Why you should convert your old vhs tapes

Posted by Ian Stewart on

So let's be honest, when was the last time you watched or even thought about your old VHS tape? A while ago, right? Plus, who has video players anymore? Well, it might be just the time to pull them out of that dusty box and give them a little TLC. The average life expectancy of a VHS tape is shorter than you'd think at between 10-30 years. While that's still a long time, VHS tapes are pretty outdated now, and that could mean that the precious memories you have recorded on a VHS tape are also being lost as time passes.

So why do VHS tapes have a short shelf life? This is because they are made using a magnetic film, which isn't the most durable of materials. While under the right conditions, their life could be prolonged but let's be honest, who has a space that can be kept humidity-free at a crisp temperature of 70 degrees and completely free of dust? 

Due to various environmental factors, the tape actually loses its magnetism and, in turn, magnetic particles that store the recorded information. So any changes to the magnetic properties of the tape could be lost, which is a horrible thought itself, especially if you have your old family footage or, likewise, stored on a VHS. General wear and tear is also often applied to the tape when it has been played often and rewound. 

Not only is the magnetic strips inside in danger of deterioration, the plastic casing can become brittle and is also very susceptible to outside damage. Not to mention how easy it is to record over accidentally what we thought was a blank tape. 

The main other reason you should convert your old VHS tapes to a newer format is perhaps the most obvious. VHS tapes and their players alike are an old form of technology and are generally obsolete. This means that the tools and skills are few and far between for those that are able to repair any damage that may occur to the tape. 

So with that being said, our best advice would be for you to convert your old VHS tapes to a newer platform, such as USB or DVD. This way, your memories will be stored and saved much more safely, and you can rewatch your favourite footage as much as you would like to. 


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