We often get asked, Will my VHS tape fit on 1 DVD?
Well, a DVD can only fit up to 2 hours of video. Your VHS tape will fit on 1 DVD if it is shorter than 2 hours. Is your tape shorter than 2 hours? A regular VHS tape stores up to 2 hours of video. That’s what the 120 you see on the tape means – one hundred and twenty minutes. Most people don’t fill up the tape.
The compact VHS tape, which is about one third the size of a regular VHS tape – can store up to 30 minutes of video.
So your VHS tape will always fit on one DVD right? Not so fast.
Here’s the monkey wrench. Although the tape says 120 minutes, you can actually squeeze in up to 2 hours plus 3 or 4 more minutes. Now it won’t fit on 1 DVD (since a DVD only fits 2 hours). Now, you have to make a choice if you want that last 3 or 4 minutes on a 2nd DVD or not.
Can you squeeze even more video on your tape than 2 hours? If you look at the back of the VHS tape case, you’ll often see SP: 2 hours, LP: 4 hours, EP: 6 hours. That’s saying if you recorded the video in Long Play (LP), or Extended Play (EP), you can record a lot more hours of video into the same tape. The quality will be lower though.
Why would your parents or grandparents record in lower quality? Because VHS tapes was expensive at that time, and folks want to squeeze in as much video as possible into the tape.
What does this all mean for you?
When you bring your tapes in, you need to let us know if you want us to stop at 2 hours, or continue to transfer anything beyond 2 hours to a 2nd DVD. If the tape ends up being 6 hours, you will end up with 3 DVDs
Most of the tapes we’ve seen aren’t full, some may even have only a few minutes on it. Our lab report will show the actual amount of video footage on your tape and that’s what the final fee is based on. Your final fee is based on the actual video on the tape, not the capacity of the tape.
Your VHS tapes have a shelf life. If you are still hanging on to your VHS tape, they must be at least 15 to 20 years old. Transfer your tapes to digital formats before it is too late.
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