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Videocassette Recorder

Can a damaged VHS tape be repaired?

In most cases, yes. If the plastic cassette itself was broken by being dropped but the video tape inside is still in good condition, the tape can be transferred into a new housing.

If the tape inside was damaged or broken, for example by a faulty VCR, the tape can be spliced. However, there are a couple of important things to be aware of. This should only be done by a professional and must only be considered a permanent fix if the splice is located at the very beginning or end of a tape where it attaches to the clear leader. If the splice is anywhere in the middle of the tape, the fix should be considered strictly temporary. The tape should be immediately duplicated and the original should never be used again. Store the original somewhere so that in an emergency another copy can be made after having the splice inspected. The reason this is so important, is that the splice is made with an adhesive splicing tape and adhesives, by nature, will fail in one way or another over time and use. When the splice is not located at the end, the splice will actually pass over the video heads which are spinning at high speed. Any slight deviation in the surface of the tape, such as a splice that is starting to separate, will usually destroy the fragile video heads on your machine.

By the way, if you happen to have a damaged 8mm or Hi-8 video tape, you should be aware the chances of a repaired tape damaging your camcorder or VCR are much greater. It is much more difficult to repair these tapes too.

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