When I think about Video Home System tapes and their era of prominence I’m immediately slapped with the nostalgia stick. The excitement of heading to the video shop on a Saturday afternoon and the sigh of disappointment from my mum when she realised we’d chosen the same film three weeks running (the 1988 version of Pippy Longstocking if you must know)!

 Back then VHS tapes were king. And there was very little else on the horizon to even threaten to steal their crown (stand down, Betamax). The best thing however, wasn’t just being able to rent and view the latest blockbuster as you stuffed your face with Butterkist. It was the fact that you could make your own movies and capture your own moments! The popularity of camcorders recording onto VHS tapes in the late 80’s opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the average household! It would now be possible to record those first tentative baby steps, christmas gift unwrappings, school nativities and wedding speeches with the added convenience of being able to watch your directorial masterpieces back, on your existing VHS player.

Nothing lasts forever however and as technology shifted and the digital disc era gained momentum, our trusty magnetic tapes were starting to die out along with their bulky accompanying equipment. Before we knew it, people had completely forgotten about their outdated tapes and the DVD and Blu-Ray had taken centre-stage with their posh interactive features and chapter selections. Skip even further forward and from the mid-2000’s discs themselves were being preceded by the humble file format and On-Demand streaming.

Now many of us, if not all, have given up our VHS players years ago, as we streamlined and decluttered our lives. But what remains of the stacks of tapes? What happens to Orlando 1992 or Christmas ‘89? Without a fair bit of faffing and a vhs player or camcorder to hand there’s no longer a convenient way to watch these precious tape-based gems. The solution? Digitise them! Turn your analogue formats into digital ones so that they can be passed on and enjoyed easily on your computer, tablet or pretty much any device going! There are a plenty of benefits in doing so:

  • Higher image quality that’s “frozen” as digital. Your tapes are converted to a digital signal which has certain quality benefits and doesn’t degrade over time. 
  • More durable over time. Unlike a VHS tape that risks damage through overuse or improper storage ,a digital file can be duplicated and stored easily.
  • Improved accessibility. If you think back to those early home-videos you may remember them probably being fairly dark. Digitising your tapes means you can edit footage if required or make technical tweaks like brightness adjustment.
  • Easily shareable with countless play options. With numerous file formats and preset options for digitising, you can share clips or entire videos with family and friends wherever they are in the world!  

Unsure where to begin? Rather than braving the technicalities on your own we would always recommend you use a trustworthy digitising service to take care of this for you. It saves you the time (yes, tapes are converted in real-time so it can be a lengthy process!) and ensures you’ll be getting a good quality digital version of your classic home-videos. The Memory Lab takes care of everything for you with our VHS digitising service. We collect your tapes from you, undertake a high quality transfer in-house, whilst applying all the necessary technical adjustments before compiling everything onto a USB or DVD. And remember if there’s another format other than VHS that you would like digitising please get in touch to see if we can help.

All that’s left to do then is sit back and re-live those awesome home-video memories and share them till your heart’s content. So there you are – now is the time to dig out your old tapes and start digitally celebrating them!