Why are there so many different types of tape?


I wont try and answer that question but here is a rundown of most of the tape formats. By the way we can transfer all these formats to DVD or computer files except the U-Matic tapes and the Video2000.

3/4″ U-Matic
Developed by Sony, A professional video tape format. -It was among the first video formats to contain the videotape inside a cassette, as opposed to the various open-reel formats of the time.

Developed by Sony. Although generally considered the superior quality tape, Betamax lost the format war to VHS in the 80s.

Developed by JVC and introduced in 1976. -During the late part of the 1970s and the early 1980s, the home video industry was involved in the VHS vs. Betamax war, which VHS would eventually win.

Video 2000
Developed by Phillips as a consumer VCR system to rival VHS and Betamax. Even though it had several innovative features it wasn’t successful.

Compact VHS. The format is based on the same videotape as is used in VHS, and can be played back in a standard VHS VCR with an adapter.

Developed by Sony. The format replaced the three-quarter inch U-Matic format, which Sony had introduced in 1971

Video8, Hi8, Digital8
Developed through the 80s and 90s
These were the most popular consumer camcorder tapes through the 90s due to small form factor and higher quality than that of the VHS.

A  joint effort of leading producers of video camera recorders.
Recorded in digital (DV) same as Digital8 -Tapes could hold 1hr SP, 90min EP

MicroMV was a videotape format introduced in 2001 by Sony.
The smallest of all video tape formats, 70% smaller than a MiniDV cassette

While not a tape these recordable DVD 8 cm discs are commonly used in DVD-based camcorders. Depending on variant, these discs can offer up to 5.2 GB of storage space.

You can read more about tape formats at https://obsoletemedia.org/video/

Why are there so many different types of tape?2021-12-08T15:59:07+00:00

Mouldy Tapes


Mouldy Tapes

Tapes sometimes get a layer of mould on them when you look at the tape through the clear plastic window. This is normally because they have been stored somewhere damp.

The tape in the picture above is bad but not the worst we have seen. Usually we find that the mould is in small spots over the tape.

If your tape is as bad as the tape in the picture there is not much we can do to recover the information on the tape.

Small spots of mould are normally ok with VHS tapes and we can copy them successfully.

Any mould on video8, Hi8 or miniDV tapes normally makes the tape unplayable. Due to the narrow width of the tape the mould makes the tape stick together causing the tape to tear when trying to play.

Please check your tapes before bringing them in and if you have any worries about mould don’t hesitate to get in touch

Can we recover mouldy Tapes?

We can attempt to recover your valuable recordings. We will remove the spools and do the best we can to remove the mould without damaging the tape. We will hand wind the tape to check if it is stuck together. Assuming the tape winds OK we will transfer the contents to DVD or mp4 files for you.  We cannot guarantee to that we will be able to recover your recordings.

A recovered recording might not be perfect due to the mould eating into the tape face. This is a time consuming process. Trying to recover video8, hi8 or minidv tapes is probably not cost effective.

Mouldy Tapes2021-12-08T15:59:15+00:00

Why transfer your videos to DVD?


We are often asked if videotapes will deteriorate over time. I always say “Probably”.

Tapes rely on good, dry storage and good quality tape. The more you play them the more likely you are to notice white flecks in the picture. This is the tape breaking down.

I have noticed that the older the tape the more reliable they seem. This may be due to better production processes in the early days and cutting corners to make the tapes cheaper later on. I remember paying about £12 a tape when I first bought a video recorder.

Another problem is the deterioration of the video recorder. Older machines have rubber belts which perish over time. If you try to play your tape in a machine with a broken belts it will almost certainly get mangled!

So whatever type of tape you have, whether its a full size VHS tape or one of the tapes from your camcorder it would be a good idea to get them transferred as soon as possible if you want to save those cherished recordings.

Why transfer your videos to DVD?2021-12-08T15:59:27+00:00

Video to Computer files


Video to computer files is just one of the services offered at VideoPoint. We normally convert to mp4 format which is a digital video file format which is pretty universal in that it will play on virtually any device. We will then supply on a USB stick.

While we normally convert to mp4 we can produce almost any format you require bearing in mind that some formats will create HUGE files

Conversion to computer files has many benefits over conversion to DVD.

mp4 can display higher quality images than DVD although it does depend on the quality of the source tape.

mp4 files supplied on a memory stick are easy to view especially if you have a modern TV with USB sockets. mp4 files will also play back on mobile phones, tablets, PCs and even some DVD and BluRay players

You can also easily copy your mp4 files onto your computer or another USB stick to share with friends or upload to YouTube.

mp4 files can also be copied to a computer for editing. You only need very basic editing software to edit mp4 files. Most PC or Macs come with basic edit software built in.

The cost of transferring tapes to mp4 files is about the same as for transferring to DVD plus the cost of any USB sticks we supply (8gb). You are welcome to supply your own sticks or USB drives if you wish.

Video to Computer files2021-12-08T15:59:34+00:00

Help! My tape’s got mangled


Help! My tape’s got mangled.

Why not let us transfer your videos to DVD and you’ll never have to worry about this happening again.

If you play a video tape in a VCR that is not working correctly or has a dirty tape path, you may find your tape ends up like this.  We fix all types of video tapes, from re-splicing broken and crumpled tapes to sometimes replacing the whole shell.

This is one of the problems that can happen when you transfer videos to DVD using an old or cheap VCR. You may experience tracking problems due to a worn out tape or VCR.  Our transfer machines can help remove tracking errors although if the tape has damage, that may not be the case.

Help! My tape’s got mangled2021-12-08T15:59:44+00:00
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