Dig out that VHS tape of your wedding now!
We are seeing a growing number of customers looking to get their wedding video transferred to USB or DVD. This is especially true of those who had their wedding video filmed between the mid-70s and late 90s – after which DVDs became the standard delivery format.
For these couples, their special day is almost certainly trapped inside a VHS cassette. Even if they have a working VHS player, the aggravation of digging it out of storage and then trying to connect it to a modern, Smart TV, is simply too much trouble. That is sad really, when there’s so much joy that could be had from having their wedding video transferred to USB or DVD.
But how many people are still in this predicament? If you look at the ONS statistics on marriages it shows that, in the UK, there are currently about 250,000 marriages a year (which is a declining figure). OK, not all those couples had their wedding or civil partnership filmed. But even if it is only 10% that were captured on video (either professionally or by one of the guests) then we are talking about 25,000 wedding videos per year. Allowing for a gradual wedding video take up over the 20-year “VHS era”, my guess is there was about 400,000 wedding videos produced.
Let us look at that figure from a local perspective. Tapes2USB is based in Epping Forest which has a population of around 130,000 – which is approximately 2% of the national population. If my estimate is right, in Epping Forest alone there was about 8,000 wedding videos produced over this VHS era.
Why would I want to get my Wedding Video transferred to USB or DVD?
There are going to be a few reasons why you might think you do not want your wedding video transferred to USB or DVD. Divorce is probably the most significant one as we are currently running at 42% of UK marriages ending that way. Whilst these memories might be bitter, a wedding video is far more than a record of the union of two people. They will almost certainly hold the final images of many loved ones. This era was long before video selfies and YouTube – so it was still exceedingly rare that normal, everyday people, were captured in vision and sound.
Apart from sentimental value, wedding videos are extremely valuable social documents. Fashions, hair styles, vehicles, household decorations… everything looked vastly different. OK, this is nothing new to those of us who lived through this period but for the younger generation – maybe the children and grandchildren of those married in the VHS-era – these are fascinating to watch and listen to. They will certainly be something to cherish.
Time might be running out
I am not scaremongering, but time could be running out to get your wedding video transferred to USB or DVD. If stored in perfect conditions, an un-played VHS tape will last a lifetime. Take them out of these perfect conditions (and they are quite exacting – see our video here on how to store tapes correctly) and the life expectancy of a VHS tape is relatively short. Each time you play the tape you will damage the magnetic surface to some extent or another. Once it is significantly damaged the recordings and memories they hold will be lost – forever.
Even if you had your wedding video delivered on DVD there is no guarantee that it will last much longer than those held on VHS tape. Recordable DVDs use a vegetable-based photosensitive layer in which to store the data. Over time, this layer will start to break down – especially if it is played often or stored in poor conditions.
The only safe way to make sure your memories are not lost forever is to have them converted to MP4 files and kept on an USB stick or hard drive – and then backed up on a Cloud Storage facility. Once in the digital domain, further copying should not degrade the images and sound any further.
Now is the time
If you are looking to get your Wedding Video to USB or DVD (or use our Digital Download service) please get in touch. If, in the meantime, you want to see my wedding video filmed in 1993 there is a short cheesy version on my Vimeo Channel – just click the image opposite to play.
Please call 020 3602 3356 or email info@Tapes2USB.co.uk