Re: Physical damage and videotape

Gail B. Fedak (
Fri, 19 Jun 1998 14:32:29 -0700

Jean McCarron wrote:

> Should I be worried?
> We have just starting using a new RTI cleaning/inspection machine and have
> our first batch of videos returned with "defects". There are about a dozen
> with slightly "serrated/wavy" edges, but when viewed they still have
> excellent picture and sound. My question is - is there any real reason for
> withdrawing tapes like this? We wouldn't have even known about these
> faults before...because people typically only complain to us when the
> picture/sound are faulty, or if there is gross damage (video sticks in
> machine, broken flaps). Can these tapes damage a vcr machine in any way if
> we return them to the collection? I'm not talking about severely crumpled
> tape which might catch and unwind in a machine.
> Thankyou for any help anyone can give.
> ****************************************************
> Jean A. McCarron
> Audiovisual Coordinator
> North Vancouver District Public Library
> TEL. DIR LINE: (604)990-5817
> TEL. LIBRARY: (604)990-5800 FAX: (604)984-7600
> NVDPL on the web:
> ****************************************************


When we get error/defect indicators on our tapes, we locate the place on the
tape where the "defect" was found, lift the door, and look at the tape (often
we have to wind the reels one direction or the other to locate the specific
place). If the "defect" is as you described - slightly serrated/wavy, we
return the tape to the collection. We understand that this tape will probably
end up with a more serious defect after who-knows-how-many more uses, but that
it is not sufficiently defective to damage a machine or cause viewing
problems. We do remove tapes that have what I call hard wrinkles, ones that
look as though someone used a sharp implement to carve a crease in the tape,
as well as tapes that are severely crumpled, torn, etc. I hope you find your
RTI evaluator as useful as we have.

Hope this helps,
Gail B. Fedak
Instructional Media Resources
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132