Old Videos

Okay, I’m going to date myself here, but hopefully not too badly. Who remembers VHS tapes? You know, those things we used to watch movies on before DVD’s and Blu-Ray?

I’ve been immersed in videos lately. When Mark and I bought our house together in 1989, we bought a video camera. They were about the size of a microwave back then. Okay, so maybe they weren’t THAT big. But I’m not exaggerating by much.

Anyhow, we apparently taped everything. The tape when we moved into the house was so long, I swear I watched the dandelions that covered our then new lawn bloom. Well, maybe that’s exaggeration number two, but I’ve got this huge stock of VHS tapes filled with videos we took over about a 15 year period, until the camera thankfully died.

So I’ve been working on transferring them over to DVD. Bought myself a program so I could hook the VHS player direct to my computer, spent more hours than it takes to train Dragon speech software learning about the program, and finally transferred my first few moments to DVD successfully.

Only one problem. The audio. About 1 minute out of every ten is completely garbled. I’ve re-transferred the same tapes twice now. Looked at the originals and there’s no audio problem on them. Looked at the transferred program on my computer and that sounds fine, too. Somewhere in the “burning to DVD” process, it gets screwed up.

Sigh. I had hoped to eliminate the excessive cost of having someone do this for me. But I don’t have the time to debug this. So I’ll have to call this experiment half unsuccessful. Why only half? Because my husband and I had a lot of fun watching some of the old videos while I worked through this process.

We need to do that more often.

So…do you have old video or home movies? Ever look at it? I hope so, because it can definitely put a smile on your face.


18 responses to “Old Videos

  1. We even have an 8 track player in the garage–I think that is what it was called, We still have videos and cassettes. lol We even have a few DVD’s and many CD’s. I am 80 and old fashioned. lol

    Have a great weekend,


    • We have an 8-track player in my husband’s shop, Frank! How funny is that? I scrounge garage sales for tapes for him. Yep, our household is a mixture, like yours. About the time my DVD movie collection gets large enough to be considered a “collection” they’ll eliminate DVD’s and we’ll be downloading direct.
      Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Oh yeah and had some copied at Costco. I went through all of them before moving because the VHS was still attached to a TV. Still have quite a few I want to copy. I take them in when I remember one or two at time. Hardly notice the cost that way.

    • I see the Costco coupons for VHS transfer once in a while. I’d love to be able to sort the videos on to different DVDs though. I just transferred them all onto one VHS until it was full, then started another. So I’ve got a mish mosh of back to back scenes. Sigh. It’s not easy, preserving things, is it.

  3. Addendum: I wonder. If I get it all transferred to DVD by someone, I wonder if I could then transfer DVD to DVD and separate things out like I want.

  4. Valerie J. Patterson

    Labor intensive/labor of love, Laurie! Good luck with your project. When my husband’s grandma passed, his dad discovered boxes and boxes of slides in one of her spare bedrooms. My husband is in the process of scanning them all and making DVDs for various family members. Huge chore! 😛

    • Oh, yes, we had those boxes of slides, too, from my mother-in-law. Thankfully, about 75% of them were flowers, so each to deal with. The others, though, the travels and vacations, those were harder. I did manage to convert those to digital pictures myself.
      It’s flat out a lot of work to preserve our history, isn’t it? I haven’t been scrap-booking much these last few years, and I’ve stopped printing most of my pictures, leaving them digital. But I try to add a journal document to each file explaining it.
      And I gave my kids the okay to toss what they don’t want after I’m gone. I don’t want them agonizing over pictures that were important to me, not them. You know?

  5. Oh yeah. We had that same room-size video camera (how’s that for exaggeration?) – I also still have a ton of VHS tapes. I still have a player so I use that when I want to watch the tapes. And yep, they are deteriorating in quality sadly. As to the dragon program, I’ve tried it twice- once in the 90s and once in the 2000s and it totally does not understand southern. Can’t make it work. Wish I could.

  6. Love looking at old movies. We has ours put on VHS and now need to convert again. Maybe I’ll just leave them and let the kids figure it out.

  7. We weren’t into videos so apart from one, we have none to look back on but lots of photographs which I love to get out and look through when the mood takes me. The one video tape I have is from a recording of when I was a contestant on a TV game show many years ago. I keep meaning to get it transferred to CD yet never seem to get round to doing it. Must get it sorted, and soon. 🙂

    • In a way, you are lucky. Videos are so much harder to preserve than photographs. I also scrap book, but not as much as I should. Kit, definitely get that tape transferred. That’s a moment in time you AND your family will love re-visiting, eh?

  8. Whenever you and Lavada talk about techie stuff, I’m all “Huh?” LOL! I certainly remember VHS, Laurie, and taped loads of films from the TV, but never did any home movies so no worries about getting anything transferred, thank goodness.

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