Sunday, January 30, 2011

Video Tape is Dangerous . . . to your memories.

All forms of "Visual Media" are subject to a limited life span. The hidden danger of video tape is the relatively quick degradation of the tape and the signal recorded on it. For your convenience we have included a table below from the website that provides a limited guideline for preservation of most of the visual media you might have around your house.

Let's focus on VHS video tape for the moment. It was first introduced as Sony's Betamax format in 1/2" cassettes with a 60 minute record capability. It was never designed to archive "family memories" - it was born to be a cheap distribution medium in the late 70's for commercial/industrial training materials. The average shelf life is estimated to be around 5 -10 years* before it is rendered useless from various factors.

Close behind Sony, JVC followed with a lesser quality offering called VHS. (Video Home System) In VHS format the way the signal was recorded made for less picture quality than Betamax, but a two hour recording capability was a prize feature, so we as consumers adopted this system. This gave rise to inexpensive video cameras and recorders and home-based videography was launched.
The good news is we now have precious, never to be repeated memories captured. The bad news is that it's stored on what was never meant to be a long term storage solution, but rather an inexpensive and reasonable industrial distribution medium.

Your fondest "memories" now exist solely on a disposable by design medium . . . who knew?

What can you do?
It's simple! Take all of your old VHS tapes with kids, weddings, sports, pets, family and travel memories to your nearest Home Video Studio and have them transferred to a Gold Archival DVD. This is a real storage solution because our 24k Gold Archival DVD is rated to last for 100 years. This DVD is so tough that you can scratch it with a nail and it will still play.

Now, let's not forget that we can also organize and edit these tapes together and tell a more specific story. So think about how you might add to the family tree/archive with these old treasures and then distribute those to the rest of the family.
And even if you had Umatic 3/4" or 1/2" Betamax tapes there are still resources at Home Video Studios to capture those to DVD.
Sure it's another thing on your "to do" list, but it's a very important one, as it involves something totally irreplaceable . . . your memories.

As you are preparing your tapes to be transferred to Gold Archival DVD here are a few tips you need to know:How to Handle Your Video Tapes
  • Never touch the tape itself. Hold it by the side of the cassette
  • Rewind the cassette before storing it.
  • Keep away from curious kids; avoid dropping or banging the tapes.
  • Keep cassettes away from magnetic fields (Top of the Old TV)
  • Don't leave a cassette in the car where it will be exposed to heat and cold
  • If using a new cassette and it's still cold, let it warm up to room temperature.
  • Occasionally fast forward and rewind a tape that's being stored a long time.
How to Store Your Video Tapes
  • Store in conditions that are stable, cool and dry.
  • Stay away from hot, humid and dusty.
  • Store cassettes in the cassette case.
  • Store your tapes vertically and not flat to distribute the gravity pull equally, stably and avoid edge damage.
And from the site we get the following information:
Chemical decay is due to spontaneous chemical change. Fading of color dyes in photographs and degradation of binder layers in magnetic tape are examples of decay caused by chemical reactions occurring within the materials themselves. The speed of these reactions depends primarily on temperature, but moisture also plays a role. In general, the warmer the temperature of the storage area, and the higher the Relative Humidity, the faster the media collection will be affected by chemical decay.

Excessive dampness is a very serious environmental threat to media collections because it contributes not only to mechanical decay but to biological and chemical decay as well.

HVS Web Site:

Charlene, thanks for the great testimonial. Enjoy!

- Charlene from Fanwood
Wow! What a stroke of luck it was finding Dan. I gave up trying to transfer my old 8mms and other tapes onto the computer with Radio Shack thingeys. I just dumped TONS of footage at his studio thinking this will cost me dearly, it will be a bit messed up, etc. but what else can I do? Lo and behold, I got a call WAY before the due date and it was all done PERFECTLY AND FOR A REASONABLE FEE! This stuff included precious video of my daughter's adoption. I am so lucky. Thank you so much Dan! I can't believe I waited all these years to transfer the tapes. You made it so quick and easy and now we just get to enjoy!!!

Home Video Studio's Web site:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Westfield Leader 1/27/11 - Camp Video Rocks the House

Camp Video Rocks the House

When you send your kids to camp, you hope they have fun and make new friends. You hope they’re engaged in the activities. At Camp Yachad, run by the JCC of Central New Jersey, parents don’t have to just hope. They can see for themselves, thanks to a video created by Dan Weiniger of Home Video Studio in Westfield.

Weiniger filmed one of the camp’s signature weekly programs, the Friday afternoon Rockin’ Shabbat. “It’s a celebration of the coming Jewish Sabbath, the Shabbat,” said Mike Goldstein, Camp Yachad co-director. Campers ages 5 to 14 join together in the gymnasium for the week’s culminating camp experience. “Essentially it’s a rock concert,” Goldstein said, with camp’s band, the Shabbatones, leading everyone in a spirit-filled rock concert featuring Jewish camp songs and the blessings to welcome in the sabbath.

During the Rockin’ Shabbat, more than 750 campers, counselors and parents fill the gymnasium for singing and dancing.

“I was blown away by the quality,” Goldstein said of the initial 12 minute video Weiniger created. “It was astounding to me because he not only captured the energy of the Shabbat program, but he was able to pan around the gym, using different camera angles, to capture the enormity of the event. But he also got in and did the close-ups, of smaller groups of counselors interacting with the campers, so we got the big picture as well as the smaller moments.”

Goldstein asked Weiniger for an even shorter, promotional version to put on the camp’s website. “I challenged him to come up with a three minute video. He still captured the essence of the program, which I was grateful for,” Goldstein said.

The comments Goldstein got about the video have all been positive. “It’s a nice promotional tool,” he said.

Goldstein was so happy with the Rockin’ Shabbat video, he’d like Weiniger to come back and film the camp’s end-of-summer show.

You can see the video on the JCC’s Camp Yachad website:

Home Video Studio offers a variety of video shooting, copying and editing services. Contact Dan at New Jersey-based Home Video Studio directly at (908) 301-9300 or email Visit the website to learn more about Dan’s services at To learn more about Camp Yachad, visit

Saturday, January 22, 2011


 Video tapes are magnetic recordings and can be erased by other magnetic fields. 
Be cautious when storing your tapes. Avoid storing tapes on or around:
                                                       -TV sets. 
                                                       -Loud speakers. 
                                                      -Devices with motors like portable air conditioners.
                                                       -Computers and monitors.
* Don't let your family's memories disappear. *
Call us today at (908) 301-9300 
& we'll transfer your tapes to archival gold dvd's!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quality Matters When It Come to Preserving Your Memories

You purchase insurance to protect your health, auto and home from disaster. It would be unthinkable not to! But what about your most valuable assets? Your family photos, videos, film and other important documents are irreplaceable. What are you doing to insure them?

Home Video Studio introduces a "lifetime of insurance" when archiving your precious items to a digital format. It's calledThe Gold Standard DVD. This custom DVD ensures at least 100 years of durability.

The Gold Standard DVD is engineered and proven to withstand the tests of time. This 24k gold overlay DVD was especially designed to protect data and ensure playability by guarding against gouges, scratches, fingerprints and dust. It can even withstand submersion in water!

This patented dual reflective layered disc is the recommended media of choice for weddings, graduations, anniversaries, sports, and other photo video keepsakes. Why trust your precious memories to be preserved on anything else? Be sure to ask for Home Video Studio's Gold Standard DVD "insurance plan" for your lifetime of memories!