Different Video Tape Formats (and How We Can Help)

Technology keeps advancing and people are always swapping the old for the new. The same is true of video tapes; they used to be the predominant way of watching movies but that has changed with the introduction of the DVD.

However, many people still have video tapes around, although it can be difficult to know which model names they have. After all, video tapes come in different formats, so you may be curious about which ones you have at home – and whether you can convert your memories into a more durable format, like a DVD.

Types of Video Tape Formats

One of the most popular video tape formats was the VHS, be it to record family videos or programmes on TV or to watch the latest movies. Still, while instantly recognisable, the VHS was not the only format available – and popular – so many years ago.

Other types included:

  • Betamax
  • VHS-C
  • Video8
  • Hi8
  • Digital8
  • MicroMV
  • MiniDV
  • S-VHS
  • S-VHS C

Betamax was used more by individuals in TV production and served to record video in cassette format. VHS-C (which was a more compact version of the bulky VHS) were camcorder tapes, as were Video8, Hi8, Digital8, MicroMV and MiniDV.

Video8, Hi8 and Digital8 were incredibly popular in the 90s because they were small and offered better quality when compared to VHS.

MiniDV was the first digital format available to the consumer, capable of recording for a good amount of time and with a fair amount of memory, ensured their popularity. MicroMVs were even smaller and capable of holding up to an hour of video.

Formats like the microcassette and the audio cassette were also extremely popular, though they are considered relics today. The microcassette was used in home answering machines and in dictation devices, while the audio cassette allowed people to record voice as well as radio shows and music.

S-VHS, also called Super VHS, was a version of VHS with better video bandwidth. The luminosity was improved, making for an improved picture, which made the format popular for camcorders.

Why Convert Video to DVD?

Wondering whether you should convert your video tapes into DVD? There are several reasons for doing it, such as the fact that DVD is a durable format that will withstand the test of time.

Video tapes, on the other hand, are a lot more delicate and fragile, so they can get damaged easily. From water and heat damage to magnetic and physical damage, not to mention how VHS tapes can degrade over time, you risk losing your valuable memories if you don’t convert them into another format.

Many video tape formats, including VHS, also required rewinding if you wanted to watch a movie or listen to a show from the start again. In addition, VHS tapes were bulky, so they took up a lot of space in people’s homes. If you have VHS tapes tucked away in the basement or attic, you know exactly what we mean! People also often recorded movies or events over pre-existing videos, and the previous footage was simply lost.

While video tapes have had their time in the sun, they are now obsolete, as most people don’t own a VCR or camcorder anymore. This means that, with modern technology drifting toward other formats, like CDs, DVDs and USBs, it can be a challenge to find a player for your video tapes, while it’s really easy to find a player for your DVDs.

It’s also worth mentioning that modern recording devices and players are higher quality than technologies of old, like the VHS or Betamax; images are now a lot clearer and sharper, colours are vibrant and contrasts are deep.

How Video2DVD Transfers Can Help

We can convert your movies from video to DVD easily, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to access precious memories because you don’t own a player or worry about damage to the tapes.

Video2DVD Transfers can convert all popular home video formats into DVD, including the formats we listed above as well as footage from memory cards, Mini DVDs, UMatic, Betacam, Betacam SP, DigiBeta and full sized DV tapes. We can even go one step further and transfer video formats like Betamax to USB so you can watch them on the computer tablet or phone, wherever you are.

All of this means that we’re capable of handling everything, no matter how obscure your tape formats are. Our professionals can easily deal with most domestic formats in both PAL and NTSC versions too.

You don’t have to resign yourself to never playing a specific tape ever again – by converting your video to DVD, you can watch and rewatch movies and memories that are important to you. You can also convert them to DVD as a gift for your family, who will, no doubt, be delighted at having the chance to go down memory lane.

At Video2DVD Transfers, we understand how valuable and cherished your videos are, so you can rest assured that we will provide you with a high-quality service and product no matter what.

We can work with any video tape format, so get in touch today to learn more about how we can help; you can also send us a message on sales@video2dvdtransfers.co.uk with your questions.