AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got most of my video collection on DVD Rs now, most in much better condition that what I had previously on my VHS tapes. I should get rid of the tapes that are taking up a whole closet, but with all the concern over disc rot, I've been hesitant to toss out my old VHS collection. There's also quite a few videos that are hard to replace. I use mostly TY, verbatim, or sony discs in the hope that they'll last longer, but I'm still paranoid.


Have you guys all just tossed out the old tapes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
I haven't pitched any. I haven't pitched any of my Laser Discs either. If I were to do some pitching, it would only be tapes of things I have on DVD that are available commercially, or are shown regularly on cable, i.e. TCM. No one should pitch original or irreplaceable VHS tapes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I too haven't pitched any of my VHS tapes. Or my Beta, 3/4" or Laserdiscs either. I do have a lot of my tapes in storage.


Some of my tapes I feel are worth transferring to DVD, some others not but I won't throw them away regardless. You never know when you might want to watch or transfer something to DVD that someone else wants from your original tapes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
I may be wrong, but I think most people with several hundred VHS tapes they are converting to DVDR will have tossed away most of the tapes once they have made DVDR copies of the tapes. Even if the tapes hold up, you now can run into the problem that any replacement VHS player will not play back some of the tapes well, especially SLP recordings. Even after getting rid of most of my tapes, I still have kept a whole bunch of the cardboard VHS boxes with the tape maker's name and logo, as ephemera. Part of the reason I can get rid of these tapes easily is that I used a JVC S-VHS recorder, a unit that gives you all sorts of playback problems down the line.


As to laserdiscs, why would you get rid of them? The covers alone may be worth something in the future. Your real problem is that any LD player you have now is at least 10 years old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,530 Posts
During my ten month long project dubbing selected portions of my near twenty year accumulation of home-recorded videotapes I recycled perhaps 1,800 videotapes. I retained around fifty tapes due their content and perhaps another forty high-end tapes for other purposes including intermediate transfers. I retained perhaps thirty commercially recorded videotapes due to their specialized content or where there are no commercial DVD versions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
I would, at the very least, rip those DVDs to a HDD before tossing the tapes. Don't forget to label the drive so it doesn't accidentally get formatted in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,308 Posts
It mostly depends on how many tapes you have and whether you can comfortably store them indefinitely. I have slightly over 3000 tapes accumulated since 1981, they take up half my living space and I'm tired of looking at all the piles of boxes. The primary reason I bought my first DVD recorder was to free myself from the tyranny of 3000 tapes: the storage space required drops by 90% after transfer to DVD!


Do I worry about disc rot? Of course! Its hard enough to find blank media that will burn in the first place, so I have no great faith my DVD-Rs will last forever. And I have laserdiscs from the 1990s when the "laserdisc rot" problem had supposedly long-since been fixed- yet those discs have deteriorated to unplayability. (My laserdisc player, OTH, will likely outlive me: its a Sony LDP-1000 industrial model I picked up for $50 off CraigsList some years ago. Damn thing weighs 60 lbs, sounds like a jet engine on startup, and has more interface options on its rear panel than my PC. I love it!)


We gamble on the viability of these formats every few years and hope for the best. At this point, at least half my tapes are more than 25 years old. They have held up remarkably well, but I doubt they'll survive more than another decade before their binder adhesive decomposes. If the DVD-R copies survive a few years, I figure I'm at breakeven longevity-wise. Within 8 years, I expect we'll have affordable solid-state storage systems with near-limitless capacity that I'll just dump all the DVD-Rs into anyway. Most importantly, I reclaim my living space as living space. And since I have not watched 70% of my tapes since they were recorded, I may never even discover if the DVD copies fade away: practical considerations trump emotion for those of us with out-of-control VHS libraries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,223 Posts
Keep the most important stuff on VHS, put the rest on DVD-RAM and ditch the tapes (for archiving - on DVD-R for regular use).


And stock up on Panasonic or Pioneer recorders. At least have a couple of units that can play them - although in order to put them on RAM in the first place, you need at least one recorder anyway. At the very least have a DVD burner in your computer that can read them.


That's if you've got way too many tapes and want to cut the amount down (which I am guilty of, too). That's probably what I'll do anyway, if or when I ever get around to it. But my tapes are buried in a storage unit, so who knows when that'll ever be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Ah, but here's a follow-up question. Let's take Family Guy for example. Even though it has been commercial released on DVD…is it worth transferring your broadcast copies to DVD if they have all of the original commercials?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,993 Posts
I got rid of my VHS collection 4 years ago when I moved. Haven't missed it once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,562 Posts
the only vhs i had were a few porno tapes. i transferred a couple of 'em to dvd-r and then ditched all the tapes 'bout 3 years ago.

and a year later i ditched the porno -rs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
I have maybe two non-commercial videotapes that are also on DVD-R.


I still have about 25-30 VHS tapes. Maybe five are not available on DVD (although one might be now, haven't checked) and two are different from the DVD versions, so I kind of hang onto them for that factor. Might dub them to DVD-R just to play them and keep the tapes pristine.


The rest I've been replacing with DVDs where I can, but some are kind of pricey. I haven't decided whether to keep my two VCRs hooked up or store them (certainly won't get rid of them if I still have the tapes in my possession.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by magusxxx /forum/post/15595949


Ah, but here's a follow-up question. Let's take Family Guy for example. Even though it has been commercial released on DVDis it worth transferring your broadcast copies to DVD if they have all of the original commercials?

