Thursday, September 17, 2015

How To Keep Your VHS Tapes In Good Condition

The invention of DVD’s and Blu-ray Disc’s have changed the way we watch movies at home. From HD to 4K resolution, our movie experience has been completely revolutionized with the help of DVD’s and Blu-ray Disc’s. But before these advancements people used to watch movies on video cassettes or VHS which really made possible for average families to watch movies at the comfort of their own home. Although you can easily convert your VHS tapes to DVD since DVD’s have much better quality than VHS tapes you might want to keep your old VHS tapes because of sentimental value or  if they are not available in other formats.

Old memories are special indeed! Do you know bad things can happen to your precious VHS due to the lacking of proper care. So here are a few tips and tricks to keep your old VHS tapes last longer:

Do not drop them!

Whatever happens do not drop them. VHS tapes are very hard on the outside but very fragile from the inside so anything can break or get loose easily if it is dropped or moved violently. Also, do not try to touch inside of the tape since any particle from your hand can cause damage to the tape.

Keep your tapes in a clean, cool and dry atmosphere

For years tape manufacturers have recommended to store tapes in cool and dry place. Hot and humid conditions can cause harm to your tapes. Keep them away from sunlight and hot places like near the kitchen or stove. High temperature intensifies tape pack tightness which results in distortion of the tape. Lower humidity results in lower rates of hydrolysis. Also try to store them in a dust free place since dust particles can cause terrible damage.

Keep them away from magnets

Cassette tapes and floppy disks store information using magnetic materials, and can be erased with a magnet. So, always keep your VHS far away from appliances such as speakers which contain magnets unless you want to erase tape. Magnets cause interference with the tapes and sometimes can scramble the video completely. The reason is, when something  is recorded on tape some of the magnets are put in the opposite direction which magnets typically follow. This pattern of alternating magnets is used to store the information.

Take special care after watching

When you pause a video in the middle, the tape gets loose or saggy which can cause interference while playing. So to avoid such problems, always rewind the tape after you finish the movie and store them vertically like books on a shelf to keep the stretched portion of the tape tight.

Even though such measures can help you to prolong the life of your video cassettes but it does not mean they will last forever. If you want to store your movies for a long period of time then you have to convert your VHS to DVD. In order to convert it by yourself, you can do it with the help of a DVD recorder and a VHS player or with the help of a software. Similarly, you can also convert your video through the help of a professional video conversion specialists like Cineclair Productions for a better performance.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How to Recycle and Reuse VHS Tapes

Even if you are not a collector, chances are you can easily find some old VHS tapes and audio cassettes sitting forgotten in a corner of your house covered with dust . Sometimes a small number of them seem like a big problem if you can't find a proper way to transfer old video tapes to DVD as they are so troublesome to recycle. Like cassette tapes and other old media that are made of plastic, there simply are not lot of places that recycle VHS tapes. It’s also very hard to re-purpose them in households as they contain flammable material and moreover it costs more to break them down and make something out of them. Here are some guidelines on how you can recycle and reuse them.

VHS Tape Materials

VHS tapes are made with two different types of plastics. The outer cassette is normally made of polypropylene and the inside ribbon is made with Mylar, a type of polyethylene terephthalate. The ribbon is coated with iron oxide and other metals that are mostly hazardous. These materials are the main reasons why you cannot really reuse these, because these plastics cannot be used to make something new out of them.

Why Recycling VHS Tapes?

You must have heard about the term E-waste. In simple definition, it includes unwanted electrical and electronic equipment such as TV, computer, mobile phones, fax machines, VCR & DVD players, Cassettes, VHS etc. If you want to know more about E-waste, check this out. Most of the time it happens due to short life-span of electronic equipment and the fast growing volume of electronic devices in the market.

Our Eco-system face hazardous situations when E-waste end up in landfill owing to the materials it contain. According to the international studies, 70% of heavy metals in all landfill come from e-waste. In Australia approximately 140,000 tonnes of e-Waste is currently generated per annum, with only 4% being recycled.

So, it is really important that you recycle VHS tapes in proper way. VHS tapes are made of plastic which will never biodegrade. If you throw them in landfill, they will just sit there for uncountable years and over time the hazardous metal on the tape may leech into the ground. If they end up in the incinerator they can release chemicals such as dioxins into the air we breathe. So make sure you choose the correct way if you are planning to recycle those.


Recycling & Reusing Options

Hire a E-waste recycling service

If you are in Australia, then you can look for recycling services for video and audio tapes along with their cases, you can simply give away your VHS tapes to these companies. In some communities VHS tapes are considered e-waste and can be recycled through the regular e-waste collection program.

Sell your VHS tapes to the collectors and make money

If you don’t like the idea of recycling them, there are many collectors out there who are ready to buy all your old VHS tapes. Just put them on e-bay or sell them at garage sales and make some money out of them. You can also donate the classic tapes to the local library.

DIY recycling of VHS tapes

To recycle tapes responsibly you first need to separate the pieces of them and then recycle each element in the following ways:
  • The shells are made of lower grade plastics thus these have very limited appeal on the polymer market. Still, these can return in the form of packaging and insulation.
  • Screws and springs are much simpler to reuse once melted. The tape can also be used when mixed with other tapes - and be heated and moulded for use in rugged outdoor furniture and decking.
  • VHS tapes were typically sold in cases of various kinds. Some were made of plastics and some were of cardboard. The cardboard ones can easily be recycled but plastic cases are more difficult.

You could research any communities who would like to reuse them, but if you simply cannot find one you could always do something creative to reuse them - for instance storing electronics and stationary. Be sure you keep them away from fire as they can be highly flammable.