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Hoarding Old VHS Tapes
cwathen
post Aug 14 2018, 08:52 PM
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QUOTE (Robert @ Apr 25 2014, 01:17 AM) *
I never really noticed any difference in the type of VHS used for recording. I was always jealous of my brother who had a stereo VHS recorder when mine was mono. Then I bought a stereo one a few years later and it went tits up after maybe a year! (I wasn't happy). I used my mono one to record Prisoner as many have said they did too..and I used to sit watching it almost shaking and ready to press pause when the gate slammed for the ads!! On some occasions rewinding to watch it all again straight after. I think maybe twice the video didn't record and I felt so down!! Crazy times!!

I had built up a pretty expansive VHS collection of knocking on for 200 tapes, sadly whilst I assumed for many years that it was all still intact it appears that it isn't and I've only got a dozen or so tapes left.

VHS recordings will always be best played back in the same machine that made the recording, which in most cases will now be very unlikely. But if you happen to still have your faithful VCR from the 90's that you recorded all your tapes on and it still works, hold onto it. As long as it is in good working order, it will give you the best possible results.

Older recordings from the 80's and early 90's often stand up better than later ones do; the machines around then were better built and the tapes were higher quality which is why both cost a lot more. They were also usually SP only mono machines which does provide the most resilient recordings.

LP runs the tape at half speed which significantly reduces the bandwidth available for the recording, and stereo VCR's have to fit two audio tracks into the same space that a mono VCR would use for one. You got away with this at the time when the recording was freshly made and played back in the same machine but it doesn't hold up very well when you're dealing with a 20 year old recording which you're trying to play back on a different machine.

'Squeaky' bits on LP recordings are caused by the machine momentarily losing the LP marker and dropping back to SP which is causing the recording to run at double speed. This can be a one off annoyance but if it keeps happening then as said it becomes unwatchable. Stereo audio recordings can also suffer from the same problem when the VCR loses the stereo marker and no longer separates the two channels (or sometimes just cuts out one channel). This can be equally distracting (although it can also be fixed by using a mono machine at the expense of having the stereo).

Auto tracking which became commonplace can also be a pain in the arse if the machine ended up tracking it's recordings at the extremities (which it could often end up doing after you'd previously played back a dodgy tape in the machine) as you may not be able to bring it back into an optimal range on a different machine. Older 80's VCR's with a manual tracking control that usually got left in the centre produced recordings that are much easier to deal with on different equipment.

If you're still using home recorded VHS tapes today you probably need more than one machine to get the best results from various tapes (and also so you aren't reliant on a single machine as VHS equipment hasn't been made for almost a decade so there is a finite number of working machines left). As a minimum, I'd recommend both a mono and a stereo machine so you can access stereo recordings where they are still playable but still be able to have stable audio where they have degraded.

And if you're ebaying for a VCR, you're probably going to get better results from something made in the early 90's (as long as it still works) than something that sold for £39.99 in 2007.
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Lex82
post Aug 14 2018, 08:59 PM
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QUOTE (cwathen @ Aug 14 2018, 09:52 PM) *
'Squeaky' bits on LP recordings are caused by the machine momentarily losing the LP marker and dropping back to SP which is causing the recording to run at double speed. This can be a one off annoyance but if it keeps happening then as said it becomes unwatchable. Stereo audio recordings can also suffer from the same problem when the VCR loses the stereo marker and no longer separates the two channels (or sometimes just cuts out one channel). This can be equally distracting (although it can also be fixed by using a mono machine at the expense of having the stereo).


This has happened on one particular programme about Movie Soundtracks. Very annoying. I'm not using the machine which originally made the recording but the VHS/DVD recorder. I do, however, still have the machine which I originally recorded it on. I dare say I could record it using SCART lead.
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Robert
post Aug 14 2018, 09:17 PM
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QUOTE (foxy23 @ Aug 21 2015, 11:57 AM) *
I have almost the entire series of Richmond Hill on tape (1988-1989).

Hi Foxy - I have tried to message you a few times on here and also commented in this thread to ask you...is there any chance of letting me know if you would be interested in me transferring your Richmond Hill tapes to DVD?
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wentworthwarrior
post Aug 14 2018, 10:53 PM
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QUOTE (Robert @ Aug 14 2018, 10:17 PM) *
Hi Foxy - I have tried to message you a few times on here and also commented in this thread to ask you...is there any chance of letting me know if you would be interested in me transferring your Richmond Hill tapes to DVD?

I'm sure many of us would love to see this short-lived year long soap again
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PavlovsDog
post Aug 14 2018, 11:10 PM
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QUOTE (wentworthwarrior @ Aug 14 2018, 11:53 PM) *
I'm sure many of us would love to see this short-lived year long soap again


I certainly would.
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thefootofourstai...
post Sep 9 2018, 08:16 AM
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QUOTE (PavlovsDog @ Aug 15 2018, 12:10 AM) *
I certainly would.


Same
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