Playing old VHS-C tapes

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by szeik, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. szeik

    szeik Guest


    I posted a while back and never got around to this. Now I can join the all-time procrastinators club.

    We have a bunch of VHS-C tapes that we can't even watch because our old camcorder broke.

    I am too afraid to use those VHS converters that you stick the tape into because I had one almost eat a tape and they just seem too clunky to me.

    If I go on Amazon or Ebay to buy an older camcorder that plays VHS-C tapes is there anything I need to consider? Do I need to get a Panasonic brand since our Camcorder was a Panasonic? Are some better than others? Would some produce better output for uploading to the computer?

    Eventually I would like to use the camcorder to playback the tapes into thecomputer and convert everything to DVD's but the first order of business is just to watch our old tapes on the television.

    Thanks for any advice on this.

    szeik, Jun 23, 2013
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  2. szeik

    Brian Guest

    VHS-C is old technology so you can't buy a video camera that uses this
    technology. You may be able to get a second camera that uses VHS-C tapes.
    There are some places that offer to convert video tape to a DVD disc for a
    cost. You might find them by searching with Google or they could be in our
    local phone book.

    Failing that using a converter might be your only option. If the video
    player is of good quality then there should be no problem. I would advise
    you to have your tapes converted to DVD as tapes degrade over time to a
    stage where they cannot be viewed. Like I said there are places that offer
    to convert tapes to DVD.

    You could also try looking at some YouTube videos n this subject o see how
    other people convert their old camera tapes.
    Brian, Jun 23, 2013
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  3. It likely also has a single (yellow) RCA video input, the one
    best used with VHS (although an "S" connector would work better
    with SVHS and Hi-8).

    Any VHS-C camcorder/deck should be comparable with any other, as
    with VHS, 8mm, Hi-8, Mini-DV, Beta, HDV, etc. The only exception
    that I know of (due to critical head alignment) is with LP-mode
    Mini-DV, which sometimes could not be played on different gear
    from what had recorded it...

    No - that is an HD digital connection.
    If tapes are properly stored and not played in "pause-mode", and if
    they are played on good gear in good condition (with clean heads
    that are well-aligned and not too worn), tapes will easily outlast
    user-made optical disks (even if those are carefully stored and
    used), which are not very durable since their recording medium
    depends on the stability of the dyes used (commercial "pressed"
    disks, though, do have very long lives, unless scratched) - BUT,
    there are user-made optical disk types that do have extended lives
    (gold", and especially "stone" disks - but the latter requires a
    special writer [not very expensive], and the media for both is not
    Maybe the best and easiest option is to keep a couple of good VHS
    standard players in running condition, and using a cassette adapter
    to play the VHS-C tapes in them. BTW, new VHS decks are fairly
    inexpensive, and they often include a DVD player...
    David Ruether, Jun 23, 2013
  4. Uh, that should have been, "Any VHS-C camcorder/deck should be
    *compatible* with any other... (the spell-checker is not too
    bright - but neither is this writer, sometimes...;-). Also Google
    "M-Disc" for info on "stone" disks - they are "interesting"...;-)
    David Ruether, Jun 23, 2013
  5. szeik

    Brian Guest

    Some video recorders have problems with these type of adapters. Perhaps you
    could tell the him what brand of video recorder you are using as you don't
    seem to have any problems in using the adapter.
    Brian, Jul 14, 2013
  6. szeik

    sriccardo26 Guest

    Your best bet would be to buy some "donor" vhs videotapes off ebay, or use any old vhs tapes you have that you no longer need, and open up the tapes and put the film into the shells of the vhs tapes. It's not particularly difficult, but can be time consuming, as you need to remove all the film in the donor vhs tapes. Also, don't use scotch tape to put the beginning and endof the vhs-c film into the donor tapes' reels. There is a small piece in the wheel of the reels called a "retainer clip" which holds the very beginning and end of the film (you'll notice that's clear instead of black). My advice would be to buy a brand new vhs-c tape, open it and familiarize yourself with all the little parts so you can learn how to properly take apart the tape and put it back together. Same goes for the vhs tapes. There's how-to guides all over the internet, but again, ignore the part where they all suggest using scotch tape. As for getting all the old film out of the donor tapes, I'd suggest putting a shopping bag over a door handle, put somethinglike a wooden stick into the circle of the tape reel, and just start pulling the tape. It'll keep spinning as you go.
    sriccardo26, Dec 30, 2013
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