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How to Save Old VHS Tapes

by Matt

VHS tapes were all the rage back in the €˜80s and €˜90s, having had a great run during those golden years. However, they aren’t making a comeback anytime soon and they probably never will, especially since VCR player devices have been discontinued. 

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You may find some used VCRs online, but you should consider some of the latest ways to enjoy the old home movies from years ago. Thanks to technology, you can convert old VHS cassettes to a digital copy on your computer or laptop. Read on to learn about the ways to save your old VHS tapes.   

Clean the Cassettes First

Chances are that the old cassettes have collected plenty of dust over the years and you must clean them first before the conversion process. You will need certain items to make the cleaning process easy and hassle-free, ensuring that the old tapes don’t get damaged in the process. The items you need are scissors, gloves, a screwdriver, lint-free cloth, cotton swabs, and adhesive tape. Start by cutting the lint-free cloth into small pieces because they must be small enough to wrap around your cotton swabs. You can tape them or use the adhesive to keep them secure on the cotton swabs.

Use the screwdriver to disassemble the cassette. Next, remove the part that has the polyethylene tape, and then dip your cotton swabs in isopropyl alcohol. Wipe off any mold or hardened dust, then assemble the cassette again. To clean the polyethylene tape, pull out the cotton swab a little at a time and make sure to wear your gloves while using the lint-free cloth to wipe it down properly. Using the cassette reels will help you put the tape back inside the cassette. Doing these steps will ensure high-quality conversion for every VHS cassette you own.  

Use Your VCR

You should dust off your old VCR player if you still have it or you can invest in a used one from several online platforms. You must purchase a converter tool that connects your VCR to your laptop or PC, helping you record the content on your new devices instead. The tech enthusiasts at LifeRejoice.com suggest that getting the right converter depends on the type of operating system you have on your computer. If you have a MAC or Windows OS, then you must get the converter tool that is compatible with your device. The tool can have USB or HDMI ports, choose the one that suits your device perfectly. When everything is plugged in, you can press play on your VCR and start recording on your computer. Leave the tape running for as much as you want based on the amount of content you want to save.

The Software 

Downloading or purchasing the right software for the conversion process is crucial to ensure that the recorded content is of high-quality. The best converter programs have options to change the capture settings to a video format that can be easily played and edited, whether it’s DVD, MPG, AVI, or MP4 format. The types of software programs vary and you must read online reviews about them before you download or purchase anything. Some programs can be found for free, but you need to be sure that you download it from a credible and safe source.

Saving the File

When the recording is done and the file is ready, you have several ways to save the digital video file of your old tape. Getting an external hard drive to save it on is an option, or you can save it on a DVD or CD if your computer has a DVD player. Uploading the video to an online cloud service is an excellent option too, especially if you have a lot of content to save. 

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One of the best ones can have unlimited storage features, saving all the large videos easily. Some of these online cloud services are free but the most reliable ones ask for a small fee to secure your content safely. 

Time to dust off your old cassettes, get your old VCR working, and record all of your memories for you to enjoy on modern devices. VHS cassettes and VCR players are an obsolete form of technology in today’s modern world, but that doesn’t mean that the content inside them is lost forever. You can relive some of the best moments of your childhood again, saving the cherished memories properly on your PC or the cloud. Try to focus on home movies only and ignore the normal movies because you can easily find those on any streaming website. People that have boxes of old cassette tapes can finally use them one last time to save all the content from the good old days. 

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