VHS tapes are the most common video format that we transfer to DVD at EverPresent. Here are some facts that you may not know about the format:

  • VHS tapes were developed in Japan in the 1970s by JVC
  • Sony produced a competitor format called Betamax, which eventually lost out to VHS tapes in what was known as the ‘Videotape format war’
  • A standard tape can hold about 1500 feet of tape, which is four hours of playing time under normal playback speed.
  • The slower speeds of EP, LP and SLP (‘extended play’, ‘long play’, and ‘super long play’ respectively) allowed for up to twelve hours of recording time. However, there is a reduction in both video and audio quality. There is nothing about these settings that prevents a clean transfer to DVD.
  • The most common encoding types we see are PAL (usually associated with Europe) and NTSC (associated with the United States). We can digitize both types, but PAL tapes require specialized equipment, otherwise the playback quality is severely impaired.
  • VHS tapes could be used in shoulder-mounted video cameras as well as in VCRs to record television broadcasts or other tapes in the VCR.
  • the Motion Picture Association of America estimated it lost as much as $370,000,000 from VHS tapes being illegally copied instead of purchased. This spurred the development of copy protected tapes.
  • A couple improved variations of the VHS were developed, though none were commercially successful. These included S-VHS, ADAT, and SVHS-ET tapes. We can transfer these formats to DVD as well.

If you have any questions about a particular tape that you want answered, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can reach a live person during business hours, or send an email to [email protected] at any time with your information and a picture of the tape in question.