Many institutions recorded video on tape in the 1980s and 1990s. A large amount of history has been recorded to this medium. In a 1993 American Library of Congress administered survey of 500 archives it was projected that there were at least 26 million audio and video tapes held in established, working archives through the world. Of these, approximately 17 million carried audio, the rest were video, and, to a significantly lesser degree, sound tracks to motion pictures. Even if these figures are incorrect - even by as much as 50% - we would still find over 13 million tapes in archival collections.
Videotape was hugely used in the consumer market as well. You may well indeed have old tapes lying around on the bookcase or in the cupboard - old family gatherings, the kids ultrasound scans, wedding videos. And chances are they're not being stored in the correct way. Incorrect storage in a warm place can lead to damage that makes the videotape permanently useless. Video players are notorious for "chewing up" tapes, as many of us remember well. At best the tape is retrieved but never plays properly again. At worst the tape is completely ruined and you won't be playing it again. To compound things, technology is continually evolving and not only have most people retired their VCRs - it's now difficult to purchase a new VCR if you wanted to view them now. Either way the memories are completely lost.
Tapes can also deteriorate over time, especially when they've been watched a lot, until the quality degrades until the point where they are unwatchable.
Format transfer through digitisation ensures the further degredation of the videotape no longer becomes an issue to viewing. We digitise the following videotape formats:
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