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Is converting tapes to dvd worth it?

Discussion in 'Other video questions' started by jesse100, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. jesse100

    jesse100 Guest

    With all the dvd media problems (particularly the rather short life span) that I have been reading about on these forums, why isn't video tape still considered the best bet for now? It seems more consistent at this point as far I can tell. A person could go nuts trying to figure out which blank media to buy. Even with the best media I ask is it going to last? Will I put it in a dvd player one day down the road and it not play? I had vhs tapes that were 20 years old that looked fine (and yet I ignorantly threw them away after putting them on dvd). What do y'all think?
     
  2. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    I think I might be in the minority opinion, but if the question is just reliability, then today (and that's an important qualifier), I think VHS holds the edge over burnt DVD's. But it's still a trade off between quality and reliability and right now although burnt DVD's give the best quality their long term reliability is unproven.

    There's a lot of crap media out there who's lifespan is unknown at best and doubtful given the specs of the media. Even with decent media, who's lifespan is still unknown, the variables used in creating the burnt DVD (quality of the burner, compression of the video prior to burning, software used to burn) create opportunities for undesirable artifacts down the road.

    The upside of burnt DVD's is obvious - done correctly you're getting a copy of your tape that can be viewed a thousand times with no further degradation to the image. But, despite what anyone tells you, nobody knows how a burnt DVD is going to perform 20 years from now when popped into a DVD player. Although VHS tapes age over time, there is a track record of VHS tapes still holding up after 20 years.

    I've burnt quite of few of my favorite movies from VHS tape to DVD but I've never thrown out the original tape.

    I'm old enough to have floppy disks from 20 years ago. 98% of them are still readable. 2% aren't. 100% of my VHS tapes from 20 years ago still play. Hang on to your tapes. But... 20 years from now will you still be able to get hold of a VCR? That's the twist.



     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2005
  3. jesse100

    jesse100 Guest

    Good post moonrocks. I had hoped for some more opinions. I do agree that this technology is in need of some improvement that hopefully is forthcoming. I hope that VCRs can become obsolete. Right now though, you better hang on to them (at least as far as recording things goes). I am currently re-recording my important stuff back onto tape. Tape is the best bet right now in my estimation.

    Jesse
     
  4. webhedreg

    webhedreg Guest

    I have never seen a DVD get chewed up by a faulty playing head. But I have seen plenty of tapes that have been either totally or partially ruined which then required cutting and splicing. I would still go with DVD any day. Taiyo Yuden disks are listed with a life span of 100 years. How they actually prove this and come up with the figures is beyond me, but the egg heads normally get it right. Even if they are wrong and the disks only last 50 years, that's still more than ling enough for me.
     
  5. shiroh

    shiroh Guest

    just by reading the title, the answer is clear.
    no. not worth a single second.
    unless, its homevideo, or its really rare stuff.

    why vhs is not the best bet ?
    1)its big, you need huge closet for that ;)
    2)its low res.
    3)noise.
    4)you can only play it back like 1000 times and the tape snaps or the data gets crappy, degradation.
    5)my vcr is only mono, boohoo
    6)i haven't live long enough to have 20 years of vhs collection ;)
     
  6. jesse100

    jesse100 Guest

    Great points. What DVD-R would you guys suggest? The TY's will not work in my recorder for some reason.

    Jesse
     
  7. webhedreg

    webhedreg Guest

    If the TY's are originals not fakes then I would suggest checking the firmware of the recorder, and if needed updated it. Otherwise use Verbatim. where did tou get TY disks from, if in Uk I would look at SVP as they are always the genuine items, either way whatever disks you get the price at SVP is always about as low as it gets. What recorder are you using, and what firmware does it have?
     
  8. jesse100

    jesse100 Guest

    I got them through Meritline. I tried them just before I updated firmware for the 8x. I should have waited to see if they would have worked after. They were 4x but may have been faster or something. The Emerson recorder is very finicky. I should try them again I suppose. They seem to be the favorite of those in the know. Are there folks out there who have used the TYs on the Emerson recorder?
     
  9. webhedreg

    webhedreg Guest

  10. jesse100

    jesse100 Guest

    I really like the machine. I will probably want to graduate to something more sophisticated eventually but I think it performs well. The media was a problem after the market started growing past the 4x but I recently did a firmware update and it now records on 8x discs. It has always read most other discs for me (to play). The update from Emerson was easy and I can't complain.

    My concern has been more in the area of poor media. I was unaware of the problems. I am using Maxells and Verbatims right now.
     
  11. wvmcl

    wvmcl Member

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    Twenty years from now we'll all be using video on demand or HD DVD or something else even better. Don't save VHS tapes unless they are rare editions or you have tons of storage space.
     
  12. jesse100

    jesse100 Guest

    I believe you are right. I think right now the issue is confidence in the blank media you are using. I am now only buying Maxells and Verbatims. I found some Verbatims on Sat at Best Buy that have alot of information on them about the material used and makes lots of promises. It is also supposed to be very scratch resistant. I will continue to convert everything to DVD and the older stuff I have already converted I will put on to media I trust more.
     
  13. webhedreg

    webhedreg Guest

    If your machine records to verbatims then you are fine, these are one of the best makes around in the top 2-3 in my opinion.
     
  14. gallagher

    gallagher Regular member

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    There is nothing wrong with backing up old VCR tapes or cassettes. But it is pretty hard to be better than the original unless all you want to do is try to restore some of them.
     
  15. webhedreg

    webhedreg Guest

    Reasons to backup:

    Degredation: Not a problem on DVD when it's played back, VHS tape stretches and wears out, it is also prone to snap and tangle at some point as you are dealing with mechanical parts when playing back.

    Storage: Fraction of the size and weight.

    Playback: Most peope I know don't even have a VCR anymore, or it's resigned to the garage in a box.
    Playback on DVD is far easier.

    Editing: Once it's on the PC you can edit it before burning, although you can edit VHS, chances are you wont even copy it onto PC unless it's for a VHS to DVD transfer.

    Copying: How easy is it to copy a VHS tape at home and what's the resulting quality on progressive copies. DVD-DVD 10 minutes and 100%.

    Maybe I just love DVD, I hated VHS and was glad to get rid of it.
     

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