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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Video tape has decent archival life

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I'm duplicating a tape from 1976. No issues and it was a rental tape at one time. Just some hiccups at the beginning few seconds. Impressed that they hold up so well. I may have some VHS a little earlier than this one. Still looking through archive.

What is your earliest VHS? Did it hold up for you?

I guess video is similar to reel to reel audio. I had some from 1955 audio tape and it was OK. I had heard reel to reel tape is acetate, so maybe subject to vinegar syndrome.

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It's sort of hit and miss in terms of how well the magnetic particles are adhering to the base, how well the base is doing, etc.  Some of those old tapes can only be played once before the oxide flakes off, so basically copy it over first, play the copy after.

We still archive on LTO tapes, which is, well, tape!

Physical media of any type has aging issues... 

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I have a Steenbeck rental on Monday and the client emailed to say he'd dug up some VHS and could I play it.

Fortunately we've kept a domestic player (and a CRT TV with a SCART socket) so I was able to say yes. Always a good answer for a rental house. A small additonal rental fee will justify keeping the thing in a box for 20 years. We used it last year for a "black and white TV" themed party. On a 70s portable set.

Edited by Mark Dunn

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VHS tapes have held up fine over more than 30 years. However almost all of my casette audio tapes are toast. The humidity has glued the tape together and they are no longer playable. The casette tape was a lot thiner and apparently less stable than the VHS tapes.

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