re oldest videotape still OK

CATARCHIVE@aol.com
Thu, 29 Nov 2001 15:53:42 -0800 (PST)

Oldest living videotape? The video originals in our archive go back to 1968,
and some U-matics from that date are still good. Also some 2-inch stuff from
that period. (Yet I've seen late 70's material that's unplayable now.) Of
course, age alone is not the question; tape stock, storage conditions, etc.
impinge on longevity. And when it comes to 2-inch there is an age-induced
process of "banding" that will eventually make nearly all color tapes of that
old format look as if they were printed on African flags. There is no
reason, however, to rely on antique tapes remaining healthy....transfer them
anyway. Any format you choose will be technically obsolete in a year or
two....art is long and video is short...so bite the bullet and just do it. We
use D2 and have been very satisfied with it.
Stephan Chodorov
Creative Arts Television