive tapes on SP speed. It drives me nuts.

    Anyway, most of the old tapes are holding up. The only tape I noticed had any loss of video quality was the pre-recorded Monsters, Inc tape. Which is odd, I always figured the pre-recorded movies would last longer than something I recorded at home. Oh well. Santa brought Monsters, Inc on dvd this year, so all is well. :)
     
  16. The Lizard

    The Lizard Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday

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    The oldest in my collection is from 1986, a movie my uncle taped.



    -The Lizard:D
     
  17. Sailor V

    Sailor V Defender Of Justice

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    Well I have old tapes alota them the Christmas tape (We had that since 1992) and alot more!
     
  18. Michael24

    Michael24 Moderator

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    For the most part, our collection is still in pretty good shape. Some of our oldest are from the early-80s, and they've still held up pretty well. Heck, I have FROM STAR WARS TO JEDI on tape, recorded the night it premiered and in LP, and it still looks pretty good all things considered. :)
     
  19. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy New Member

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    My oldest tapes are from 1980 and still look pretty good. However some tapes from the mid-80s that have been played a bit tend to have tracking problems when played on newer VCRs.:sad:
     
  20. Chris Wood

    Chris Wood Desslar

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    My bootleg copies of the original Star Wars trilogy are about 20 years old and still going strong, but others are showing their age a little.

    I thought I read that CDs last for about 25 years.
     

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