Video Tape Garage Storage

softfeatherMarch 13, 2006

Hello, I would like to know if it is a good or not so good thing to store video tapes in the garage? It is very cold here sometimes in the winter, 30's 40's, and hot in the summer 90's +, sometimes 100's for 3 days to a week, maybe once or twice a summer, but usually high 80's low to mid 90's.

(I actually do have one or two tapes of a family member from 22 years ago, yes they can last that long, unlike the only 10 years that I have heard about.)

Otherwise, does anyone have any ideas for storage of these? I know, the 'why do I have so many' is a subject all in itself. I got very harshly riprimanded (ie, yelled at)in another forum for asking about that, I'm not sure I'm ready to go into that question for help with that again anywhere. I am mostly at this time, wondering if I could store them in the garage. Maybe another time I could get into why do I tape so much, how could I pare that down, what's going on in my life, etc. I do have some keepsake ones I have in a photo box system in an area where there is a television, that I know I want to keep, and do watch or refer to from time to time, and later I will go through all the rest, (no, I cannot and do not want to just 'throw them out,' or look at the first thing on them, and then 'throw them out.') A time to sort those will come, and I may ask here about that because everyone seems very nice and considerate and kind, but right now I need to move the boxes of them out of the diningroom and livingroom, so how about putting them in the garage, or do you have any system that will work for this?

Thank you.

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I think you should do what I'm currently investigating. Transfer them from tape to digital media like DVD. Not only is it less subject to degradation, it also takes up far less room.

Maybe this can be a dual challenge for us both?? :-)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 11:08AM
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Thank you for replying trekaren, and that sounds like a good idea :) but for me, way down the road. Because I don't even know what's on those tapes, (and that's why I got yelled at in the other forum and just now I don't really want to go into the 'why' of why I even have them plus don't know what's on them.) But right now I need to first just get all those boxes out of the dinning room and living room, which is why I was wondering about the garage and stuff in my other post.
trekaren, I again thank you and hope you have great success in your endeavor, you are Very Brave! Please let me know how it progresses, because that does sound like something I should probably do with the video tapes of the relative. :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 12:38PM
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someone yelled? Oh pah-lease!
People who throw stones should not live in glass houses.

Anyone among us who does not have some often-procrastinated bucket of something in the house they need to deal with, must have a personal assistant :-)

I would definitely think the garage would not be the best climate for these tapes, because they will tend to degrade.

If you have any in the pile that you DO know what's on them,, you should at least convert those now, especially if it's a high sentimental value. That way you get a small quick win, and those little baby steps sometimes help motivate to continue the work.

Good luck!!! Maybe consider those rubbermade under-bed boxes?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 12:43PM
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I think you run a real risk of them deteriorating w/the heat in the garage.

Of course, sometimes that's a tactic I use--"oh, gee, it broke, I get to throw it out."

But if you don't want the heat to make your decisions for you, I think I'd suggest you try to find somewhere to store them in the house. (You might also find it easier to get to that eventual sort-through, since they'll be handy.)

*other* stuff can store in the garage without harm--dishes, linens (if moisture protected), spare clothes. Can you find something else that can move out, to make room for the tapes?

karen (or anybody else), do you have any suggestions for how someone could transfer VHS to DVD? Is there any vendor who'll do it for you, etc.? That would be really useful. So if anybody has any concrete info on how to do this yourself, or get it done for you, that would be great!
' I've found a couple of links w/a simple Google Search

$15 per tape

an article w/ advice for doing it yourself, the simplest version of which is:
- Connect your VHS VCR or camcorder to a standalone DVD recorder that works much like a VCR. This VHS to DVD recorder basically gives you a DVD copy of your tape in real time. You don't have a lot of flexibility as far as menus, buttons and chapter settings, but it's the fastest and easiest way to convert VHS to DVD. If you get a "DVD VCR" with Firewire connections you can plug a DV/Digital8/DVCAM camcorder or VCR into it and transfer the tapes to DVD at even higher quality than by using the analog connections.

