Re: Question on vhs lifespan

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Fri, 7 Feb 2003 09:49:00 -0800 (PST)

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Well...this ain't as ez an answer as it might seem. A lot depends on
environmental factors (storage facilities, frequency of use, equipment
maintenance) and other factors, such as tape quality...

Here's a quote from Jeff Clark's chapter on video preservation in Video
Collection Development in Multi-type Libraries: A Handbook (Greenwood, 2002):

Surprisingly, there are few if any firm figures regarding the effective
life of videotape offered in the available popular and scholarly literature
dealing with tape-based media. Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate a
maximum expectancy of 150-250 tape plays. A shelf-life of about ten years
before the onset of severe tape degradation appears plausible under the
most favorable combined storage and use conditions. Unfortunately, any
expectations regarding the effective life of tapes used under ideal
conditions is often compromised by the condition of VCR playback equipment
used outside the collection facility. The eventual degradation of VHS
audio and video quality due to playback wear may make retention of a
particular tape for its entire life less attractive than replacement while
this option is practical and inexpensive.

At 09:02 AM 2/7/2003 -0800, you wrote:
>Hello all
>I am preparing a handout for a Board of Trustees meeting. Part of the
>paper is on the state of the videorecording collection. A portion of our
>collection is roughly 20 years old. Everything being equal, in regards
>of proper care, what is considered old?
>thanks
>John
>
>John H. Streepy
>Media Assistant III
>Library-Media Circulation
>Central Washington University Library
>400 E. 8th AVE
>Ellensburg, WA 98926-7548
>
>(509) 963-2861
>http://www.lib.cwu.edu/media

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
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Well...this ain't as ez an answer as it might seem.  A lot depends on environmental factors (storage facilities, frequency of use, equipment maintenance) and other factors, such as tape quality...  

Here's a quote from Jeff Clark's chapter on video preservation in Video Collection Development in Multi-type Libraries:  A Handbook (Greenwood, 2002):

Surprisingly, there are few if any firm figures regarding the effective life of videotape offered in the available popular and scholarly literature dealing with tape-based media.  Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate a maximum expectancy of 150-250 tape plays.  A shelf-life of about ten years before the onset of severe tape degradation appears plausible under the most favorable combined storage and use conditions. Unfortunately, any expectations regarding the effective life of tapes used under ideal conditions is often compromised by the condition of VCR playback equipment used outside the collection facility.  The eventual degradation of VHS audio and video quality due to playback wear may make retention of a particular tape for its entire life less attractive than replacement while this option is practical and inexpensive.



At 09:02 AM 2/7/2003 -0800, you wrote:

Hello all
I am preparing a handout for a Board of Trustees meeting.  Part of the
paper is on the state of the videorecording collection. A portion of our
collection is roughly 20 years old.  Everything being equal, in regards
of proper care, what is considered old? 
thanks
John

John H. Streepy
Media Assistant III
Library-Media Circulation
Central Washington University Library
400 E. 8th AVE
Ellensburg, WA  98926-7548

(509) 963-2861
http://www.lib.cwu.edu/media

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

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