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Proper tape maintenance can slow the deterioration process and preserve your family's video tapes as long as possible. Even if you convert video to DVD, always, always, ALWAYS keep your original tapes! Never get rid of your master copies because they will always be the best version (this comes in handy as transfer technology changes).

Storage tips after you transfer VCR to DVD

After your tape to DVD transfer is complete, avoid storing tapes in the following places:
          
– Concrete floors: Susceptible to water and high humidity
          – Attics: High temperatures
          – Cellars/basements: High humidity
          – Near bathrooms or laundry rooms: Humidity from steam
          – Next to electronics in a cabinet: High temperatures and magnetism

Store videotapes in a stable, cool, and dry environment. Heat and humidity are the two greatest threats to video tapes, since magnetic tape expands and contracts as weather conditions change. This changes the tape's physical dimensions, which can confuse a VCR or camcorder. Ideal storage temperatures are 60–65 degrees Fahrenheit; do not go cooler than 45 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information, see our Video Tape to DVD page.

Avoid rapid changes in temperatures. Do not use tapes, VCRs, or camcorders if they have been in high or low temperatures or in humidity. Let them sit in room temperature for awhile before using them. Temperature changes and humidity can clog video playback heads and jam tapes.

Keep tapes out of sunlight and away from magnetic fields.

Tape to DVD transfer - tape care tips:

Transfer VCR to DVD

After video DVD conversion, store tapes in their cases. This prevents dust and dirt from entering the tape cassette, which can increase the amount of magnetic particles rubbed off during playback and exacerbate magnetic charges.

Store tapes in an upright position, like a book on a shelf (as illustrated in photo at right). This helps prevent damage to the edge of the tape. Never stack tapes one on top of the other.

Watch important tapes as little as possible to prevent wear and tear. Transfer video tapes to DVD when you want to watch them over and over, then watch the DVD instead and carefully store the original tape.

Break the tape's write-protect mechanism. Doing this prevents the tape from being recorded over accidentally. To do this, use a small regular screwdriver to break off the small square tab that can be found on the tape's spine (the opposite side from the tape mechanism).

Maintain your VCR and camcorder as well as possible. Use head cleaners to eliminate the dirt that can cause abrasive conditions for tapes. Cover machines and store camcorders in cases to prevent dust.

Never touch a cassette's plastic tape with your fingers.

Don't splice and reuse broken video tapes. Splicing can damage a VCR's heads. And don't clean tapes contaminated with adhesives, fungus, or other substances yourself. Leave repair work to the professionals.

Transfer to DVD so your videos are safely backed up! Converting old tapes to DVD is the only sure way to preserve your memories forever.

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