Fading Video Tapes


My VHS Memories Are Fading!  No, They Are Not!


On the internet you will see many video transfer companies claiming that if you don't transfer your video tapes now the color on the tape will fade away! 

This is simply not true.  Unlike tape, film does fade due to a number of reasons:  poor film stock, chemical break-down, to many passes in front of a film projector's light bulb.  All this accounts for fading on film.

However, color on video tape does not fade.  I have VHS tapes from the 1980's that still give off good color, and are not faded.  The only way that video tape could have faded video, is if the video was shot on a camcorder that did not have good video to start with, or the video was transferred from film that was already starting to fade, or even during the transfer process of video from one tape to another, the saturation was turned way, way down.  Or one last option is if the video has been copied one too many times on the same video tape format.  For example, if you've copied a video that was originally recorded on Hi8 to VHS, and then recorded the video from the one VHS to another VHS, and then used the second copy to record the video on a third VHS, and then you used the third VHS tape to make a fourth copy, etc., etc., etc., then you'll run into faded video from the video signal getting weaker and weaker. 

On older video tapes you'll get video drop outs, crinkled tape from a VCR trying to eat it, but not color fade.  And places that claim tape can fade are mere amateurs.