Originally Posted by sunsetandgower
I have about 1,000 vhs tapes that I will not give up, I'm glad to have them and would not dispose of them. I'm currently attempting the process to convert what I care most about to dvd.[...] I started this collection in high school in the 80's through about 2002 when I stopped archiving off of tv, and it's not going anywhere.
I sympathize with your death grip on the old tapes: I'm probably the biggest Luddite here, I hate change of any kind. Especially in todays world where "change" is mostly driven by cynical marketing to a generation born in 1980 who have no clue their glittering toys and web apps offer less functionality than they imagine, while data-mining them down to their toes. However, the clock is ticking on large VHS collections, and you really should continue your digitizing process.
Your 1000 tape library is certainly much larger than the norm, but not here on AVS where I alone have 3300 and others have nearly 6000 clogging their homes like an occupying army. Tapes take up a ton of space and are a big pain when it comes time to move (unless you're wealthy theres no guarantee you'll never need to downsize). The tapes we recorded in the '80s are nearing their twilight durability years and will become increasingly difficult to play without damage. Good VCRs are now limited to the dicey second hand market, and finding a repairman who really knows how to bring them back to spec is getting impossible. The AG1980 is one of the top VCRs of all time, I have several, but like all VCRs they do tend to drift and were intentionally designed by Panasonic for pro users who would have them serviced every year- not consumers who would have them sitting on a shelf randomly used for eternity.
In other words, no matter how much we love some of our "old tech", its nearing end-of-life status in practical use. Consumer VHS tape is not like the larger older "pro" formats, which studios store in climate-controlled vaults (and can afford to spend thousands of dollars "restoring"). VHS tape is not like vinyl LPs where you can still get new turntables, old ones are easily repairable, and the media doesn't evaporate so there's always gonna be a cult supporting it. Instead, our beloved VHS is headed down the path of 8-track audio tapes. So its best to digitize it all now, while theres still access to VCRs and the tapes remain trackable. The hard part is the analog to digital conversion: once digitized, its far quicke/easierr to adapt or transfer the files to new different storage media or playback devices.
I too worried about the fragility of HDD storage, so the majority of my tapes have been dubbed to DVD-R. Recently, though, I've come to rethink that position in light of consistent reports from more "expert" archivists that HDD is priced competitively with DVD-R in terms of capacity, affordable enough that one can make redundant backup HDDs to guard against failure, and HDD includes instant easy access to hundreds of "tapes" at a time. More significantly, DVD itself is on the cusp of obsolescence: marketing forces, and again the naive generation born after 1980, are driving us rapidly toward "cloud storage" with everything networked wirelessly. Within the decade we're also likely to see a new solid-state digital storage media or perhaps affordable HDDs with near-limitless capacity: I would not be surprised to see our entire home media libraries archived digitally on a tablet that can beam it anywhere in the house. I'd rather get ready now
for that next tech wave, than have it crush me unprepared.