It’s true, isn’t it?

Your childhood memories are not saved on an old SD card, iPhone, or a cloud. They’re somewhere on VHS tape in a box in an attic. Their labels are smeared with fading ink. 

Did you know the contents of those tapes are also fading? 

Unlike the long-lasting digital media of today, VHS tapes degrade at a much quicker pace. 

With the production of VCRs stopping in 2016, it’s unlikely you’ve got one hanging out next to your Roku. How will you continue to watch your old tapes?

Videotape conversions offer a solution. By converting your degrading VHS tape to a digital format you can continue to view your videos for years to come.

Due to the diminishing presence of VCRs and VHS software, you might be wondering how this is even possible. With these few simple steps, we turn those old tapes into memories you can hold onto.

Identifying Your Media

To turn those VHS tapes into digital copies, one of the first things we have to do is identify their type. Whether you’ve got a VHS, Hi8, Betamax (or even some old-school reels) identifying the type of tape is crucial for a successful conversion.

VHS tapes that are being converted will need a device for playback. Other than needing the obvious working VCR, there’s a chance some form of adapter or camcorder will also be needed.

It is important that whoever performs the video transfer service (whether you or a professional) uses compatible, working, and properly cared-for equipment.

When trying to save your VHS tapes the last thing you want is to damage the content by using an incompatible device.

Trusting a professional company to provide this service for you can give you peace of mind. You should still always ask about the equipment they use and their process for video conversion.

Videotape Conversions in Action

Once the playback device and any needed adapters are identified, it’s time for the magic to happen! 

There’s nothing really magical or speedy that happens. The appropriate compatible VHS or camcorder/adapter needed for your tapes is hooked up to a computer using what’s called a video converter. 

The video converter essentially functions the same as that old-school yellow, red, and white audio/video cord. (If there’s footage of you on VHS, you know the one). Instead of playing your media through a TV, the converter makes it now compatible to play through a computer’s USB port. 

This piece of equipment is what allows us to convert film and VHS tapes from analog forms of media into new modernized digital videos. Pretty cool, right?

The difference between analog and digital is what helps preserve your video. Unlike digital video, analog video degrades over time and with every copy or transfer. Digital video is around for the long haul. 

Your tapes will be played in real-time while the conversion is happening, meaning this could end up being a rather lengthy process for some of those longer media videos and recordings. 

This is another great reason to make sure whoever you trust with the transfer understands the priceless value of your VHS tapes.

This process just can’t be rushed. 

Once the conversion has been completed, there’s a great little cherry on top that makes this entire process even more amazing…the option to edit your (now digital) media! 

Even better than adding a filter or cat ears, your digital copies can now have those glitchy or static-ridden frames edited right out leaving your memories in pristine condition for years to come. 

Don’t trust just anybody to decide what stays and what goes. Ask questions and give clear instructions if there are parts you want untouched.

New Life for VHS Tapes

Another crucial part of this process is choosing a type of media for your new digital video. Thanks to the digitized world we live in, you have unlimited options; none of which are particularly wrong, but some options could prove more beneficial than others.

To make this decision, think about how you will use your media now that it is no longer in a clunky, hard-to-play VHS tape.

Maybe you’ve got a sibling living across the country and you just can’t wait to share childhood memories with them again? In this case, digital copies directly uploaded to a cloud-type service would make for the easiest and quickest sharing. 

If you need ease of access and playability so you can keep it on repeat consider a DVD or Blu-ray for your new media. 

A forever wise option would be to choose multiple forms. The whole motivation for converting VHS to digital is to preserve the content. You’ve taken the time and invested in lasting media, go ahead and choose more than one type.

Choosing a cloud upload and also having your files downloaded to Blu-ray or a flash drive would give you digital and physical options should one of the two ever encounter an unfortunate fate. 

Invest in Your Memories

There are certain moments from childhood we all wish we could hold onto forever. Here at Envision, we take great pride in videotape conversions because they allow just that.

We understand we’re holding your memories in our hands. Your VHS tapes are handled with the utmost care from start to finish. We handle every aspect on-site using our custom-designed state-of-the-art equipment meaning your tapes never leave our facility until they’re on their way back to you.

If you’re ready to turn your VHS tapes into long-lasting memories, contact us for more information and get ready to reclaim your memories before they fade!