VHS Tapes always wear out a little bit every time when we play them. Here’s how to care for them! Tape degradation can be broken down into several categories: time, storage, handling and use.
- Time: Over time the components of a video tape degrade. Most importantly the magnetic particles that contain the video data become unstable and their physical properties change.
- Storage: The environment in which you store video can accelerate the degradation process. The magnetic particles respond to environmental factors such as temperature fluctuations, extreme temperature, humidity, pollution, and sunlight.
- Handling: Poor handling can expedite degradation. Avoid dropping the tape or handling the tape. It is easy to transfer dust, dirt and, grease onto tapes.
- Use: The quality of your tape deck is important. A misaligned deck can stretch/tear tape and pack tape poorly. A dirty deck can turn small debris into large scratches. Each time a tape is played friction occurs assisting in the degradation process.