How to Digitize Your Tapes and Save Your Memories

Remember the era of video tapes? This was the era where parents captured every moment of their child’s learning phase holding a bulky video camera. The era before DVRs where people recorded their favorite TV shows using VCRs and blank tapes so that they can enjoy watching them later. It was a time when you were charged an extra $1 if you didn’t rewind a rented tape before returning it to the video store. Ah nostalgia!

VHS tapes were once a technological breakthrough. They wouldn’t scratch when dropped, could record up to as long as 6 hours and let you fast forward through anything.  There were no loading screens or drop down menus. And here comes the fun part – all you needed to get rid of unwanted trailers or advertisements were scissors and a scotch tape!

Well, like all things, the video tape era also had to come to an end. Even though their usage was discontinued in 2006 (just a little over a decade), they now seem as old as the dinosaurs!

Despite their obsolete status, old video tapes can still be found in many homes. They carry precious moments and memories from your children’s childhood days, old family vacation trips you went to and memories with grandparents. That’s why they deserve better than being dug into some corner of the house. The good news is that you can preserve your memories for many years to come. Thanks to video tape to digital service, it’s easier than ever before.

4 Reasons Why You Should Digitize Your Video Tapes

Here are4 reasons you should convert your magnetic tape memories into digital format.

1.You Can Preserve Memories for Posterity

Most video tapes, whether VHS, betamax or others, are not only obsolete, theyalso have a shelf life. The average shelf life of most magnetic tape formats is around 25 years. That means your video tape collection that dates earlier than 1994is at a great risk of being lost forever. If you further delay digitizing them, you will probably never be able to see them again.

Furthermore, the films that are collecting dust or mold are deteriorating even faster so it’s better to digitize them today before they are permanently damaged and become unplayable.

2.You Get to Enjoy Family Time

Spending quality time with family is more important than ever in this fast paced world. If you have old family videos in a ready-to-watch state, they will be a good reason to sit down with your family and enjoy looking at times gone by.

Watching videos with family becomes even more fun during the holiday season when your extended family is also in town to celebrate with you. You will all get to cherish precious memories together.

3.They Are Easier to Manage and Store

Without a doubt, storing DVDs is much easier than storing video tapes. You can easily sort them, arrange them in chronological order and even create backup copies of them without any hassle. They are also not prone to any damage such as with prolonged exposure to light or dust so you don’t have to take any extra care.

4.You Can Share Memories with Friends and Family

Digital platforms have made it so convenient to instantly share anything and everything with your family and friends. Once you have your old media digitized, you can connect with distant family members and relatives over your favorite memories via digital tools. From computers and DVD players to tablets and smart phones, the options are endless.

How to Digitize Your Video Tapes

Since magnetic tapes are considered a high-risk media because their vulnerability to rapid deterioration and permanent damage, you should convert them to digital as soon as possible. For getting this done, a good digitize video tapes service can be really helpful in preserving your priceless memories.

Alternatively, if you have the time, you can also try the DIY route.

Here’s what youneed to get things kicked off.

Things You Need for Digitizing Video Tapes

A VCR

That’s the first piece of equipment you will need for digitizing video tapes. You will be able to get reasonable results with almost any model of VCR, though professional decks will get you better picture quality Just be sure to test your VCR with a tape you don’t really care about to ensure it won’t eat a tape containing your precious memories.

A USB-to-Composite Video Converter

There are many different brands of USB-to-Composite video converting devices available out there. Most of them come with easy setup, user friendliness,  and video transfer software with basic editing capabilities.

A Computer with a Free USB Port

You have to make sure to check if the video converter can run on your operating system. Most digitizers or video converting devices are compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.8 R or Windows 7.

A Television

This is not a necessary item for the digitizing process. If you’re using a USB digitizer, it will display the video tape’s content on your computer screen without the need of a TVThe Process of Digitizing Video Tapes

  • Once you have your equipmentready, it’s time to start getting things connected. First, you need to download and install the video capture software that your digital converter came with to your computer.
  • Next you have to connect your VCR to your computer using the USB digital converter..In case there’s an S-video port on your VCR, it’s better to choose that in place of the yellow composite jack to get finer video quality during video conversion process.
  • Rewind the VHS tape to the point where you would like to start the conversion. Once it’s there, hit play on your VCR and click the record button on the software open on your computer screen. Since the conversion takes place in real-time, you can go do something else while the tape reaches its end.
  • Once a tape is converted, you may trim the video file or make any other edits.
  • You can then store the file into your computer, transfer it to a DVD or share it on your social media. It’s advisable to make a backup of these converted files on an external drive or a cloud service.

And that’s about it. You’re all done. You can now have the peace of mind that all your valuable memories are now safe and easily accessible. Share them with your loved ones and enjoy their reactions!