- Video records are a vital part of our culture, but videotape is prone to deterioration and losing its recorded contents over time.
- Videotape and all magnetic media is considered high risk from a preservation perspective.
- Fewer than 50% of all feature films made before 1950 have survived.
- In 1990 Universal Studios lost thousands of videos of TV shows and movies in a back lot fire.
- Universal Studios on June 1, 1998 lost 40,000 to 50,000 videos and film reels in a video vault that burned in a devastating fire.
- Many films have sadly been burned in warehouse fires or turned to vinegar in uncontrolled storage environments.
- Every original piece of film footage by director Billy Wilder has gone missing,including the original negative of Sunset Boulevard.
- MAP can convert your media into digital assets for secure access.
- We can create an efficient document management process to capture, archive, search, and retrieve information from multiple venues.
- We facilitate the preservation of historic video by capturing the assets to individual computer files that can be copied without loss – forever.
- Videotape priority for digital transfer is determined by age, condition, and video format. 3/4” U-matic tape is threatened severely if more than 10 years old, Hi8 is jeopardized at all ages, Betacam SP and 1“ tape are endangered, betamax is critically endangered . 1/2” open reel tape and 2” tape are extinct with very few machines in existence to playback the tape.
- Videotape was introduced in the mid 1950's and over 65 formats of analog and digital tape have been in use at one time or another.
- Videotape can easily be damaged by sunlight, fungus, extreme temperatures, and changing levels of humidity that cause expansion or contraction of the tape itself.
- Wet or damp videotapes are particularly vulnerable to damage. Roof leaks, flooding, broken pipes, sewer problems, fire sprinkler systems, and spilled liquids can cause severe contamination and damage.
- The estimated life of videotapes if properly stored is 10-20 years. However, equipment and format obsolescence may pose a greater threat to the life of tape than the media degradation factors.
- The ability to play back a videotape in the future depends on the existence of functional playback equipment.
- The chemical binder that holds the magnetic particles on the videotape is the weakest point of most tape. Some binders can degrade in just a few years.
- Migration to digital media must play a significant role in a comprehensive approach to videotape preservation.
Download: Preservation Facts