$10 per tape

hardware to do it yourself, for $85

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 12:59PM
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Hubby saw some really good deals on DVD player/writer combo Video sets at Costco over the weekend. Our VCR in the den died and DD still has old Disney vids to watch, and our DVD is on its last leg, so if this player is a good deal, I might get it and kill three birds with one stone.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 2:40PM
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I am having a lot of computer trouble, it is very very sticky and keeps saying they are increasing my memory or something. I just wrote a post, but lost it due to too much "clicking" trying to get the words to type!
Anyway, thank you all for your suggestions, I am getting an idea! (and thank you trekaren for what you said, the whole thing was upsetting.)
I have another question: since storing them in the garage is out, should I put them in the house in plastic or cardboard? I am looking for some boxes that are pretty small, because I think I may put them on a pot shelf in a bedroom, that is very high and one would need a ladder to access them. But if I put them in something small, then I could take one at a time down and go through them that way.
Just not sure if it makes a difference in the house if they are in plastic or cardboard? I'm thinking of even ordering some mailing boxes, those might be the right size.
What's your knowledge on this?
Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 3:45PM
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I agree the garage with temperature changes would not be good for storage.

Personally, I don't like to have anything stored which I need a ladder to get. Maybe it's my middle age, but high storage items just seem to bonk me in the head when they come down.

I'm a fan of those shallow under the bed things myself, but if you have a spot you are thinking of, then do some measuring of the videos and your space. See what would work the best. If you can get the boxes consistent in size, you'll be able to stack the easier.

If you think it will really be several years before you manage to deal with the videos, I would opt for plastic. Cardboard for shorter term storage.

Here's a non-clutter gift idea. If you have grown kids, ask them to have them transferred for you for Mother's Day. Our photography places will do it, but I'm not sure of the fee. That would be a good birthday gift for you from DH.

And I'm sorry some other board got on your case. We all have items we choose to save and we don't own anyone an explaination. We are quick to say get it gone, but really, we all understand hanging on to things for various reasons.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 5:02PM
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I don't think plastic or cardboard matters. In fact, I'd vote for cardboard bcs moisture would leave if it needed to. Of course, corrugated has those tunnels bugs like, but that's probably not a huge problem.

Also, right NOW it's not hot--what if you moved them out NOW, so you got your living room & dining room back?

Then, if you were worried about losing them to the heat, maybe you could make a pact w/ yourself (and us) to check out four of them a week starting next week? And try to get them out of the garage (and out of your hair in whatever way you decide) by July 4?

Bcs until then, they'd probably be fine in the garage. The cold weather is nearly over, and the hot hasn't begun

After that, well.....

(Also, you and karen could tackle the most important tapes, like that 22-year-old one you've got)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 6:59PM
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DH has bought an LG brand HDD/DVD recorder (RH7500) and he transfers VCR tapes onto the DVD's hard drive, edits a bit, titles, maybe breaks into parts and then transfers onto dual layer dvd discs. It goes great so far and seems simple enough. He tackles a couple every Saturday and has already the most important tapes done.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 3:34AM
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My DH enjoys transferring our tapes, but he's a computer geek. I definitely wouldn't store the tapes in the garage. I would go for the plastic storage containers because they're more sturdy & you can just wash off the dust.

I'm in the middle of a major decluttering & plan to tackle my VHS tapes soon. We don't have a lot of them, but I know there are some that can be tossed.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 7:47AM
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I know everybody is advocating transferring your tapes to DVD, BUT...

As a computer geek/guru, I must tell you that the lifespan of "recorded" DVDs is unknown, but probably much shorter than everyone assumes. One highly regarded computer security specialist recently stated that they may be good for 2-3 years, possibly 5 years, but should never be used for "critical" data beyond that. Yes, I realize your tapes are probably not "critical data", but bear with me. I think someone would consider their wedding video to be critical data.

Commercial movie DVDs are stamped out. It's a physical process, like embossing. "Recordable" DVDs use a dye, which changes its reflectivity when "burnt" by a laser. The longevity of this dye is questionable.

The lifespan of a VHS tape is another story. If kept in a temperature-controlled, humidity-controlled environemnt (not a garage!), maybe 10-20 years before deterioration.

The answer? There is no good answer. The original Declaration of Independence is fully legible after 230 years. A copy of it on a DVD or VHS tape 230 years from now: probably unviewable.

Another question: will anyone have a VHS tape deck or a DVD player 10 or 20 years from now? Will analog TV signals be playable, since switching to digital TV is mandatory in just a few years? How many of you have a 5 1/4 floppy disk drive?

See the problem?

This is an enormous problem which librarians are facing now. Microfilm machines? Microfiche? How about a disk from a WANG word processor from 20 years ago? An 8" floppy disk?

I know I've gotten a little carried away, but all electronic media need to be copied to a new format every 5-10 years, because the formats fall out of usage.

Got any out-of-print 8-track tapes? If it hasn't been reissued, then once that tape dies, IT'S GONE...FOREVER.

I'm sure glad that the Declaration of Independence wasn't written on a word processor!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 9:06AM
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