Tag Archive for storage

How To Keep Your VHS Tapes Lasting Longer

In this day and age, everything seems to be about Blu-Ray and DVDs and even little memory cards that you can store your videos on. But if you, like us, grew up in a time before all of these things were around, odds are that you have a decent collection of home videos on VHS tapes. You’ll also know just how fragile these tapes can be and how easily you can damage them or accidentally record over them (that is, assuming that you still even own a VCR).

Our number one suggestion to you is to get your precious memories converted to DVD before anything can happen to those tapes, and we here at AM Tech Video can do just that for you! In addition to converting your movies to DVD, we’ve compiled a list of a few simple things that you can do in order to keep your original VHS video tapes lasting longer.

First, you want to be very careful when handling the tape. Tapes may be more durable than DVDs on the outside, but there are plenty of inner workings that can get broken if you’re not careful. You never want to touch the tape inside of the door of the cassette either, as it can get smudged, crumpled, torn, etc., which could badly damage your video. When you’re done watching a VHS tape, you should rewind it before storing it to keep the tape inside tight, which prevents the video from sagging.

When you do store it, always keep it stored inside of its designated case to keep it from getting dusty, as dust can mess with your VCR when you go to play it and can also scratch the tape inside the cassette. Store VHS tapes in a cool, dry place away from heat and direct sunlight. The tape inside can shrink if it’s stored somewhere that’s too hot, which will definitely cause damage to your video. It’s also helpful to store them vertically so that the tape inside sits flat, which also prevents sagging. Lastly, something most people might not know, make sure to keep your VHS tapes away from magnets and speakers! The magnetic properties can damage or even erase VHS videos!

Be sure to follow these tips to keep your VHS home videos lasting longer. If you haven’t had them converted to DVD yet, give us a call or drop in to see us here at AM Tech Video to see what we can do for you!

Do-It-Yourself Camera or SD Video Card to DVD

Many still cameras now offer a video mode. Getting your videos to a DVD can, however, be a bit of a challenge. I would first check with your camera’s manufacturer to see about any free software that would offer a solution. Barring that option, here is how to transfer video files to DVD. Your camera may have a USB port and a cable to directly transfer the video files to your computer. If not, your computer may have a card reader built in that you can use to transfer the files from a memory¬†card.

If your computer does not have one, you will need to purchase one. The card reader must match the type of card that you have. All card readers are not the same! If you have an SDHC card from your camera and your card reader only reads SD cards, you will need to upgrade to a card reader that reads SDHC cards.

Transfer your video files to a folder on whichever drive of your computer that you would like to save them on. I find this a more reliable way to work with the files opposed to working off of the card or digital camera. Your computer will also have to be fast enough and have enough memory to play your video. How fast does your computer have to be to play video? As a rule, about 2.2 GHz, and it should have about 2 GB of RAM. This can vary as to how choked up your computer is. The more speed and memory, the better! A second Hard Drive would be beneficial to store and play your videos. This may solve some of the top and go type of video playback.

Once you have the files in your computer, open up your favorite DVD Authoring Program, import your video files from the folder you copied them to and follow program instructions. If your DVD Authoring Program doesn’t recognize the video files, you will need to get a video file converter program or find a different DVD Authoring Program that does read that type of file. Look for a high rated program that lists your file type, whether it’s .mp4, .mov, .avi, or whichever. Have fun! ūüôā

Keep in mind, the easiest solution would be to bring your SD memory card or camera in to us here at AM Tech Video and let us do the DVD transfer for you! Mention that you saw it here and get a $5.00 discount! Check out http://www.cameratransfer.com/ for more information.