I think you are asking if saving the original commercials gives them value. That sort of thing is considered "ephemera," because few bother to save it. Some people do consider it of value, but that is usually a few researchers, and maybe some independent experimental film makers. So, as far as actual monetary value, probably not. Then the question becomes, do you think you will find it interesting, amusing, whatever, to look at them years from now? Do you think you would ever be in a situation where someone else you might know would find them useful? Are you enough of a collector to want to save them? Some people would want to, others not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
So here's a question related to this thread, and sparing you all from yet another thread on VHS to DVD dubbing. What precautions to take, if any, on using a presumably fine VCR that has been sitting for a few years?


I'm about to start a dubbing project, and it sounds like using a VCR + HDD DVD recorder is a great way to go. I've got a mid-late 90's JVC VCR that never gave problems, but it hasn't seen much action in years. Probably no tape in it for 24 months but has been plugged in and kept clean, but thats it. Would it be OK to use for this project, or should i go looking for something else?


Thanks

- new guy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
I'd try playing an unimportant tape that was recorded on the same VCR as most of your tapes. Check the playback quality. Remove the tape, lift the edge flap, and look at the tape, to see if you see any damage, like edge crimping, etc. Actually, you might want to check for tape damage before playback, just so you know it wasn't already there. If the playback PQ looks good, and it isn't damaging tapes, USE IT!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc /forum/post/15600897


I think you are asking if saving the original commercials gives them value. That sort of thing is considered "ephemera," because few bother to save it. Some people do consider it of value, but that is usually a few researchers, and maybe some independent experimental film makers. So, as far as actual monetary value, probably not. Then the question becomes, do you think you will find it interesting, amusing, whatever, to look at them years from now? Do you think you would ever be in a situation where someone else you might know would find them useful? Are you enough of a collector to want to save them? Some people would want to, others not.

Exactly. When I used to be on alt.video.tape-trading (forget actual name of groups), many there insisted on programs with the original commercials. I'd hate to get rid of them only to find out 10 years down the line they were worth keeping. (But geeze, they take up so much friggin' room! *laugh*) The main reason collectors want the commercials is because you never know if the actors in them will make it big.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,308 Posts
With commercials, its a matter of what you find amusing yourself: collectible interest isn't that great for the more recent slicker ads. Since I started taping back in 1981, before the FOX, UPN and WB networks took over all the local stations, many of my tapes are of afternoon or late-night movies that are wall-to-wall local and regional commercials, which 28 years later are really mind-blowing to watch. If you're at all technical minded, or just have an eye for noticing things, its amazing to see the progression from 1981 to 1985, as ads jumped from prehistoric fonts, edits and presentation methods into the post-MTV age. For all the brouhaha over the "insidious influence" of MTV in the '80s (and it was insidious), its effect on TV commercials was galvanizing. When I catch a pre-MTV ad on one of my older tapes I'm mesmerized by how incredibly awful they were, tedious and dull beyond words, even the Detroit car commercials! It's kind of funny, because ads in the late '50s, '60s and most of the '70s were interesting in their own way. Yet commercial inventiveness fell off a cliff from the late 1970-early '80s: boring as dirty dishwater.


One of the many benefits of using an HDD-equipped DVD recorder to archive your VHS is that its pretty easy to separate the ads from the shows/movies, so when you create the final DVD you can have the program you're archiving play first with no ads, then at the end have all the goofy ads run as a "bonus" feature. I do this with all the weird, syndicated "ABC Movies Of The Week" from the '70s I originally taped off local stations, and its a gas. Initially I thought this would also be fun to do with things like the first season of "Seinfeld", but by '89 network commercials had already shifted almost entirely to just autos and movies: dull dull dull. So for most recent TV, I just wait for sale days at chain stores and pick them up for $19.95 a season: no point in me spending hours of my life editing the ads out of middling VHS. I don't think the ads in current seasons of "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" will be of much interest in 15-20 years: they're too homogenized and slick. And again, its nothing but auto ads, movie trailers and maybe the occasional beer commercial: not much chance of a "future star" appearing in those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,747 Posts
Yes, I have gone through my tape collection, and transferred about 1/4 of them to DVDs. Most of them I have tossed, but I have kept about 250 out of my original 1500 tapes as valuable. I might eventually toss those also, but not for now. The DVDs take up much less space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
My answer to the original question is "yes and no." I am dubbing important programs to DVD, keeping in mind that the format may be a temporary bridge solution until some server-based system of the future.


I'm not ruling out the risk of media failure, but I'm not losing sleep over it. I stick to quality TY, Verbatim, and Sony media, and keep the discs stored in a cool, dry, dark place (linen closets are wasted on sheets and towels). I always have several different batches of blank media going at once; I figure that way if I hit a bad batch, I won't lose *everything* I recorded during a certain period. For important programs, I'll make a DVD but also keep the original tape. It's the archivist in me; I can't bear to toss "source" material. (Who knows? Maybe someday there'll be PC-based software that recreates the missing resolution of my SLP-speed tapes--or gives them rez they never had!)


I'm trying to work through the collection and watch tapes to make a call on whether I'm ever realistically likely to watch it again. Some stuff has come out on commercial DVDs with better PQ, sound, etc., so I upgrade that way, too. Actually, lately I've been clearing out time-shift material from, um, 2003.


My two original Mitsubishi VCRs (a ca. 1998 U-560 and a 2003 U-748) are alive and running just fine, so many of the dubbings are being played back on the machines they were recorded on. Plus, I picked up some backups on evilBay last year. So playback hardware for the tapes isn't a major worry for the time being.


In the end, I expect to have a slimmer VHS collection, but still have one for many years to come. And maybe I should hang onto my spare tapes; we may have to go back to VHS when our DVD recorders die!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
The only tapes I hung on to is ...

My collection of claymation MTV adverts from the early days, and

tapes of the commercial parodies from the first few years of SNL.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top