Christmas 2007
Tip #5
Did you know that as you read this, the memories on your video tapes and old movie reels are slowly fading? It’s true. Magnetic tape used for video was not manufactured to last indefinitely. In time, climate changes, where and how your tapes/films are stored and the use they have had over the years takes a toll on the most precious moments in your life.

You may notice the next time you watch your wedding, your child's first steps or an old vacation video tape that the picture is not as sharp as it used to be. Quite possibly you’ll see some snow, drop out, or a rolling vertical line on the screen-- or worse still, when the picture is no longer viewable and the sound is garbled. And what about that shoebox full of old 8mm movies? Think about your family history that cannot be viewed without a projector. So what can be done?

Transferring your tapes or films to a DVD format is currently the most affordable and longest lasting technology available.
The laser that reads the disc does not make contact like a tape head or the exposure mechanism on a movie projector.

There is virtually nothing to wear out or damage the disc. If handled properly, DVD's can have a shelf life of over 100 years.

There are so many advantages to transferring outdated media to DVD’s. Typically, DVD's have an on-screen menu and easy to locate pre-set chapters that allow you to skip quickly through the disc. And there is no rewinding. On average, a DVD will hold about two hours of content. Since most VCR and Camcorder tapes record up to two hours of footage, the need for editing is minimal. Multiple tapes/film can be combined on to one DVD providing a cost effective way to archive footage that is shorter in content. They are convenient to handle and much easier to store.

It's also a good idea to make an additional copy to store in a safe place. As stable as the technology is, a DVD in the hands of someone not familiar with how to handle one, could render it useless. Be advised, consumer DVD’s (i.e. DVD-R’s & DVD+R’s) still do not play on every player or computer and there are several different formats used worldwide.

All too often people go through heartache when they realize they have waited too long to make a copy of a once-in-a-lifetime event. If your memories matter to you and those who you want to share your family heritage with, transfer your tapes/film to DVD before any more of your memories fade away. The small investment made today will be priceless to those who will treasure them for generations to come.

Click here to learn more about Video to DVD or Film to DVD.

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