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Why are there so many different types of tape?

2020-08-26T16:00:40+01:00

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
1971
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.

Betamax
1975
Developed by Sony. Although generally considered the superior quality tape, Betamax lost the format war to VHS in the 80s.

VHS
1976
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
1979
Developed by Phillips as a consumer VCR system to rival VHS and Betamax. Even though it had several innovative features it wasn’t successful.

VHS-C
1982
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.

Betacam 
1982
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.

MiniDV
1998
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
2001
MicroMV was a videotape format introduced in 2001 by Sony.
The smallest of all video tape formats, 70% smaller than a MiniDV cassette

MiniDVD
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?2020-08-26T16:00:40+01:00

Mouldy Tapes

2020-11-09T16:50:56+00:00

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 cot effective.

Mouldy Tapes2020-11-09T16:50:56+00:00