In the realm of high-tech gadgetry, there’s always something new. Just when a computer, cell phone, or piece of software was starting to seem like an old friend, whoosh, there’s a new, must-have version. There are many examples. CDs were a snazzy high-tech replacement for vinyl records. Yet, those once futuristic CD players are now collecting dust. Another iconic 1980s technology that progress has left behind is the VHS tape. While videotape might be easy to scoff at today, it was a huge improvement, especially for making home movies. Recall that a “super 8” movie film cartridge had a runtime under 3 minutes and you had to pay someone to develop the film. Once VHS was introduced, you had 2 to 6 hours of run time, no film to develop, and it even had sound!
If you have VHS tapes with home movies and other memories on them, you should probably hurry up and transfer them to your computer. Not only can tapes deteriorate over time, but it isn’t going to get any easier to find the equipment needed to play them. If you get the movies into a digital format, you can easily edit them, make DVDs, give copies to friends or family, or even embarrass a relative by posting an old movie on the internet! Also, once a home movie is in digital format, you’ll be able to transfer a perfect copy to whatever storage medium come along in the future.
In addition to your VHS tapes, you’ll need a VCR with audio and video outputs, a special adapter to connect it to a computer, and plenty of storage space on your computer or external drive (a movie will require something like 750 megabytes per hour). If you aren’t a computer whiz, don’t worry. Any good adapter comes with software that will walk you through the whole process.
We’ve posted a helpful video that will provide you with more details. We’d love to hear all about your home movie memories in the comments at Facebook and be sure to like and share!