Storing VHS tapes correctly

Even though VHS cassettes are made of an plastic shell that appears very robust, the magnetic tapes inside are very sensitive and do not last forever. The only way to save old cassettes from natural decay is to digitise them before old age destroys the recordings.

Digitisation is not always possible immediately and the cassettes have to wait a while. To get the most out of your film recordings for as long as possible, cassettes should be handled correctly and stored properly.

Handling VHS tapes correctly protects the sensitive magnetic tapes. This is how you do it:

  • Never touch magnetic tapes with bare hands. If  you have to touch the tape, wear thin gloves
  • Unnecessary winding of the tapes should be prevented as the magnetic tape will wear out due to physical friction and the image quality will deteriorate.

With the right storing conditions, VHS cassettes can last up to 35 years. This is how you do it:

  • VHS cassettes should be kept upright in their case.
  • Video cassettes should be rewound before storage.
  • The room temperature shouldn’t be fluctuant. Heat and sunlight should be avoided.
  • Humidity destroys the tapes, they should be stored in dry air.
  • The cassettes shouldn’t be near magnetic fields, such as those created by electronic gadgets like speakers or TVs.
  • Stored VHS tapes  should be fast forwarded and rewound annually to prevent storage damage.

VHS tapes at risk

Even with the most perfect handling and storage, your VHS tapes are in danger and will show inevitable damage after 35 years at the latest. There are two reasons for the limited lifespan. Firstly, magnetic radiation affects the tapes negatively, which are also magnetically coated. Even if the cassettes are kept away from magnetic fields such as televisions or speakers, they are continuously exposed to the earth’s natural magnetism. The magnetic influence causes the picture quality to deteriorate over time. The second reason is the material of the VHS tapes. It decomposes over time through natural decay processes and begins to smear. When this stage is reached, the recordings on the VHS tapes are destroyed irretrievable.

Save memories with MEDIAFIX

VHS-Kassetten erfreuen die ganze Familie

Even if your VHS tapes still have time until their 35th birthday, you should start thinking about digitising your recordings in a timely manner.  Your tapes are most likely unique and you already know that they will not last forever.

We at MEDIAFIX recommend the digitisation of old VHS tapes not only to save the recordings, but also to make them more accesible. Once your VHS tapes have been digitised, you can watch the digital films on your computer or TV, share them with friends or upload them to the Internet.

Do you have any questions about digitising your VHS tapes? Our friendly customer service will be happy to advise you in a personal conversation.
Simply call 020 3904438-0

Our phone hours are:

Mon-Fri 10.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.