Archives are faced with multiple challenges when storing and working with videotape. Even when stored under ideal conditions, videotapes may only last a few decades. If stored in less than ideal conditions, the degradation process can be greatly accelerated. The problem is, unless you physically play the videotape, it is very difficult to know if any form of degradation is taking place. Videotape doesn't give off a characteristic odor associated with degradation, as film often will (vinegar syndrome). Unfortunately, the very act of playing a videotape suffering from hydrolysis or "binder shed" to check it can destroy it.
Another problem you are faced with is "format obsolescence". Videotape formats have changed many times in the forty or so years that videotape has been heavily used on a wide-scale commercial basis. Sometimes, the actual videotapes outlast the equipment needed to play it. Try giving a two-inch videotape to most people and they wont even know what it is, much less how to play it.
Scene Savers professionals understand the challenges of videotape. They are trained in what to look for and how to handle old videotapes. In fact, many of our engineers and technicians have been working with these formats since their original introduction into the market. It is this experience that is critical when dealing with these old formats.We maintain videotape equipment to deal with the challenges of obsolescence, and to be able to professionally transfer older formats to your preferred format.
Call Scene Savers today to discuss your requirements and how we can create a custom solution for you.