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How to Store Your Home Video Safely

Most of us are fortunate enough to have captured great family memories on film or video. What some people don’t understand is that these memories need to be stored safely and taken care of so you will be able to treasure them forever. Improper storage conditions can cause deterioration of this irreplaceable footage.

Temperature and humidity

Temperature and humidity have a great impact on old film; if conditions are not optimal, this can cause vinegar syndrome (a chemical reaction to the film which causes a vinegar odour), breakage, and colour fading. It is advisable to avoid storing film in locations that are exposed to extremes in temperature such as garages or lofts. Exposure to extreme temperatures or high humidity will cause mould or fungi to grow on the film. Ideally store them in a cool dark place where the temperature does not fluctuate. A carton in a bedroom cupboard is a good storage solution.

For VHS or camcorder tape home videos it’s really important that you keep them out of direct sunlight and heat as these will cause the tape to shrink. Video tapes must also be keep in a dry, non-damp environment, other wise the tape can get mouldy. All tapes should be kept in their protective covers on in a sealed zip lock bag to prevent dust from getting on the tape and scratching it. And last but not least, make sure your precious home videos are no where near any magnets or speakers as these can wipe the tapes clear!

Regulating some temperature and humidity conditions may not be an option in some people’s homes or the climates they live in. In this case, there are companies can transfer your precious memories to an HD digital video, DVD, or Blu-Ray. Another option to consider in addition to transfer is offsite storage for film where your originals can be keep in pristine condition.

Digital storage

Over time, film or videotapes can become brittle, dry, and even shrink. Attempting to then play a videotape in a VCR can cause further irreparable damage. With all of the modern advances in technology transferring your video tapes to digital images is a great way to preserve family history for generations to come. It is also a great way to share with family and friends across the internet. Transfers can be made in any format although the current most requested are AVI files as they are highly compatible and offer high resolution.

Video transfer to digital

It is recommended that you seek out a professional company (like us!) to assist in the planning and transfer of any of your old home cine film or video tapes. If any repairs are required to your films then most companies will inspect your film or video and perform any repairs that need to be made before a successful transfer can be made. 

VHS, Video 8, Hi 8, Mini DV, DV CAM and SVHS can all be transferred to DVD, Blue-ray or a digital file.

DVD is a great transfer option if you simply want to watch with the family in front of the TV. If however, you would prefer to create your own DVD video from the footage that you have then we would recommend transferring to digital files that way you can create editable footage in the way that you want to view it. Another advantage of digital files over DVD is that they can be so easily uploaded and shared on YouTube with family and friends.

If you’d like to speak to our team about your home movies, please feel free to call us on 0191 286 9800 or you can visit our contact page.