Re: damaged videos

Ralph Huntzinger (
Tue, 7 Nov 1995 10:42:57 -0800 (PST)

The behavior you describe sounds like the control track level has been
destroyed or is so weak that the "control track circuits" (better label
than thing-a-mag-jigee) are not locking onto it -- whenever we see that
behavior we have traced it to being near a very strong magnet (like the
tattle tape equipment). We have found that a desensitizer can weaken the
control tracks even if the stack of materials is only "close to the
equipment". There is a pattern to the breakup when the video tape is in
contact with the desensitizer; but as the tape gets farther away, the
pattern is only related to when the control track circuits can not lock
onto the signal (no pattern of breakup).
We have not been able to trace problem to loudspeakers, tops of TV
sets, etc; these are possible culprits, but I've always thought they were
mentioned to be inclusive. Of course, there is the story of the top
administrator who helped at the circ desk while branch staff meeting was
being held and zapped 40 video tapes. (Do not try this at home with
untrained personnel.)

Hopes that adds to understanding the legends surrounding the loss of
control that video has on the American mind and the rise of interactive
computer activity.

Ralph E. Huntzinger
Media Services
King County Library System voice: (206) 684-6673
300 8th Ave. N. fax: (206) 684-5590
Seattle, WA 98109